Solution needed for deteriorating livestock sector

Solution needed for deteriorating livestock sector
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Namibian farmers have not exported any cattle to South Africa since the beginning of July.
The Namibia Agricultural Union - NAU - made the announcement in an NBC News interview in Windhoek on Tuesday.
The union says the current situation is the result of the new stringent import rules introduced by South Africa since the 1st of August.
NAU's Commodity Manager Harald Marggraff says the situation threatens the livelihood of farmers, who are already confronted by a severe drought.
Cattle prices have since dropped with about nine dollars per kilogramme from close to 20 dollars per kilogramme.
Namibia has been exporting about 280 000 cattle per year, especially weaners, to her southern neighbour.
The new regulations require the testing of Namibian livestock against tuberculosis and brucella before exports to South Africa.
Although Namibia will be able to meet the requirements, Marggraff describes the process as costly.
Marggraff, therefore, stresses the need for Meatco and the government to find an amicable solution to the deteriorating livestock sector.
He appeals to the Veterinary Services Directorate to speed up negotiations with Mauritius and Israel, the only countries interested in weaners from Namibia so far.
The current Chinese, Hong Kong, European Union, Norwegian and United States markets are mostly interested in oxen beef, as opposed to weaners.