Mutorwa calls off SSMS submission discusions

05 Sep 2017 18:40pm
WINDHOEK, 05 SEP (NAMPA) – The joint submission of the Small Stock Marketing Scheme will not be discussed during the Cabinet Committee meeting on Trade and Economic Development scheduled for Wednesday.
Minister of Agriculture Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa said this during a media briefing here on Monday.
The briefing follows a written notice that was issued to close down the Farmer’s Meat Market Abattoir at Mariental.
According to a letter written to Mutorwa by the Farmer’s Meat Market dated 30 August, the company has made big losses due to severe drought and unfavourable trading conditions in the small stock industry in Namibia.
The letter states that the company used to slaughter on average 21 000 animals a month, sometimes going as high as 30 000 which at present had dropped to less than 5 000 animals a month.
“It is a sad reality that due to a lack of support for local value addition we have to bid our producers, employees and other stakeholders farewell,” the letter states.
Mutorwa responded that the letter seems to contradict the long standing complaints of the Small Stock Producers under the umbrella of the Livestock Producers’ Organisation.
The minister explained that the Livestock Producers earlier this year requested a meeting with him on a variety of issues including some which form part of the content of the letter written to him.
Some of the issues, he mentioned, include low prices paid to producers, the questionable value addition, inadequate capacity of local abattoirs and the fact that most abattoirs belong to South Africans.
All stakeholders, according to Mutorwa, were requested to come up with a joint submission accommodating all their concerns which they did not do.
“I was ready to defend the submission in Cabinet,” said Mutorwa.
On Friday, 01 September, Mutorwa wrote to Minister of Economic Planning and Director General of the National Planning Commission, Tom Alweendo requesting that the submission not be discussed during the Cabinet Committee meeting on Trade and Economic Development as was planned until comments and advice from the different industry leaders have been received.
Contacted for comment in this regard, Chief Operating Officer at Hartlief Corporation Limited, Jacqui Bruys told Nampa that they would not respond to the agency at the moment.