Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Namibia Agriculture Union Weekly News: 8 November 2013

Namibia Agriculture Union: NAU

Disclaimer: Although everything has been done to ensure the accuracy of information, the NAU takes no responsibility for actions or losses that might occur due to the usage of this information.


In today’s newsletter 
·         NAU visits Parliamentary Committee
·         Stock- and game theft frustrate farmers
·         Long term solutions for sheep farmers on table
·         Amendments to Land Reform Act
·         FA and other news

NAU visits Parliamentary Committee
On Tuesday, November 5, 2013 the president of the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU), Mr Derek Wright, the Chairperson of the Livestock Producers Organisaiton (LPO), Mr Mecki Schneider and Mr Hannes Visagie as representative of the small stock farmers visited the Parliamentary Economic Committee on invitation of their chairperson, Mr Ben Amadhila to make a presentation about the Small Stock Marketing Scheme.
The presentation was about the historical background which led to the dissatisfaction of the sheep producers, the widening of the gap between RSA and Namibian prices over time which caused heavy losses to Namibian producers as well as the proposed long term solution for the problem. The delegation was given an hour during which the Parliamentarians had the opportunity to ask questions and get the background of the much debated Small Stock Marketing Scheme as well as the solution for the problem.
When the NAU was finished, the NNFU as well as the Meat Board was given the opportunity to meet the committee. General feedback from all these organisations was that he Parliamentary Committee understands the problem and it is hoped that this will contribute towards a long term sustainable solution.

Stock- and game theft frustrate farmers
At the recent meeting of the Executive Council of the NAU, the large scale game- and stock theft which occurs currently country wide evoked an intense debate. Various representatives from different regions expressed their dissatisfaction and frustration with the increase of this practice and also in some cases the slowness of the Police to act immediately which could cause that some farmers take the law into their own hands.
Losses of up to N$300 000 have been reported and the savagery of the criminals with which they murder and mutilate the animals are in some cases frightening.
Various proposals were made which include better cooperation between the existing Crime Prevention Forums and the Police as well a visit at the Chief of the Police to discuss the service in certain areas. A proposal was also made to establish stock theft units in certain areas and even that the Defence Force should be used to assist these units.

Long term solutions for sheep farmers on table
Following negotiations between the NAU and NNFU as producer representatives and the Abattoirs Association under chairmanship of the Meat Board, a proposed long solution as alternative for the current Small Stock Marketing Scheme as has been requested by Government, has eventually been tabled.
This long term proposal is based on inter alia the principles of Government’s policy of value addition, the marketing of sheep without restrictions as well as the responsibility of all role players in the value chain, including Government, to reach this goal.
The proposal contains the following, that – 
·         the current 1:1 Scheme is kept until the end of the rainy season (April 30, 2014)
·         the N$30 and N$20 incentive as announced by Government as drought aid be extended to April 30, 2014
·         a levy of 6,5% be implemented from May 1, 2014 to July 31, 2014 under the condition that the 15% export levy on “pickled skins” be abolished
·         a levy of 4% from August 1, 2014 to October 30, 2014 will be applied where after no more levies will be levied as from November 1, 2014
This proposal has been submitted by the Meat Board to the Ministry of Trade & Industry and the Ministry of Agriculture, Water & Forestry for consideration. This proposal was submitted within the set date of November 15, 2013 when the current drought scheme ends.

Reports of aborting cows
Numerous reports of big losses because of aborting cows are received by the NAU office from producers. These reports are from the Seeis, Gobabis and Okahandja vicinities and the losses are already between 40 – 60 cows which aborted. The causes are speculated, but up to date the cause could not be determined.
Producers should observe their cow herds properly and if freshly aborted foetuses or freshly afterbirths’ are found, these should immediately be sent to their Veterinarians of directly to the Central Veterinary Laboratory. Blood samples of cows which have aborted could also be taken for analysis.

Amendments to Land Reform Act
The Minister of Lands, Mr Alpheus !Naruseb proposed certain changes to the Agricultural Land Reform Act in the National Assembly in order to close loopholes which caused that the Act was abused. Unfortunately we were unable to obtain the proposed amendments officially and this report is based on media reports. These proposals include inter alia –
·         that the practice of registration of usufruct of land should be adapted under certain circumstances
·         that the disposal of shares in a Company or member-interest in a Closed Corporation be offered to Government or to a previous disadvantaged person first
·         that the size of land owned by a single person be limited to 2x 7 000ha in the North and 2x 20 000ha in the South of the country
·         farms which are sold out of Estates or sales in execution, first have to be offered to Government
·         the Government will also have first option on farms which are bequeathed to foreigners unless such bequest is used for investment purposes
·         the creation of a negotiation committee for negotiations about land prices will also be started in order to help vest trust amongst sellers who plan to sell their farm and Government
A complete report will be available as soon as the official proposed amendments were obtained.  

Agricultural Outlook Conference for 2014 tabled
The Executive Council of the NAU decided at its recent Strategic Planning that an Agricultural Outlook Conference should again be held in 2014. This decision is based on the success of the past Agricultural Outlook Conference which coincided with the 50th anniversary of the LPO.
The sponsors of the 2013 Agricultural Outlook Conference indicated that they were satisfied with the conference and identified such conference as lack on the annual agricultural calendar. The NAU was also encouraged from various places to again host a similar conference in 2014.
The NAU will start early next year with the arrangements as well as the obtaining of sponsors for the 2014 conference.

Auas Valley renovations
The renovations at the Auas Valley Shopping Mall in Windhoek currently affect the available parking space and normal traffic flow. Agra customers are advised to use Bessemer Street and enter the Agra yard/loading zone from the back of the Agra/Auas Valley building. Auas Valley customers can enter the parking lot from Bessemer Street (in front of the Agra head office) or the entrance from Messum Street (next to the old Agra fuel station) and should move in a clockwise direction according to the signs in the parking lot.

FA and other news
Onder Auob FA, in cooperation with Virbac, is hosting a farmer’s day on November 13 at 09:00 at the FA hall. Guest speakers are Dr Hensie Lategan, a private Vet and sheep specialist of Bredasdorp, Mr Louis Potgieter, a sheep farmer of the Klein Karas and well known predator hunter and Mr Hannes Visagie, the chairperson of the Mariental Regional Agricultural Union. On the ladies program is a tea garden, cup cake demonstration and workshop, Mandria will bring her clothing exhibition, Oom Banie Pretorius with his succulents and much more. The day is concluded with a braai and the costs are N$150 per person which includes all meals, coffee, tea and demonstrations. For further details contact Marina le Roux, Tel 063 252015,
Aranos FA is holding a meeting and year end function on November 14 at 15:30. Speakers are Messrs Hannes Visagie and Len de Jager. Please register before November 8 at Joleen Mans, Tel 063 250187,
Kalkfeld FA is holding a member meeting on November 14 at 08:30 at Farm Orua/Eremutua of Fam Ortwin & Silke von Gossler. Mr Richard Kubirske will give practical tips about the use of invader bush as cattle feed and in the afternoon such demonstration will be given. Please register before November 8 with Mrs S von Gossler, Tel 067 290119. For further details contact Mrs Friedensdorf, Tel 067 290009,
Dordabis FA is holding a meeting on November 14 at 11:00 at Farm Kuwinamab of Harry & Alta Erasmus. Guest speakers are Mr Danie Strauss and Mr Harry Erasmus. For further details contact Christine Romeis, Tel 061 231230,
Windhoek RAU is holding a meeting on November 14 at 14:00 at the NAU board room. When the meeting is finished at 18:00 everybody is welcome to have dinner at Sardinia’s/ Further details from City Meiburg, Tel 061 308051,
Maltahöhe FA is holding a member meeting on November 20 at 10:00 at Guest farm Burgdorf of the Rossouw family. Guest speakers are Dr Tolmay of Veterinary Services and Dr Rudie van Vuuren of Naankuse. After the meeting the Annual General Meeting will be held during which a new management will be elected. The day is concluded with a sociable dinner. For further details contact Christian Otto, Tel 063 293512, 081 2269518,
The Derm Police Support Initiative (Crime Prevent Club) is holding its Annual General Meeting on November 20 at 16:00 at the Blumfelde FA hall. The stock theft unit of the Mariental Police will address the meeting. The day is concluded with a steak braai. For further details contact Hoekus van Niekerk, Tel 081 1283511 or Leon Binneman, Tel 081 2215608.
Karibib FA is holding a meeting on November 23 at 17:00 at Kaltenhausen. Guest speakers are Dr Joggie Briedenhann of Hartebeesloop Bonsmara and Mr Dagh Calitz of Teltech who will talk about farm radios. For further details contact Mrs Gladis, Tel 061 248480,
Uhlenhorst FA is holding a re-organisation meeting and year end function on November 23 at the FA hall. For further details contact Mr Hoekus van Niekerk, Tel 081 081 1283511,
Sonop FA is holding a meeting on November 23 at 14:00 at the FA hall at Farm Frauenhofen. Guest speaker is Mr Johan Groenewaldt who will talk about tree lucerne. For further details contact Morne du Plessis, Tel 062 562091, 081 2854065,
Kalahari Oos FA is holding a meeting on November 23 at 15:00 at the Xuin Quaz Camp, Gobabis. Further details from Mr Odendaal, Tel 062 568992,
A Horse clinic for children between 10 – 15 years is held from December 9 – 13 at Farm Wolftoon No 399, Aranos district. Children can bring their own horses (no stallions) and the costs are N$1 200 per child. For further details and to register contact Ida Kotze, Tel 081 3012215,
The annual Meatco Inter Farmers Association Braai Competition will be hosted by the Uhlenhorst FA on March 28 & 29, 2014 at the Bitterwasser Lodge. The theme is “Fire your name”. Entries can be addressed to or Enquiries can be addressed to Corrine van Wyk, Tel 063 265376 or Hoekus van Niekerk, Tel 063 265336, 081 1283511.

Exchange Rate NAD (02-08 November 2013)









Saturday to Thursday:  16:00 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time)
Friday:  12:41 UTC