Namibia's President Encourages Local Farmers26 October 2012
NAMIBIA - President Hifikepunye Pohamba appealed to Namibian Poultry Industries (NPI) to take advantage of the Southern African Development Community's (SADC) market of 500 million people to sell its chicken.
He said apart from SADC, there are potential markets in the rest of Africa.
Speaking at the official opening of the NPI's massive poultry facility about 30km north of Windhoek on the farm Klein Okapuka, Mr Pohamba encouraged Namibia's first-ever commercial poultry industry to expand in order to export to other African countries.
Mr Pohamba also pledged Infant Industry Protection (IIP), through the Ministry of Trade and Industry, to NPI, which will ensure that the new industry is protected from foreign competitors with tariffs for a limited period.
This tariff protection decreases over time as the infant industry grows. NPI applied for IIP in April this year. The massive poultry farm and abattoir, which constitutes an investment of about N$600 million for the feed mill and broiler production alone, is expected to produce 250 000 chickens per week.
NPI is part of the Namib Mills Investments Group that operates in five SADC countries manufacturing and supplying basic food, such as maize meal, mahangu flour, wheat flour and pasta, as well as packing rice and sugar, animal feeds and poultry products.
"If we regard the population in South Africa to be 50 million, and 2.1 million in Namibia, then Namibia represents roughly four percent of South Africa. They consume 21 million chickens per week in South Africa and four percent of that is roughly 800 000 per week. We therefore decided to design the hatchery and abattoir to be able to double up from 250 000 per week to 500 000 per week, if expansion is required later," said Koos Ferreira, the chief executive officer of Namib Mills Investments (NMI) Namibia.
"Focus on quality and excellent service is our main priority, as we continue to focus on providing customers with quality products," explained NMI Namibia's chairperson, Martie van Rensburg.
The chairperson added that NPI's establishment creates an opportunity to develop specialized skills and services, such as specialized veterinary services, to support this new industry.
"We need to include curricula that can support the poultry industry, to train technicians and scientists to perform the numerous laboratory tests that need to be done, which is currently being done in South Africa," said Van Rensburg. Due to this shortage of specialized skills, about 18 expatriates are currently employed by NMI Namibia, with most of these employed directly at NPI.