18 May 2016 14:10pm
ONGWEDIVA, 18 MAY (NAMPA) The Namibian National Farmers Union (NNFU) has strongly urged the Namibian Government to review certain policies, which it argues affects the farming community.
NNFU president, Tobias Emvula, made this call at a media briefing in Ongwediva on Tuesday after the completion of the unions two-day workshop here.
One of the policies that the union wishes to be reviewed is the 1997 Drought Policy, of which it called on Government to consider the establishment of a drought fund as soon as possible.
The NNFU has structures that can access large numbers of farmers on the ground and these can be used by the government to directly engage farmers to get input on how the policy should be re-adjusted to their benefit, Emvula noted.
The Meat Industry Act, Act no: 12 of 1981 was also one of the policies the union pointed out, saying the Act needs to 'clearly and categorically' provide for a pragmatic framework for the development of the domestic and foreign meat markets.
The Act also needs to comprehensively provide for a framework that ensures the development of meat processing facilities to enhance value addition locally and specifically provide a practical roadmap for the non-exporting regions in the Northern Communal Areas (NCA), added the unions president.
Emvula noted that while some problems in the industry come from outdated policies, failure to implement existing government policies and their provisions is another area of concern.
We therefore strongly appeal to the responsible government agencies to urgently ensure timely implementation of the NCAs action plan that was announced by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, he urged.
Emvula also advised Government to call urgent meetings during which issues such as Foot and Mouth Disease; human-wildlife conflict and bush encroachment among others will be thoroughly tackled, with the involvement of NNFU and other unions.
The union also welcomed the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) and said it continues to be grateful to the government for supporting the agriculture sector by establishing critical institutions which include the Agricultural Bank of Namibia (AgriBank); the Agricultural Business Development agency (AgriBusDev) and others.