Agriculture still feeling the pinch

Although agriculture is classified as an essential service, supply disruptions are still being experienced and logistics are under pressure.

21 October 2020 | Agriculture



Measures put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus caused disruptions in food chains in Namibia, which in turn posed a threat of poverty and hunger to vulnerable communities in the country.

This is according to agriculture deputy minister Anna Shiweda, who was speaking at World Food Day, commemorated in the Ohangwena Region recently under the theme 'Grow, Nourish, Sustain, Together. Our actions are our Future'.

“Despite the fact that agriculture is placed in the essential services category, supply disruptions are still being experienced and logistics are under pressure, resulting in a general reduction in the volume of products and agricultural inputs,” she said.

Agriculture supports the livelihoods of about 70% of the Namibian population and contributes to 15.3% of the country's employment, she added.

“The transport restrictions instituted during lockdowns impacted many other processes in the food chain. Access to markets - be it to buy inputs or sell outputs - have been heavily hit and some farmers say they have been forced to sell produce at giveaway prices.”

Labour shortages

Shiweda said as the pandemic worsened, movement restrictions became more stringent, causing labour shortages.

To achieve food and nutrition security as well as promote sustainable agriculture, which includes a healthy diet that is affordable to the majority of the population, the ministry will focus on the development of sustainable food systems, she said.

It will also develop and implement policies that support increased investments in agriculture research, production and value-addition and promote and support sufficient nutrient-rich foods, like fruits and vegetables.

Shiweda said the ministry will furthermore put in place measures to reduce food losses and waste in order to ensure food security, in particular at household level, and ensure that government's effort to roll out a campaign against the coronavirus will include measures aimed at lessening shocks to food supply chains.

Chronic hunger

The Food and Agriculture Organisation's State of Food Security and Nutrition 2020 report revealed that three billion people in the world cannot afford a healthy diet.

“Chronic hunger continued to increase over the past four years and stood at 690 million in 2019, while 10 million more hungry people have been added to the list in just one year.”

Additionally, two billion people globally did not have access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food in 2019.

“Currently, humanity is facing the coronavirus pandemic. There is sufficient evidence to affirm that the pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease has a significant effect on agriculture and the food supply chain, mainly affecting food demand and consequently food security, with a great impact on the most vulnerable population.

“It is estimated that with the ongoing pandemic, between 83 and 132 million more people could become food insecure,” the report read.

Similar News


N$2 million to fight locust outbreak

11 hours ago | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) has donated N$2 million for the combating of the African migratory red locust outbreak in Namibia, most of which...

Land tax assessments coming in 2021

1 day - 26 November 2020 | Agriculture

ELVIRA HATTINGHWINDHOEKOwners of commercial farms will soon receive land tax assessments for the past five financial years, during which no payments were made.The valuation court...

Land tax assessments coming in 2021

3 days ago - 24 November 2020 | Agriculture

ELVIRA HATTINGHWINDHOEKOwners of commercial farms will soon receive land tax assessments for the past five financial years, during which no payments were made.The valuation court...

Women important in biomass industry

4 days ago - 23 November 2020 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK The potential of women to make positive contributions to the biomass sector is enormous; however, this is often underappreciated.This...

Understanding beef production systems

1 week ago - 18 November 2020 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKCattle farmers should understand the different production systems, because the system they choose determines the sustainability and profitability of the farm.According to Olebile Olibile,...

Subsidy could save dairy industry

1 week ago - 18 November 2020 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe dairy industry is awaiting a possible government subsidy that could save the industry from complete collapse.Agriculture minister Calle Schlettwein recently met with role...

China saves Oshakati abattoir

2 weeks ago - 13 November 2020 | Agriculture

TUYEIMO HAIDULAOSHAKATI Ningbo Agriculture Investment Group, a Chinese-owned company, has partnered with a local company to be in charge of the second largest abattoir in...

Use limited funding wisely to benefit agri

2 weeks ago - 12 November 2020 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKNamibia’s agricultural sector does not have the required funding to fully implement...

The benefits of mulching

2 weeks ago - 11 November 2020 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKMulching reduces the frequency of watering gardens or crop fields and therefore reduces the cost of water used in growing...

Marketing of sheep, cattle drop by 50%

2 weeks ago - 11 November 2020 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKDuring the first nine months of this year, the marketing of sheep...

Latest News

Kenya's economic growth to rebound...

11 hours ago | Economics

Duncan MiririKenya's economic growth is expected to bounce back next year, the World Bank said on Wednesday, as it emerges from a projected decline in...

Man kills, buries his partner

11 hours ago | Crime

TUYEIMO HAIDULAOKATANAA 36-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a body discovered on Wednesday at Omayanga village in the Okatana Constituency, Oshana Region. The...

Swapo holds on by fingernails

11 hours ago | Politics

TOIVO NDJEBELAWINDHOEKSwapo continued from where it left off with its downward spiral in last year's election by having its hold onto key constituencies and local...

Iipinge taps out

11 hours ago | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKOutgoing Walvis Bay Urban constituency councillor Knowledge Iipinge, who has conceded to Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) candidate Florian Donatus Tegako, says his work...

Nigerians to slide into further...

11 hours ago | Economics

Camille Malplat and Louise Dewast More than 200 million Nigerians will slide further into poverty as the coronavirus pandemic has sent oil prices tumbling and...

Hit the ground running

11 hours ago | Opinion

At the time of penning this down yesterday, the tabulation of election results was still under way. It didn’t look like a good day at...

Auto Sueco gunning the future...

11 hours ago | Politics

OGONE TLHAGEwindhoekFrom its humble beginnings in 2004, Auto Sueco Namibia is now a reckoned force in the Extra heavy and heavy commercial vehicle market with...

Ivory Coast raises 1 billion...

11 hours ago | Economics

Ivory Coast's Eurobond sale this week, sub-Saharan Africa's first of the pandemic era, raised 1 billion euros (US$1.19 billion) and was five times oversubscribed, the...

Open defecation remains a problem

11 hours ago | Health

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKIt is estimated that 14% of Namibians living in urban areas practise open defecation, while 77% of people living in rural areas do the...

Load More