N$137m drought relief shortfall

06 May 2019 | Agriculture

Government needs an extra N$137.8 million in order to effectively deal with the ongoing drought conditions that are ravaging the country.

It was revealed last week that government only has N$304.9 million of the N$442.7 million needed to effectively implement drought relief interventions.

Agriculture ministry executive director Percy Misika said cabinet has approved comprehensive drought interventions worth N$442.7 million to assist drought-affected communities.

He said N$304.9 million is available and the balance of N$137.8 million will need to be mobilised, in order to cover the shortfall.

Drought relief activities started on 1 April and will end in March 2020 or until the budget is depleted, whichever comes first, Misika said.

Providing a breakdown of the interventions, Misika said a total of N$90 million is needed for food assistance and this funding will be provided through the National Emergency Disaster Fund.

An amount of N$36 million is needed for logistics and the transportation of food, and there is currently a shortfall of N$3.8 million for this intervention. The available funding is provided by the National Emergency Disaster Fund.

The agriculture ministry will provide the N$10 million needed for water tankers, as well as the N$11.4 million for the rehabilitation and installation of boreholes, said Misika.

For marketing incentives, the leasing of grazing and transport, an amount of N$31.3 million is needed. However, there is a current shortfall of N$5 million. The available funding is provided through the emergency fund.

The cost of lick supplements for the country's core herd amounts to N$150 million. The emergency fund is providing half of the amount, leaving a shortfall of N$75 million.

The fodder subsidy will cost N$104 million and there is a current shortfall of N$52 million. The available funds are supplied by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and the National Emergency Disaster Fund.

Misika said the fund will supply N$8 million for crops (certified seed production during the next cropping season). There is, however, a current shortfall of N$2 million.

“Due to the prevailing drought conditions that are devastating the country this year, the ministry wishes to advise farmers who do not have enough grazing for their animals to sell their livestock while they are still in a good condition, in order to avoid serious losses, as the effects of the drought continue,” said Misika.

He said selling animals in a good condition will result in farmers receiving optimum prices for them.

“Therefore all famers are strongly advised to destock as soon as possible, in order to safeguard their livelihoods.”

Misika urged farmers to make use of the various subsidies being offered to them by the government, such as the leasing of grazing, the hiring of transport to and from emergency grazing areas, as well as the lick and fodder subsidy.

“Farmers who heed the ministry's advice to destock, in a bid to mitigate the effects of the drought, will be able to participate and benefit from the livestock marketing incentive scheme.”

In order to benefit from this scheme farmers are requested to produce their sale summary or sale statement, certified copies of their animal movement permits, together with the movement records (departure and arrival), their FAN Meat cards and identity document (IDs).

The documents that farmers have to provide in order to participate in the lick and fodder subsidy include herd statements, proof of purchase from a reputable supplier, their FAN Meat cards and IDs.

For the lease of grazing and transport subsidy scheme farmers have to produce their short-term lease agreements for grazing, proof of grazing lease payments, proof of payment for transport fees, certified copies of the animal movement permits, together with the movement records attached, their FAN Meat cards, IDs and herd statements.

The Office of the Prime Minister, through the Directorate of Disaster Risk Management (DDRM), will implement the food assistance, logistics and transport, as far as drought relief is concerned.

The ministry of agriculture will implement the livestock marketing incentive scheme, the leasing of grazing and transport subsidy to and from grazing areas, as well as water tanker services, the rehabilitation and installation of boreholes, the subsidy for lick supplements for the core herd, the fodder subsidy and the provision of certified seeds.



ELLANIE SMIT

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