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Dairy sector optimistic of growth

Although the dairy industry in Namibia has faced a number of difficulties over the years, including a drastic drop in participating farmers and raw milk production, the sector has the potential to grow.

According to the Dairy Producers Association (DPA), although the production of raw milk dropped from 23,9 million litres in 2018 to 15,0 million litres in 2021, the sector had stabilised in 2022 with a 3,8% increase in volume from the 2021 figures.

DPA told a members’ meeting and gala dinner held at Gobabis last week that an improvement in raw milk production together with a price increase towards the end of last year, which is reflected in the fourth quarter of 2022 as a 5,2% increase year-on-year, had pushed production value by 5,3%.

“The estimated production value increased from N$93,7 million to N$98,6 million. The sector has the potential to grow, however, ensuring sustainable growth is essential,” said the DPA in a statement.

During the members’ meeting and information day held under the theme ‘Towards a sustainable long-term survival of the dairy sector’, members reflected on the association’s affairs during the2022/23 financial year.

Members welcomed the inclusion of dairy under the Meat Industry Act to be known as the Livestock and Livestock Products Act, whose bill has been tabled in the National Assembly.

“The industry hopes the process is completed in due course to ensure the survival of the sector,” said DPA.

Several speakers made presentations, with Jompie Burger speaking on dairy standards; Kenneth Botha giving insight on the causes of milk flocculation and prevention; while Koos Coetzee talked about strategies for making the Namibian dairy sector sustainable.

During the awards night, Dirk van Wyk was named best dairy producer of the year for the second consecutive year, with !Aimab Superfarm in second place and Riaan Barnard in third place.

Frikkie Duvenhage took the award for the lowest bacteria count, while Barnard landed the most accurate milk production forecast and !Aimab Superfarm took the accolade for the best quality milk delivered.

DPA expressed gratitude to the sponsors who included Feedmaster, FNB, Namibia Dairies, Polyoak Packaging, Delaval and PRO Distribution, as well as stakeholders such as Agricultural Trade Forum, Meat Board and Agriforum for their support.
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