Give poultry industry protection

A Namibia Trade Forum official has defended proposed government plans to grant interim protection to the local broiler industry against cheap imports.
Ndiitah Nghipondoka-Robiati, the National Coordinator at the Namibia Trade Forum, allayed fears of a price increase in poultry products if interim protection is given to the financially-troubled Namib Poultry Industries’ N$600 million project. She told the Economist that there are mechanisms in place to deal with the manipulation of prices by a monopoly.
She said: “When prices increase, it is not only because of the abuse of dominance by a monopoly. From the discussions I have had, the Ministry of Trade and Industry has made it clear that there will be a monitoring mechanism in place to ensure that prices are not driven by dominance of the firm. In this regard, the Namibian Competition Commission will play a crucial role in the monitoring as public interest is crucial to ensure that consumers are not exploited.”
Namib Poultry Industries (NPI) has been arguing that it is not in a position yet to compete with South American and EU imports that are subsidized and being dumped in Africa, hence it needs infant industry protection. However, some members of the public are against the granting of protection for the local broiler industry, arguing that such protection will lead to high poultry prices as NPI will dominate the market.
But Nghipondoka-Robiati believes that protection of the poultry project is important as it is aligned to the goals of the fourth national development plan (NDP4). “NDP4 has clearly articulated that sustained economic growth, employment creation and increased income equality are our overall national objectives.