Farmers call on government to ensure local procurment

10 Aug 2019 16:30pm
RUNDU, 10 AUG (NAMPA) - The Kavango East Farmers Union (KEFU) chairperson, Adolf Muremi, said there are government institutions that have not committed themselves to the directive given by the Ministry of Finance to buy local products.
Muremi made the statement during the Town Hall meeting held by President Hage Geingob and senior government officials on Friday.
“We do not know whether we will receive clarity today but when will government institutions commit themselves on this directive,” he said.
The Namibian Defence Force (NDF) in the region, he explained, is not willing to buy locally, as when approached it says that farmers produce should be a certain grade.
The NDF he added also say that they prefer the top score maize meal instead of the locally produced mahangu by the farmers.
The Namibian Police he further pointed out is also another public entity that is not willing to buy local products.
The Namibian police in the region he said says their menu comes from Windhoek and is thus not able to buy local.
“How will these institutions buy local produce if everything is centralised. Your excellency, we want your office to try and do something on this point in order for every government institution to respect the directive and buy local,” he noted.
Muremi said farmers want hostel tenders when advertised to also given to local suppliers.
The Ministry of Finance gave the procurement directive in May this year that public entities should source specific categories of goods and services and works produced and manufactured locally before procuring these elsewhere.
Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein announced that the directive was a measure to enable local participation in the economy and enhance domestic productive capacity within the framework of the Procurement Act (Act No. 15 of 2015).
In his response, Defence spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Petrus Shilumbu said the troops in the various army bases come from different cultural backgrounds which automatically means that not all eat mahangu.
Shilumbu also explained that the Ministry of Defence sources locally via August 26 Holdings, which buys from the Rundu Fresh Produce Hub.
The regional police commander for Kavango East Johanna Ngondo said the police force sources locally through the Prisons and Correctional Services in Divundu who supply inmates with maize meal and bread.
Ngondo said the procurement directive from Finance only came in May and thus they are still working on effecting those directives.
The President and ministers could not respond to questions and concerns raised by the different sectors in the region as the meeting ended late but the indication was given that the concerns were recorded.