NAMIBIA – Namibia National Council has passed the livestock and livestock products amendment bill which will see poultry, pork and dairy falling under the same regulatory umbrella as meat.

According to Swapo member of Parliament, George Garab, the amendments to the bill are necessary for the unambiguous inclusion of dairy and poultry products in the Meat Industry Act.

With the said amendments, according to the member of parliament, the expansion of the definition of ‘livestock and livestock products’ will include poultry and dairy products.

“This will allow equal assessment of producers and allow the Meat Board of Namibia to exercise effective management of the importation of dairy, pork and poultry products, and overcome the legal challenges experienced over the past years,” he said.

He added that the inclusion of poultry, dairy and related products in the livestock and livestock products amendment bill of 2023 gives powers to the Meat Board, to regulate those subsectors to the benefit of local producers and consumers.

Once amended, the member of parliament said that the bill would change the name of the Meat Board of Namibia to the ‘Livestock and Livestock Products Board of Namibia’, with the scope of its function given the broad mandate, respectively.

The Meat Board of Namibia has an established capacity, compliance and experience, and accordingly, the new board would leverage its economies of scale to employ incremental resources to facilitate the inclusion and smooth transition of dairy and poultry as controlled products of the livestock and livestock products bill.

Earlier this year the board appointed 10 board members to see the parastatal for the next three years, with two of the members being reappointments.

The Minister of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform, Calle Schlettwein urged the new appointees to facilitate efficient market access to international markets for exports and ensure compliance with relevant conditions, among other responsibilities.

The board chaired by Lucia Hamutenya comprises Jessy Kamwi, Dr S. Von Bach, Rosalinda Katjivena (re-elected), Julene Meyer (who was reappointed), Annascy Mwanyangapo, Willem Nekwiyu, Patrick Liebenberg, and Christopher Mberema.

Schlettwein said that the appointment was one of the industry’s vocal points and that the ten-member Meat Board must take on to equalise market opportunities for farmers countrywide.

Recognising the significant role of livestock production, Schlettwein highlighted that Namibia has been a surplus producer of cattle and that the export trade has contributed to the creation of substantial wealth before and after independence.

He emphasised the need to ensure that the livestock sector continues to produce surpluses of high quality and reliable quantity and fetches the best prices for producers in both domestic and international markets

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