Agriculture is the lifeblood of Namibia; it is in our bones, in our dreams and what's more, farming is also Namibia's reality. It does not matter what Mother Earth throws at us, every Namibian farmer continues to raise cattle or tend a tract of land.
Farmers have embraced the responsibility, sometimes for generations, to feed Namibia. "At least once in a lifetime you will need a doctor, a lawyer, an architect - but every day, three times a day, you will need a farmer!" This famous, yet anonymous Argentinian quote, sums up the essence of farming and how vital it is.
According to the Namibia Statistics Agency, agriculture and forestry is estimated to have recorded an increase of 1.6% in real value during the 3rd quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) review of 2016, compared to a decline of 15.5% during the 3rd quarter of 2015.
The performance in this sector can be attributed to an increase in the number of slaughtered livestock at export abattoirs and butchers. The question is whether the decrease in stock numbers was taken into account, in affect resulting in negative growth.
A third of the Namibian workforce is involved in the agricultural sector. It is expected of the agricultural sector to increase production in order to be less dependent on imports.
To continue and develop the farming tradition in Namibia, it is imperative that education in the field of agriculture takes place at all levels. It is the only way that farming has a long-term future in Namibia.
Agriculture is a vital sector that is part of Namibia's development programmes; it is also the first link in the value chain for the 'Growth at Home' strategy.
The agricultural sector is one of the critical segments in the newly introduced Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5) to advance Namibia’s economic growth.
Agriculture contributes about 3.3% to Namibia’s GDP (excluding fishing), which reflects a sharp decline from the roughly 5% recorded in 2010.
Meatco is one of the organisations that focuses on value addition to create wealth at home. The first step consists of interventions to support value addition, upgrading and economic diversification through a needs-oriented and comprehensive approach to industrial development and structural transformation of the Namibian economy towards more productive economic activities.