…as shortage of poultry products persists
By Hilary Mare
NAMIBIA has officially opened its market for U.S. processed and unprocessed poultry products from establishments approved for export by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), Confidente understands.
The approval comes one year after the U.S. submitted its request for market access to Namibia.
Confidente further understands that the government also accepted regionalization in the U.S. in the event of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreaks.
Percy Misika, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) this week confirmed to Confidente that the access was granted after a ban last year on US poultry products.
MAWF granted market access for processed and unprocessed poultry products to the U.S.A on 25th April 2018. On 18 January 2017, MAWF had a ban on all poultry products from the U.S.A due to the outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in Lincoln Country and Tennessee, in the U.S.A. However, the ban was later lifted on 26th April 2017, excluding poultry products and in transit movement of live poultry, birds and poultry products from Lincoln County and Tennessee, U.S.A. On a different note, in May 2017, the U.S.A requested for Namibia to allow market access for imports of processed and unprocessed poultry and poultry products into Namibia, the access was then granted this year 25th April 2018,” said Misika before adding that Namibia has been faced with shortages of poultry products which also led to increased demand.
In the latest USDA’S Global Agriculture Information Network (GAIN) report, Worship Mugido, an agricultural specialist with the United States Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service affirmed the market access highlighting that the U.S. will face competition from South Africa, Brazil and the Netherlands, which enjoy majority of the market share.
“Compared to beef and pork, broiler meat is relatively affordable and is increasingly becoming an important protein source in the diet of many Namibians.
“In 2017, Namibia imported 29,500 tons of broiler meat, valued $27.9 million. Due to the recent rise in demand, the Pretoria office estimates that Namibian broiler meat imports will increase by about 3.5 percent, reaching about 30,500 tons in 2018,” explained Mugido.
The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is the foreign affairs agency with primary responsibility for the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) overseas programs—market development, international trade agreements and negotiations, and the collection of statistics and market information.
“This growth in broiler meat imports will likely be driven by an increase in local demand as broiler meat is relatively affordable and is becoming an increasingly important protein source in the diet of many Namibians. The growth in the consumer demand for broiler meat is likely to be supplemented with imports, as Namibia’s primary poultry producer is currently unable to meet local demand. Approximately, 50 percent of the broiler meat market is supplied by the local producers, with the balance supplied by imports mainly from South Africa,” further explained Mugido.
Poultry Producers Association (PPA) President, James Roux told Confidente last week that Namibia had invested a lot in trying to build up its own poultry industry and continued importation could derail progress made.
“We are busy with the egg business now and I am not sure why it is so but maybe the government has allowed these imports based on the fact that there is shortage of poultry products in the market. I have tried even via my facebook page to sensitise Namibia not to import poultry but I received many calls with people saying that I am only trying to look out for myself. However, this is not the case, I look at the people employed and the industry’s downside altogether,” he added.
Confirming the shortage of poultry in Namibia, Manager of Operations at the Meat Board, Willem Schutz told Confidente this week that there was indeed a shortfall between what is produced locally and what is needed each month.
“We as the Meat Board are only implementing and managing the allowed and gazetted market access quota of 1500 tons per month. However, yes there is a shortage of poultry because from the 3200 tons needed per months we are only producing about 1600-1700 tons each month,” he said
In 2017, Namibia imported 29,500 tons of broiler meat, valued US$27.9 million, with South Africa, Brazil and the Netherlands having a combined market share of 85 percent. Broiler meat imports account for more than 94 percent of the Namibian poultry imports, with turkey meat largely accounting for the remaining balance.
In 2016, Namibia imported about 19,800 tons of broiler meat while South Africa accounted for more than 75 percent of the Namibian poultry meat imports. The second largest exporter of poultry meat to Namibia in 2016 was Brazil, with a market share of about 11 percent.
The recent fluctuations in the amount of broiler meat imported by Namibia are due to the trade restrictions imposed by Namibia. The largest broiler meat producer in Namibia became operational in 2012. Prior to that, Namibia imported all its poultry meat. In 2013, Namibia restricted imports of poultry and poultry products in order to protect its infant poultry industry. Thus, importers could only import about 600 tons of poultry and poultry products per month. The restriction was later relaxed to 900 tons per month in 2014. However, since the major Namibian producer cannot satisfy local demand, the import quota was increased to 1,500 tons per month. Currently, the import quota is set after every two months by the government in consultation with the largest local producers and importers.
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