Food production risk – Namibian

Heavy unloading in South Africa has increased food security risks and financial pressure on farmers, agribusinesses and value chain actors.

In Namibia, there are concerns that production could be affected, and the Namibian Agricultural Board (NAB) has a somewhat dim view on crop production for the first half of 2023.

The council projects shortages in 62% of the gardening produce it analyzes, with severe shortages expected for lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes, carrots, onions, potatoes, cabbage and nuts between January and May.

Namibia imports these fresh produce from South Africa.

Due to shortages, Namibia will remain a net importer of food products, which means that consumers will continue to be vulnerable to global and regional developments in food prices.

The South African Chamber of Agribusiness (Agbiz) said yesterday that farmers in South Africa continue to engage with their national power utility.

Agbiz has also participated in various meetings with the Ministry of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development and Eskom to find ways to relieve pressure on agribusiness.

“In the near term, Agbiz urged to ease loads in irrigated areas and food processing facilities,” she added.

In the important field crops, approximately 20% of maize, 15% of soybeans, 34% of sugarcane, and nearly half of wheat production are produced under irrigation, which are severely challenged by persistent hot and dry conditions, along with Limited ability to irrigate.

Fruit and vegetables are also highly dependent on irrigation, Agebez said, so the production of these crops faces similar challenges.

Similarly, in dairy, aquaculture, red meat, poultry, animal feed manufacturing, and swine manufacturing, there are concerns that shedding loads beyond stage two has made operations and planning difficult, as all of these industries require continuous power to operate.

Agribusinesses face similar challenges in various downstream activities, such as milling, bakeries, slaughterhouses, winemaking, packaging, and animal vaccine production.

Agbiz said it conducted a survey last week in all sectors and the results are currently being analyzed by a joint team of experts.

Statistics will be shared as soon as possible.

The survey will also be used to inform potential interventions that are being formulated by government and private sector representatives to ensure a sound approach.

Analysts at Simonis Storm Securities say it remains to be seen if La Niña will produce sufficient, timely and sufficient rainfall that Namibian crop growers need, particularly in the north. than more than 60%.

“So we remain somewhat negative about observing improved crop production numbers for 2023,” the analysts say.

African Heads of State and Government, along with development partners, will meet in Senegal today to map out a strategy to unlock Africa’s food production potential and position the continent as a breadbasket for the world.

The summit agenda, themed “Feeding Africa: Food Sovereignty and Resilience”, is to improve nutrition and food security in Africa; take advantage of the continent’s vast agricultural resources; Promote international trade, expand market share, and increase production and processing value.

During the Summit, Heads of State and Government will hold sessions to develop country-specific Transformational Food Delivery and Agriculture Pacts.

Development partners and the private sector will also play important roles during the plenary sessions and summit.

African countries are expected to make measurable political commitments to implement policies designed to eradicate extreme poverty, hunger and malnutrition in Africa.

African Development Bank Group President Akinwumi Adesina said the event will be a turning point in the direction of food sovereignty and resilience for the entire continent.

This is the time to invest in the future of Africa.

The continent owns more than 60% of the remaining land in the world, and millions of Africans produce in the agriculture sector.

With the removal of barriers to agricultural development with the help of new investments, he said, Africa’s agricultural production is expected to rise from US$280 billion annually to US$1 trillion by 2030.– Additional IOL news reports