17 Feb 2018 10:00am
WINDHOEK, 17 FEB (NAMPA) Former Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa has urged staff members of the ministry to continue negotiations with Angola to move the red line.
Mutorwa said this during his send-off arranged for him by the Agriculture Ministry this week.
The now Minister of Works and Transport said the red line has excluded many farmers from the lucrative market.
We cannot afford not to achieve this for the benefit for our farmers, he stressed.
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.
The government has previously proposed shifting the red line towards the Angolan border as this would integrate northern farmers into a wider livestock market.
More than half of the countrys 2,8 million cattle are in the Northern Communal Areas (NCAs) and the meat of the animals in those areas is not exported to the European Union (EU) because the NCAs are considered high-risk and prone to animal diseases, especially lung sickness and Foot and Mouth Disease.
Speaking to Nampa on the sidelines of the event, Treasurer General of the Namibia National Farmers Union, Amon Mutjiuee Kapi who also farms in the NCA expressed concern that they are excluded from participating in the local market.
We dont have a market for our products at the moment, he said, adding that the only solution to their problem will be shifting the red line.
Kapi said moving the red line will help with the creation of jobs as, amongst others, more abattoirs will be built.