THE Dairy Producers Association (DPA) explains that the high price and shortage of fodder are major factors that contribute to the current cost of dairy production in Namibia, as it has a ripple effect on the entire value chain.
The DPA was reacting to complaints about the current soaring milk price in Nami-bia. Japie Engelbrecht, chair-man of the DPA said that the current drought significantly impacts on the cost of producing raw milk in Namibia. “Even with the increased production costs, Namibian producers have not negotiated for an increase in the price of raw milk. Instead, Namibian dairy producers took a major price decrease from April to June 2013 in order to survive the uneven playing field for competition,” he said.
He said that this is further compounded by the fact that Namibian producers are not allowed to utilise antibiotics like Rumensin, or growth hormones like rBST to artificially increase feed conversion ratios, resulting in higher milk production volumes.
Support measures recently implemented by the government could not have come at a better time, to help alle-viate the current dilemma in the dairy industry, he said. In September import quota controls were instituted. Accord-ing to Engelbrecht, “while we are extremely grateful for the support measures government has implemented, the dairy industry dilemma is far from over, as we remain under pressure, and appeal to consumers for their on-going support. I also appeal to all role players to assist in the efficient implementation of government measures, and thereby ensure competitive behaviour within the dairy industry,” he said.
Engelbrecht advised that while consumers must be cognizant of the factors impacting on the price of dairy products, they must also bear in mind that prices on the shelves are not prescribed by the producers, nor the manufacturers of dairy products.