AMTA should stick to its mandate: Shiweda

22 Feb 2018 18:30pm
WINDHOEK, 22 FEB (NAMPA) – Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF), Anna Shiweda has called on the Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA) to stick with managing the National Strategic Food Reserve (NSFR), fresh produce hubs and providing inspectorate services.
Delivering the keynote address at AMTA’s annual general meeting (AGM) in the capital on Thursday, Shiweda said this will make AMTA self-sufficient.
“AMTA should live up to its mandate of providing and facilitating the establishment of a robust agro-industry in Namibia with smooth backward and forward linkages,” said Shiweda.
She said AMTA should become a self-sustaining “non-commercial entity.”
“If AMTA sticks to its mandate, it will make them sustainable with little or no financial support from government.”
In the midst of multiple players in the agro-industry, AMTA should avoid duplications, she added.
According to Shiweda, MAWF has received and is scrutinising a proposal from AMTA on how the entity intends to make its operations sustainable and that they ought to be within the applicable legal frameworks at all times.
She however expressed dismay at the timing of the AGM, saying it was rather late.
“I want to highlight some concern that this AGM is to consider the report of 2016/2017 when we are almost at the end of the current financial year [2017/2018],” she said, adding that she expected the meeting to have taken place earlier to serve as an input into planning activities of the soon-to-end financial year.
Shiweda further called on stakeholders to engage the AMTA board in a constructive manner.
At the AGM, the agency announced that it marketed fresh produce valued at N.dollars 34 million during the 2016/17 financial year, a 40 per cent increase when compared to the previous financial year.