NAMIBIA – Namibia has opened its market to processed and unprocessed poultry meat and poultry products from the United States, according to USDA’s GAIN June 1, 2018 report.

The country will import US poultry products from establishments approved for export by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

While Namibia imported 29,500 tonnes of broiler meat valued at US$27.9 million in 2017, USDA projects broiler meat imports will increase by about 3.5% to 30,500 tons this year as a result of a steady rise in demand.

Increase in local demand is based on the reason that 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% of the broiler meat market is supplied by the local producers, with the balance supplied by imports mainly from South Africa,” said the USDA report.

Namibia imports poultry products from South Africa, Brazil and the Netherlands who enjoy the majority of the market share (85% in 2017)

The move comes after the US submitted its request for market access to Namibia.

The Namibian government also accepted regionalization in the U.S. in the event of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreaks.

Broiler meat imports account for more than 94 percent of the Namibian poultry imports, with turkey meat largely accounting for the remaining balance.

Namibia’s broiler meat consumption is expected to increase on steady increases in per capita income, urbanization, population growth and relative affordability of

broiler meat as compared to other sources of protein such as beef and pork.

USDA reports Namibia consumes about 40,000 tons of poultry meat per annum and poultry meat consumption per capita increased significantly from about 10kg in 2006 to almost 16kg in 2016.

As the country’s poultry production is unable to meet local demand, Namibia imports most of its poultry products from South Africa.

Namibia had introduced an import ban on poultry and poultry products from South Africa on 23 June 2017 on bird flu concerns but this was later suspended on 24 July 2017 to allow products from ‘compartments1’ approved by the South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF).

During the period, the country was experiencing shortage of poultry meat as it sources 75% of poultry products from SA thus, amendment of the poultry import ban.