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Grazing condition deteriorates in Namibia

By: Rodney Pienaar

Grazing conditions in Namibia are reported to have deteriorated in various parts of the country during the course of the prolonged dry season and were noted to range between fair and very poor.

The situation has been exacerbated by the delayed rainy season as well as the general poor rainfall performance which is said to be dominating the season, senior agro business analyst at the agriculture ministry, Matheus Ndjodhi said.

“The situation is noted to be more severe in the southern regions of the country where poor rainfall was experienced last season. The Aminuis constituency in the Omaheke region was reported to be the hardest hit and according to the Agricultural Extension officials, mortality due to malnutrition in the area is on the rise. Many areas in the country are reported to have only received their productive rainfall between the end of December to early January. Poor rainfall did not only impacted negatively on grazing, but also crop production and water resources.”

“In the north eastern part of the country, Zambezi, Kavango East and Kavango West regions, grazing was reported to range between fair and poor in many places. For the Zambezi region, grazing was reported to range between poor and fair in areas along the river and poor in the inland. Many farmers have move their livestock to the river side for better grazing,” he said.

Ndjodhi also said that farmers noted that under normal circumstances, grazing was supposed to be recovering at the beginning of the rainfall season, normally early to mid-November, but at the time of the assessment in mid-December no significant rainfall had yet been received to rejuvenate grazing.

“In addition, water availability, particularly for livestock consumption was reported to be satisfactory in most areas with earth dam, pipeline, and canal and wells being the main sources. However water shortages were reported in the cattle post areas where many farmers took their livestock for better grazing.”

“Elsewhere in the country, poor to very critical grazing conditions were reported, particularly in the south Hardap and //Karas, Erongo, Kunene and Omaheke regions. Drought condition in the south of Omaheke region, Aminius constituency is still prevailing and is said to have spread to the central and northern part where livestock mortality are reportedly being recorded on a daily basis,” he said.

Rodney Pienaar

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