Drought policy in review to address shortcomings

One of the additions to be proposed to Namibia’s drought policy is a recovery programme for the restocking of livestock, agriculture minister Calle Schlettwein said.

04 March 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT







WINDHOEK

The agriculture ministry is in the process of reviewing the country’s drought policy in order to address its shortcomings and strengthen strategic interventions.

Agriculture minister Calle Schlettwein said stakeholders and the industry will be consulted to provide input.

One of the interventions to be proposed is a recovery programme for the restocking of livestock, he said, which is absent from the current drought policy.

Schlettwein said the ministry, in conjunction with the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation, has also introduced an emergency livelihood support project to assist farmers to maintain their breeding stock.

The project has supported 3 343 livestock-dependant smallholder farming households, equating to approximately 14 709 people.

These were in the seven targeted regions of //Karas, Hardap, Kunene, Ohangwena, Omaheke, Erongo and Omusati to maintain core breeding herds as life-saving intervention for targeted farmers.

Vaccinated, treated

Schlettwein said the project made a deliberate effort to reach woman-headed households that own livestock, even though traditionally livestock is considered a male domain, and managed to assist 40% of the total assisted households.

A total of 148 910 small stock and 25 580 cattle belonging to the beneficiaries received fresh green barley fodder produced hydroponically in 79 greenhouse structures set up at various selected sites in targeted regions hardest hit by protracted drought conditions.

He said all the livestock were also vaccinated against various

diseases and treated for internal and external parasites, as well as received multivitamin metabolic injections to boost their immune systems and overall health.

Furthermore, 3 343 direct beneficiaries received training in hydroponic fodder production. They also received basic training on feeding livestock.

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