A visit was held with the staff and the president of the NAU. President Mr. Raimar von Hase and Commodities Manager Mr. Harald Marggraff met with us and explained the function of the NAU, as an important stakeholder of the Ministry of Agriculture. The NAU is the mouthpiece of the organized agriculture in Namibia. Their membership is made up of over 2000 members. Their board is made up of 20 members, 10 representing the different District Agriculture Union leaders, and 10 representing the leadership of the various commodity groups (dairy, poultry, swine, meat, charcoal, caracul sheep etc). The president is elected by the Congress on a yearly basis. The budget of the NAU is made up of member contributions and complemented by levies imposed on certain controlled products. This budget is not used for contingency funding. The NAU plays an important role within the Meat Board of Namibia (MBN), by nominating 4 representatives to the MBN board. While there are nominated by the NAU, they are appointed by the Minister of Agriculture. They also participate actively in three marketing boards, established by statutes (the meat, the caraculs and the agronomic marketing boards). The poultry and dairy industry are very small in Namibia, some 16 dairies, with four in the Windhoek area, and 10 poultry producers, mainly layers. There is a close relationship between the NAU and the VS. During their quarterly meetings, the Livestock production board invited representatives from VS to an open discussion on animal health issues. NAU also assists the VS in reaching farmers and in distributing relevant information through their newsletter and their weekly electronic newsletter. The benefits of the MBN were reflected in a recent quarterly report indicating that thanks to exports to the EU market, meat producers received N$ 83 Million more than if these products had been exported only to the RSA. The NAU also participated actively in the development of the Animal Disease Questionnaire and in the distribution and training of farmers in the completion of these. Another achievement of the NAU was the adoption of a resolution farmers south of the cordon fence to levy each animal slaughtered for export, in order to have an Animal Health Fund of about N$ 10 Million per annum to raise the animal health status of the territory north of the cordon fence. The MBN serves as the custodian of this fund. The priorities to be funded by this fund are determined by the farmers of the south and the MBN. Currently, these funds are allocated to education, raising awareness and establishing quarantine facilities; 40% of the funds are allocated to surveillance activities.
Namibian National Farmers Union (NNFU): The NAU represents most of the Namibian commercial farmers (title deed holders) currently over 2000 members. The Namibian National Farmers Union (NNFU) is the organization representing most of the farmers of the Communal system (those living in communal land). Today the communal system is more than just subsistence farming. The NNFU is not so well organized and does not have an electronic mechanism to reach their members with relevant information, they hold local meetings, but are much less organized. Therefore, they have a lesser impact on influencing VS priorities.
Visit to a communal farm in Oshivello, North of the Cordon Fence The farm belongs to a family, the head of which is a Mrs. Shahali. The family typically consists of three generations living together. The owner has around 300 animals in total, around 200 of these are cattle, the rest mainly sheep. It is common that a communal farmer also looks after the animals of relatives, who e.g. live in town. There are also a few pigs and backyard chicken on the farm. The sheep are held in a corral, the calves