Horticultural produce shortages loom

Namibia is expected to experience acute horticultural products shortages for the remainder of this year following the import restriction of several products.

The Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) restricted the importation of 13 horticulture products in July, before reducing the list to 10 products in August 2022, in a move meant to protect local farmers against the importation of cheap products.

However, economic advisory firm Simonis Storm said local supply will be largely insufficient to cover the gap created by the import ban imposed on tomatoes, carrots, beetroot, potatoes, cabbage, lettuce, garlic, onions, ginger and turmeric.

“While global food prices are showing signs of moderation, local shortages are likely to keep local food prices elevated as it takes time for lower global prices to filter through,” said Theo Klein, an economist with Simonis Storm.

“While July’s data shows a fairly good start to 3Q2022, the outlook is bleak in the livestock sector with the recent foot and mouth disease outbreak leading to a ban on the movement of cattle in South Africa.”

The Meat Board expects the 21-day movement ban to result in lower marketing activity in Namibia during September 2022 as was the case in August, leading to weaker performance in 3Q2022.

Local livestock slaughtering according to the research firm continues on a downward trend decreasing by 17.3% on average in July 2022, with cattle slaughtering down by 29.6% y/y, sheep down by 7.9% y/y, goats dropping 17.4% y/y and pigs going down 14.4% y/y.

“On the other hand, live exports grew by high double digits during July 2022 with cattle exports increasing by 16.1% y/y in July 2022, sheep exports by 11.1% y/y and goat exports going up 117.8% y/y,” Klein said.

Total livestock marketing activity (cattle, sheep and goats combined) increased by 39.9% y/y in 2Q2022 compared to 2Q2021.

“Given that livestock farming accounts for 35.1% of the agriculture industry in Namibia, we believe these improved marketing growth figures should bode well for the industry’s GDP growth in 2Q2022,” he said.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 24 August 2022 16:52

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