WINDHOEK, 16 MAY – Recently-appointed Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF), Alpheus !Naruseb on Tuesday took a familiarisation tour to the Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA) at its headquarters in the capital.
Briefing him, AMTA’s Managing Director, Lungameni Lucas highlighted the activities of the agency, saying it will guarantee quality control of grains through inspection to ensure food security as well as safeguard compliance where it is mandated to do so.
“We assist Government to ensure food availability in response to food shortage in the country during drought, disasters and other emergencies,” Lucas said.
He further said that AMTA will ensure the quality of grain storage, packaging, sorting, grading, processing and marketing.
“We will enable import substitution through increased market share of local fresh produce,” explained Lucas, adding that effective border controls on agronomic products were implemented for the first time in Namibia by the agency and so far, 23 256 trucks were inspected.
He said about 765 samples on food and safety controls from 71 establishments were also analysed and 808 facilities and farms inspected for compliance to Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points and Good Agricultural Practices, respectively.
On his part, !Naruseb expressed satisfaction with AMTA’s legal framework and its adherence to policies in delivering its services.
“We should be able to function under legal frameworks, governance principles, so that whatever we do as an entity should not open itself for unnecessary scrutiny in terms of whether we have followed correct procedures,” explained !Naruseb.
“It is my task as a minister to motivate you to feed the nation. We have a land of vast spaces to feed our people,” he added, saying that his ministry is always open for engagement.
AMTA was established in 2014 under the MAWF and is responsible for the management of National Fresh Produce Business Hubs and National Strategic Food Reserve facilities and ensuring high quality standards to achieve food security.