14 Feb 2018 18:40pm
WINDHOEK, 14 FEB (NAMPA) Namibian beef will enter the Chinese market in the near future, outgoing Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa said on Wednesday.
He made the announcement during a farewell event arranged by the ministry. Mutorwa will now serve as Minister of Works and Transport after a Cabinet reshuffle last week.
I attended a meeting at State House this morning where the Chinese ambassador to Namibia was present and it was announced that our beef exports to China are now open, he said.
Namibian beef exports to China were suspended in 2016 following an outbreak of lumpy skin disease.
According to Mutorwa, an agreement has now been reached by the two countries and the beef exports will start soon.
He said the only challenge Namibia is left with at the moment is fulfilling the Chinese market demand for beef as China is a very big country.
But even if our beef can only fill up one supermarket, it is still an achievement, said Mutorwa.
The lumpy skin disease outbreak, according to earlier media reports, occurred two months after a historic agreement was signed that would have made Namibia the first African country to export beef to China.
Lumpy skin disease is an infectious disease in cattle caused by a virus known as Neethling virus.
The disease is characterised by fever, enlarged superficial lymph nodes and multiple nodules on the skin and mucous membranes.
Infected cattle also may develop swelling in their limbs and exhibit lameness.
The virus has important economic implications since affected animals tend to have permanent damage to their skin, lowering the commercial value of their hide.