WINDHOEK: President Hifikepunye Pohamba has urged Namib Poultry Industries (NPI) to increase its production so that the importation of chicken products to Namibia can be reduced.
The president said this whilst officially opening the NPI chicken farm, situated 30 kilometres north of Windhoek on Monday.
“It is my hope that this company will be able to satisfy the local market so that the importation of poultry products into Namibia can be reduced,” he noted and encouraged the company to expand so that it can supply the local market with quality poultry products and create more long-term employment opportunities for the Namibian people.
“Through such expansion, the company will also be able to export products to countries in the wider market of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, which comprises more than 500 million consumers, and beyond,” Pohamba stated.
He added that negotiations are underway to put in place the full operations of the SADC-EAC (East African Community)-COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa) Tripartite Free Trade Agreement.
The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will open up new opportunities for local manufacturers and producers, as it would enable them to export goods to FTA member states.
Pohamba also urged the NPI to enter into win-win partnerships with local providers of goods and services in order to boost local economic activities.
“There are many small and medium enterprises in this country, which are willing to work hard and become integrated into the main economy when given such opportunities to enter into win-win business engagements,” he noted.
The Head of State then gave his assurance that Government would continue to support the private sector through policies and pieces of legislation as part of the government’s strategy to create conducive conditions for the growth of the country’s economy.
“In order to encourage economic growth, job-creation and the generation of wealth, our Government has created institutions such as the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) and the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Bank to provide capital to SMEs and enable them to grow.
By growing that sector of the economy, the country could significantly reduce poverty,” the president continued.
The NPI is part of the Namib Mills Investment group which operates in five SADC countries, manufacturing and supplying basic food such as maize meal, mahangu flour, pasta and biscuits.
Its first products called CountryChoice Chicken, Realgood and NamChicken hit the shelves in May this year.
The plant outside the capital consists of a breeding section, three rearing sites and six laying sites, a hatchery, seven broiler sites with five houses each,as well as an abattoir.
The chicken farm has the capacity to rear 250 000 chickens, and produce 2 000 tonnes of chickens per month.
The NPI currently employs 1 600 workers.
Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa and a number of Members of Parliament were amongst those present at Monday’s opening.