Mutorwa reminds agriculture that Nam has a mixed economyBy: LUQMAN CLOETE
AGRICULTURE Minister John Mutorwa says people in the agriculture sector should not forget that Namibia has a mixed economy.
“There is confusion in some circles that Government has nothing to do with the economy,” said Mutorwa, referring to opposition over Government’s recent decision to have a minority shareholding in Meatco.
Critics questioned Government’s reasoning that it wants to be able to intervene if there is unfair treatment of certain farmers within Meatco.
Quoting Article 98 of the Namibian Constitution that “the economic order of Namibia shall be based on the principles of a mixed economy with the objective of securing economic growth, prosperity and life of human dignity for all Namibians,” Mutorwa remarked: “That's the economic struggle we're talking about.”
Mutorwa was speaking at the launch of the Swakara Support Scheme at Keetmanshoop on Friday.
The scheme is aimed at helping karakul farmers to increase production.
The latest statistics show that about 120 000 karakul pelts a year are exported, earning over N$40 million for the country.
The scheme will allow farmers to buy karakul breeding stock directly from State research and breeding stations and public auctions at a subsidised price.
Mutorwa stressed the importance of monitoring and evaluating the Swakara Support Scheme.
“I am very particular about these functions, because by monitoring and evaluating the scheme on a continuous basis we will be able to identify pitfalls in time so as to revise the scheme to suit the changing environment,” said Mutorwa.
“In the long run, monitoring and evaluation will also enable us to know whether there is an increase in the number of pelts being exported as well as an overall improvement in the [living standards] of our people. We also need this information, because we have to report back to Cabinet at the end of the day,” Mutorwa added.
Furthermore, Mutorwa urged banks to offer products specifically aimed at farmers.
“We cannot continue to sing the song that you don’t have collateral. We must be innovative,” Mutorwa said.