28 Apr 2019 11:00am
KEETMANSHOOP, 28 APR (NAMPA) Namibia has the ability to become food self-sustainable in the next two to three years, Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, Tjekero Tweya has said.
Tweya was speaking at a business conference in Lüderitz on Friday, which formed part of the 2019 Crayfish Festival.
The 12th edition of the festival started Thursday and ends Tuesday and is taking place under the theme Our ocean, our heritage.
We have the aquifer to provide water, the blue economy, a huge agricultural workforce and almost half the population commanding great expertise and skills to produce food for the entire nation. What is holding us back? he asked.
Tweya said for Namibia to realise this objective it must pool all efforts and resources to attract excellent investors to the agricultural sector for the production of essential foods and other important consumables to be distributed countrywide at affordable prices.
This will create a high level of inclusivity of people from all walks of life speaking directly to the philosophy of the president that no one should feel left out of the Namibian house, the minister said.
He went on to say Namibia as a small economy and small nation of merely 2.4 million people is the first African country to have sealed breakthrough deals with big markets such as China and the United States of America for the exporting of beef.
What prevents us from producing other quality food products and exporting our surplus to not only China and the US, but other lucrative markets as well. I believe we can do it, we must just change the narrative that we as Namibians are capable of achieving anything, Tweya said.
He further acknowledged that Namibia has a lot of work to do to become food self-reliant, saying foreign businesses and retail shops seem to have a deliberate strategy to import their goods from South African suppliers and producers, at the expense of Namibians.
I accept that our strategy towards industrialisation has the right ingredients to deliver strategic outcomes and once we land Namibia into an industrialised economy, my expectation will be to see most products, food, fresh produce, textile and garments and various others on Namibian shelves marked as Made in Namibia, Produced in Namibia or even Assembled in Namibia, said the minister.