14 Nov 2017 15:20pm
RUNDU, 14 NOV (NAMPA) Bank of Namibia Governor, Ipumbu Shiimi said the Namibian government is seriously considering the removal of the Veterinary Cordon Fence (VCF), more commonly known as the Red Line, by 2022.
Shiimi said this during a public lecture he recently delivered at the University of Namibia (UNAM)s Rundu Campus on the agricultural potential of the two Kavango regions.
If you look at our National Development Plan 5, there is a target date there for removing the Red Line. I am talking about 2022, Shiimi said, during his lecture titled attaining the vision of a breadbasket: the untapped potential of the Kavango regions.
The Red Line is a pest exclusion fence separating northern Namibia from the central and southern parts of the country.
It encases several northern regions; Oshana, Kavango East, Omusati, Zambezi, Omaheke, Kunene and parts of Khomas and the Oshikoto Regions.
This may not be an easy exercise for Government, Shiimi said, as it will require a lot of resources.
He said Namibia has to show that it has enough disease control facilities in that area to the countries where its meat products are exported for consumption.
He said the country will have to show that the meat it exports is disease-free and will not contaminate the rest of the commercial sector.
Shiimi said Namibia should also have enough veterinarians, adding that education institutions such as UNAM should have programmes to equip learners with this skill, which is at a deficit in the country.
Namibia will also have to make sure that cattle in the country do not mix with cattle from neigbouring countries.
Cattle from the other side of the border should also be properly vaccinated and managed to make sure Government does not transmit diseases to other countries, he said.
To remove the Red Line, Shiimi concluded, Government has to have the aspiration and commitment to do so and similarly put up all the necessary infrastructure.