From left to right during the launch of ATPI at NUST on 17 May 2021: Maria Immanuel (Technical Advisor: Agricultural Trade Forum), Lara Beisiegel (Advisor: ECAP), Prof Gerhard Erasmus (Associate: tralac), Salomo Mbai (Director: ATPI), Dr Thinah Moyo (Co-Director: ATPI), Trudy Hartzenberg (Executive Director: tralac) & Vehaka Tjimune (Project Manager: ECAP).
Established in June 2020, the Agricultural Trade Policy Institute (ATPI), situated at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), with financial support from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) through their Evidence-based and Coordinated Agri-Trade Policy Development project in Namibia (ECAP), was created with a threefold mandate.
According to ATPI’s Director, who also is the Manager of Livestock and Game Analytics at the Institute, Salomo Mbai, ATPI facilitates various public lectures and/or dialogues in trade policy. The Institute also provides training sessions to different role players in the entire agricultural value-chain.
“In so doing, we established formal relationships with specialists responsible for offering training on trade policy modules. This approach assists us with some pencil sharpening through upscaling and improving the skills and capacity of different stakeholders to create a common understanding of the industry that we operate in,” Mbai says.
The creation of scientific evidence for policy formulation in Namibia, specifically in the agricultural sector, is another core responsibility of the institute. As part of this evidence-based policy formulation strategy, various research activities form part of ATPI’s drive, like developing the first Namibian Agri Outlook Base-Line Report to be launched in November this year, focusing on the 2021-2031 Agri-outlook of Namibia. The selected agricultural commodities for 2020 are cattle and beef, sheep lamb, and mutton as well as maize, grapes, dates and potatoes in both the agronomic and horticulture sub-sectors of the Namibian economy, he added.
Meatco, as a key contributor to the Namibian agricultural sector, can benefit through various specialised training offered and would play critical role in providing data for enhanced policy formulation in the meat sub-sector. Meatco also gains from ATPI’s close synergies created between the different local and global industry role players towards creating a common vision in the agricultural sector.