Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is supporting Namibia’s government to review and refine its laws regulating plant quarantine and the management of fertilizers, animal feed and agricultural remedies.

A diverse group of stakeholders are gathered in Namibia’s southern town of Keetmanshoop in //Karas region to partake in a four-day Regional Consultations of Gap Analysis Reports and Outline of the Bills workshop hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform (MAWLR) with support from the FAO.

The consultations form part of a two-year Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) between FAO and MAWLR called “Support to the revision of legislations regulating plant quarantine and the management of fertilizers, animal feed and agricultural remedies”.

During the opening of the consultations, Chief Regional Officer of the //Kharas Regional Council, Bendictus Diergaadt, noted that the current National Legislations regulating plant quarantine and the management of fertilizers, animal feed and agricultural remedies are outdated and that there is a need to review these acts.

Diergaadt pointed out legislation such as the Namibia Plant Quarantine Act of 2008 as one of the acts that need to be reviewed and brought in line with international standards.

“As the main plant protection legal and institutional framework of the country, this act needs its provisions to be aligned with the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) standards,” he said.

Diergaadt continued to highlight other legislation such as the Fertilizers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act 36 of 1947, which he described as ‘outdated’ and needing review to ensure the formulation of a renewed legislation on pesticides management and feed safety and quality.

“While Namibia has many pieces of legislation for the management of chemicals, these are fragmented and therefore effective implementation and enforcement is often a big challenge. There is thus need to develop a framework legislation for pesticides management in order to overcome this challenge,” said Diergaadt.

In the same vein, Erich Petrus, Deputy Director of the MAWLR’s Directorate of Agricultural Production, Extension and Engineering Services (DAPEES), also echoed that the identified acts are outdated and are in serious need of review and alignment with current international instruments such as IPPC, World Trade Organization (WTO) and World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) regulations.

“It was established that some of these acts are outdated; one of the acts, for example, is dated 1947, so therefore, some of these acts are not reflecting current conditions and are not in line with international instruments,” Petrus said.

Meanwhile, Nagris Bozorova, Lead Technical Officer in the FAO Legal Office, underscored that the workshop’s main aim is to prioritize the development of appropriate legislation and revise the structure of the Plant Health Bill based on stakeholder recommendations.

“We have four legal assessments for you to present those findings and recommendations and to discuss because hearing from you is very important for us. The consultation team will refine the legal assessment based on the input we receive from you,” she noted.

Around 40 participants comprised of stakeholders from various public and private institutions and NGOs such as the Namibia National Farmers Union; Namibia Agricultural Union; MeatCo; Meat Board of Namibia; Ministry of Justice; //Karas Regional Council; Directorate of Veterinary Services (MAWLR); National Commission on Research, Science and Technology; Namibia Standards Institute; Coopers Environmental; University of Namibia; Namibia University of Science and Technology are attending the workshop which ends tomorrow.

Sourced from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform (MAWLR)

March 17, 2023

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