Indigenous’ initiative to indigenise must Fully, purposefully applauded, supported

YOURS Truly Ideologically in last week’s column raised the pertinent question as to what extent regions like Omaheke and Otjozondjupa, hailed and praised for being cattle rearing regions, if not meat producing ones, actually in any way meaningfully benefit from cattle rearing (husbandry)?

Lest this columnist is misconstrued and misinterpreted if not altogether misunderstood and not understood at all, reference here is not with regard to both regions generally but specifically to the rural areas of these two regions, and many others who may be in the same boat. Like Erongo and Kunene, some parts thereof of which are known well for animal husbandry. Not to mention the Northern Communal Areas (NCAs), which because of the Veterinary Cordon Fence (VCF), are and have been excluded from the lucrative foreign export meat markets like Europe, United States of America (USA), and lately China.

Not only this but even the few markets that have been explored so that the NCAs can export meat to some African countries, like Ghana, there have been attempt to sabotage such initiatives. If one is to recall reports of some commercial farmers who reportedly wrote to the Ghanaian authorities casting aspersions on the health of such meat due to unsecure borders allowing cattle to roam freely between especially Namibia, and Angola, that is prone to the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). Despite such gross act of sabotage and betrayal, it is not clear if any steps have ever been taken to get to the bottom of this and to bring the suspects to book. The very same suspects who currently, predominantly, if not exclusively, are benefitting from the existing lucrative markets Namibian meat is marketed to. With few of the fellow producers from the many of the country’s rural areas hardly benefitting from these markets significantly, if at all and ever shall benefit. As long the capitalist marketing system is structured the
way it is since colonial times till this day.

Only to hear one of the bastions of this very same capitalist market in Namibia, now also gunning for the Chinese market in terms of marketing Namibia’s prime meat to that country. There’s no doubt who is going to benefit, being essentially white commercial farmers with token black commercial farmers on board, if so, with farmers from the Namibian farming rural hinterlands lingering and lurking somewhere in the obliviousness of these markets.

While many may be indirectly selling/marketing to the usual middle marketing/auctioning agents, the usual marketing cartel buying these animals for a pittance from the rural fringe suppliers, needless to say there has been little to nothing for the rural producers, whose so-called marketing and/or selling of heir animals has been nothing but daylight robbery by the commercial syndicate comprising of commercial farmers, financial institutions and auctioneers.

With the previously disadvantaged communal farmers still left to their own old devices of subsistence, essentially beggars who cannot be choosers while they are supposed to be the suppliers and producers who must determine the prices of their products. Thus for them it is not yet Uhuru, like it is the case for most indigenous Namibians, especially in an economic sense.

One would have thought with the political Uhuru, these producers would not only enjoy in every way possible the full backing of the government, but that the government shall go that necessary extra mile to ensure that they do not remain on the economic fringes of cattle rearing and meat production in the country. But this seems as yet, if ever, far from having been the case. It is not as if some of them are not farmers par excellence equal to any.

But only to see the lucrative markets continuing to be the exclusive domain of the former beneficiaries of the capitalist colonial Apartheid production system. Only for these markets that because of the economic sanctions against the colonial Apartheid regime, when opening as they steadily are to, continuing to be the exclusive domain of former beneficiaries of the colonial system, as well as co-oppressors and co-exploiters of the indigenous people.

Given this state of affairs, it is gratifying to see communal farmers’ organisations in the regions of Omaheke and Otjozondjupa, with all earnest intent initiating crafting and mapping new path as far as farming is concerned through. Thereby and therewith bidding to improve the quality of their animals in all manners possible, including ensuring that cattle are not exported on the hoof but are processed at home. To give essence to the government’s growth at home policy. But hitherto, which, has been only a pipedream. Not only this but it remains to be seen if this initiative by indigenous rural farmers shall ever enjoy active and purposeful support of the government. To the same extent that the government currently only seems to be opening export doors for the previously advantaged who for that matter hardly bother or been bothering to take on board the previously disadvantaged venturers, except for tokenism. You name them the Savanna and what-have-you cannot claim room to fame of in the least letting havi
ng on board the previously disadvantaged other than those acceptable to them as their own kind. Meaning token ones for convenience. Because these groups have their Big Brothers and Sisters here, foreign missions and embassies, who more than anything else, are here to prod and perpetuate their own system, which is capitalism. All under the cloak of development and mutual engagement and globalisation. All which are no more than schisms for the continued economic colonisation and exploitation of Namibia’s natural resources for the eventual sustained betterment of their own societies in their metropoles today characterised as developed. Thustoday apparently aiding the very societies they are continuing to exploit. Why do proceeds from the natural resources of such developing and exploited nations first and foremost need exporting in raw forms before making a U-turn back into these countries? Sometimes in the form of so-called development aid and/or traded goods. But what can be the terms of trade of such goods
to the developing countries, other than terms of endurance .

Related Posts