Post 4 of 7, Mar 2015
Today I spoke at the Dairy Dialogue meeting, where Namibian dairy stakeholders met and discussed the future of the dairy sector. I had been invited by one of Namibia’s dairy processors. Farmers and industry struggle and compete head to head with imports from South Africa, where milk is cheaper to produce. It is believed that the introduction of school milk based on locally produced milk could be a way to support local producers and processors. The integration of smallholder farmers is also high on the agenda and our dairy hub concept created much interest.
After the meeting I sat down with Jackson, a part time farmer with 25 animals. He is milking six, but the yields are minimal, just 1litre per cow per day. He buys a few litres from neighbouring farms and sells the milk unprocessed in plastic bottles. Part of it is in the form of “Omaere”, which is milk fermented for 2-4 days in a calabash, a traditional way of extending shelf life of milk. I am convinced that Jackson’s and his neighbour’s cows could yield many times more milk with the right feed and if they had access to enough water.