Agri production drops to 2016 levels – Agriculture

Agri production drops to 2016 levels - Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK

Agriculture production in Namibia dropped by more than N$1.1 billion last year, closely matching 2016 production levels.

Data compiled by the Namibian Agricultural Union (NAU) indicates that at the end of 2020 production from agriculture topped N$5.9 billion, while in 2016 it stood at N$5.17 billion.

In 2019, production value was slightly more than N$7.02 billion, similar to production figures of 2017 and 2018.

According to the NAU, the swakara sector experienced major losses in terms of production value for three consecutive years.

“The coronavirus pandemic had a massive impact on the swakara sector in 2020, because of a ban on international travel that negatively affected the transportation of pelts by air to auctions.”

The sector sold 8 354 pelts in the 2020 period with a value of N$2.8 million – a 87.9% loss in revenue compared to 2019.

“At the moment, most farmers, if not all, are raising lamb for meat production with the hope that the pelt market will rectify itself in the near future.”

The NAU said a lack of available marketable livestock caused significant decreases in livestock production values.

The production value for cattle and sheep stood at N$2.1 billion and N$419.6 million respectively in 2020.

This was a decrease of 33% and 42.8% respectively from the previous year.

Dairy

The union added that a constant price for the past years and a decrease in the quantity supply of raw milk reduced dairy production values by 18.9%, while the production value reduced from N$122.2 million in 2019 to N$99.1 million in 2020.

Meanwhile, raw milk production decreased to 17.2 million litres in 2020 from 21.8 million litres in 2019, demonstrating a 21.1% decline.

“This reduction emanated mainly from the 2019 drought that resulted in low water levels in dams until March 2020 and a significant decline in fodder production at the Hardap dam where close to 80% of the milk is produced.”

Additionally, some dairy producers ceased production, which also contributed to a decrease in the quantity supply of raw milk, especially in 2020.

On the other hand, during the 2020/2021 marketing season, producers marketed 64 509 tons of white maize and 11 204 tons of wheat.

Good news

In the 2019/2020 marketing season, producers marketed a total of about 28 887 tons of white maize and 4 466 tons of wheat.

The marketing of white maize and wheat increased significantly by 123.3% and 174.3%, respectively.

“This explains the impressive increase of the agronomy productive value to 142.7%.”

The union added that the grape sector also performed exceptionally well, as it exported an estimated 8.7 million cartons (weighing 4.5 kg) in 2020, as opposed to 6.1 million cartons in 2019.

This resulted in an estimated production value of about N$1.1 billion in 2020, a 39.6% increase compared to 2019.

“Charcoal continues to play a prominent role in helping farmers survive during trying times – the production value increased from N$ 342.8 million in 2019 to N$381.5 million last year.” This is an increase of 11.3%.

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