Black and White farmers fight brewing as Ghana meat export saga intensifies

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

The Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU) and Namibian Emerging Commercial Farmers Union (NECFU) have rejected racial claims by some local farmers.

A group of black farmers are alleging white farmers are the ones who spread the rumor that Namibian beef from the northern communal areas is contaminated with foot and mouth disease and that the Ghanaian government should stop buying it.

The Ministry of Agriculture has since pronounced itself on the matter, saying that the authors of the report are commercial farmers whose identities are unknown. An investigation, the Ministry said has begun.

The group is further alleging the white farmers abandoned Meatco to start their own slaughtering facilities because Meatco is black managed.

Amon Kapi, Acting President of NNFU said farming was never guarded by complexion and black and white was never associated with the union.

“I am not white, I am black but as a farmer we are all just trying our best to assist where possible to bring Meatco back into operation so it can be sustainable in terms of resources. This is a very difficult thing for a person to talk about because if we are referring to ‘black’ and ‘white’ farmers at this moment it’s very clear that farmers are just farmers. We are not producing meat to produce different kinds of meat but red meat,” he said.

Meatco was described as a limping organisation which is in intensive care by Agriculture Minister Calle Schlettwein during his staff address in January.

Daniel Mahua, Executive Manager at NECFU said the organization will not comment on racial allegations.

“I am sorry about that, but we are a professional organization and cannot comment on hearsay stories and wild allegations. Some of these issues are very critical, sensitive and emotional. As such, they have to be approached and dealt with in a very matured and balanced way,” he said.

Last month Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) Secretary Ephraim Nekongo threatened to mobilise the youth to grab land from white farmers.

Nekongo,said white farmers have stolen land from black people, and some are now selling it back to black people.

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