Cause for concern

Grazing looks dismal and crops were either abandoned or planted late.

20 February 2019 | Agriculture

Regions in northern Namibia were faced with a delay in the start of the rainfall season which impacted on agricultural activities and has also contributed to poor grazing and livestock conditions in some areas.

The Omusati Region noted a significant delay in the onset of the 2018/19 rainfall season which subsequently resulted in delayed cultivations. Despite some showers received at the end of October to early November, a total lack of follow-up rains has delayed these agricultural activities. It was noted that the bulk first half of the 2018/19 rainfall season was dry as productive rainfall was only realised at end of December to early January.

This is according to the Agricultural Inputs and Household Food Security Monitoring Assessment that was conducted in the seven northern communal major crop-producing regions. The assessment that was released by the agriculture ministry was done from 18 November to 18 December last year.

At the time of the assessment, the Omusati Region was still dry and many farmers were seen clearing their crop fields for cultivation.

It was reported that the region was still waiting for seed and fertiliser consignments, which are expected to be less than that of last season because of a limited budget allocation this season. “Nevertheless, the majority of the farmers were reported to have retained sufficient good quality seeds, following a good crop harvest obtained last season. However, due to the prevailing poor rainfall patterns, farmers indicated that they would need improved seeds which can produce reasonably under poor rainfall conditions,” according to the report.

The region also indicated that it had carryover stock of cowpeas from last season, which are reportedly in less demand due to low quality and high prices.

The region has about 20 government tractors that are in good working condition for ploughing, ripping, and planting services.

It was noted that the region received nine new tractors this season to add to its existing fleet, however four tractors have been reported to have mechanical faults since last season.

Moreover, registrations of farmers, drought animal service providers and private tractor owners to partake in the government agricultural subsidy services were ongoing at the time of the assessment.

According to the report poor grazing conditions were reported in most parts of the region except in the cattle post areas where grazing was said to be in fair to good condition.

“Livestock body condition was reported to range between poor and fair in most areas, but good in the cattle post areas. Some livestock in the poor grazing areas are said to be in a poor condition with some unable to stand up on their own due to malnutrition,” says the report.

The situation is reportedly being exacerbated by delayed rainfall and many farmers have since started to supplement their livestock feeding with crop stalks in order to better the situation.

Household food security was also noted to be good as most households could still rely on last season's harvest for food access. According to household owners, their harvest is sufficient and is expected to sustain them to the next harvest in May this year.

In the Ohangwena Region, the rainfall season was severely delayed, despite the early good showers.

The region is reported to have received its first rain for the 2018/19 rainfall season at the end of October to early November. However, there were no follow-up rains to back-up the onset of the rainfall season.

At the time of the assessment, the region indicated its readiness to kick-start the season in terms of subsidy services.

However, it was reported that, only top dressing fertilisers were available from last season and there were no basal dressing fertilisers in stock, while the region was still waiting for fertiliser stock to arrive.

The region is reported to have received improved pearl millet seed under the subsidy programme. The report says that Ohangwena agricultural extension officials indicated that the region received about 16 tons of pearl millet from the Northern Namibia Seed Growers Cooperative, which is about 20% less than last season's allocation.

According to the report the majority of farmers were able to retain sufficient pearl millet seed, following a good harvest last season.

With regard to ploughing services, the region reported that most government tractors were already dispatched for ploughing, ripping or planting services, except the few that are yet to be serviced or repaired. Registrations of farmers to participate in government inputs and ploughing, planting and weeding services were ongoing.

Furthermore no grazing has been depleted, especially in the west of the region, but is much better in the east due to shrubs and bushes sprouting new leaves.

With regard to household food security, the situation was noted to be satisfactory, as most households are reported to still be dependent on last season's harvest for food access. According to households, their harvest is enough and is expected to sustain them until the next harvest in May 2019.





ELLANIE SMIT

Similar News

 

AMTA ends Fysal agreement

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Agriculture

Fysal Fresh Produce is to retrench 60 employees at the end of this month after its contract with the Agro-Marketing Trading Agency (AMTA) was terminated....

Submit forms or face farm closures

3 days ago - 23 May 2019 | Agriculture

The agriculture ministry has urged farmers to urgently submit their outstanding animal health declaration forms, saying a failure to submit them can result in farm...

Good chance of weak El Niño

4 days ago - 22 May 2019 | Agriculture

Forecasts indicate that there is a 70% chance of weak El Niño conditions persisting until July this year. According to the latest Southern Africa Seasonal...

Agra launches weaner auction championships

4 days ago - 22 May 2019 | Agriculture

The 2019 Agra National Weaner Auction Championships was launched this month at the Agra/Bank Windhoek Ring. The championships aim to recognise and reward producers for...

Timber impounded, no arrests made

1 week ago - 17 May 2019 | Agriculture

Police in Kavango West have impounded timber believed to have been harvested illegally, but no arrests have been made. The regional police commander, Commissioner...

Farmworkers at risk of layoffs

1 week ago - 17 May 2019 | Agriculture

Social Security Commission (SSC) CEO Milka Mungunda said the drought situation in the country is putting farmworkers at risk of losing their jobs, which would...

Stake your claim

1 week ago - 16 May 2019 | Agriculture

JEMIMA BEUKES Those who want to claim ancestral land rights have until 20 June to submit their claims and supporting evidence...

Agribank ta yambidhidha omolwa oshikukuta

1 week ago - 16 May 2019 | Agriculture

JEMIMA BEUKES Ombaanga yoAgribank otayi gandja embilipaleko lyiifuta yomikuli oshowo omikuli dhokuyambidhidha aanafaalama omolwa onkalo yoshikukuta.Ombaanga oya holola kutya tayi ka gwedhela aanafaalama oomvula mbali...

Oonkundathana kombinga yomusinda omutiligane

1 week ago - 16 May 2019 | Agriculture

KENYA KAMBOWEOshiputudhilo shoInstitute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) osha ningi olopota yi na omagwedhelepo kombinga yiinima iyali mbyoka tayi vulu okutulwa miilonga opo ku vule...

NCA: 104 000 farmers in limbo

1 week ago - 15 May 2019 | Agriculture

KENYA KAMBOWE An Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) draft report recommends two options to deal with the...

Latest News

10% water hike coming

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Disasters

The City of Windhoek has proposed a 10% water and 5% sewer tariff hike to come into effect in July. The City's recently announced...

Low earners excluded from drought...

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Disasters

Households with a combined income of more than N$2 600 will not qualify for state drought assistance, which has effectively excluded even low-level civil servants...

How did we get here?

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Opinion

How did we get to a situation, as a country, where our government is asking already struggling workers to donate 2% of the salaries as...

AMTA ends Fysal agreement

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Agriculture

Fysal Fresh Produce is to retrench 60 employees at the end of this month after its contract with the Agro-Marketing Trading Agency (AMTA) was terminated....

Geingob grills Nanso

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Education

The Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) leadership received a grilling from President Hage Geingob on Wednesday during a meeting to discuss a number of issues,...

Fallout over 2% tax

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Economics

Political parties and analysts have called on the government to abandon a plan to introduce a “voluntary” 2% tax to fund drought relief.Prime Minister Saara...

Bild challenges Guibeb

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | International

The German newspaper Bild has rubbished a claim by the Namibian ambassador to Germany, Andreas Guibeb, that no arrest warrant had been issued against him.The...

Namibia ranks poorly for diversity

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Cultural

For a country that is described by many as one of the most diverse in the world, Namibia has ranked fairly poorly in a new...

Business ponders mass exodus

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Business

A recent survey by the Economic Policy Research Association (EPRA) of close to 600 businesses concerned about the government's policy direction shows that a staggering...

Load More