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Agricultural sector pulls resources for drought crisis

Agricultural sector pulls resources for drought crisis

Agricultural sector pulls resources for drought crisis
Crisis: Drought is a national problem that affects all Namibians not only the Agricultural sector._Photo: Contributed

Zorena Jantze

N$10 million to be collected for Drought relief

THE whole agricultural sector, including the Namibia Emerging Commercial farmers Union (NECFU), Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU), and the private sector in Namibia, have decided to join hands under the “Dare to Care” umbrella to make a contribution to all drought stricken farmers to survive the drought.

These include communal, emerging commercial and commercial farmers across the country.

Erika von Gierszewski, project co-ordinater, stated that Namibia is facing a national crisis in the agricultural sector due to the current drought conditions which started in 2013.

The livestock and game farmers across the country are extremely grateful for the first big rain showers that were received in some parts, however, the biggest part of Namibia still received little or no rain, while even in the areas where rain was received, a long path of recovery of rangelands still lies ahead.

“To survive a drought, farmers need assistance to fatten their animals for the market and remove it from the rangelands, whilst trying to save their core breeding herd for when the rain comes again. To fatten only 5% of Namibia’s national herd over a period of 2 months, in order to remove them off the land, would cost about N$170 million, which emphasises the enormity of the crisis,” she highlighted.

Gierszewski further stated that an ambitious target to collect N$10 million by the end of March 2019 has been set.

“It is our goal to subsidise the feed cost of farmers in order to help farmers to fatten livestock for the market, while also assisting them to maintain their core breeding herd. Another important principle of the assistance would be not to donate feed to farmers, but make certain feeds more affordable through subsidization,ˮ she said.

The agricultural retail outlets (Kaap Agri & Agra), with its retail branches countrywide, will be used to reach farmers, and the subsidized prices will be available in all branches.

The management of the Fund has appointed SGA Chartered Accountants and Auditors to perform a full scope financial audit on the Fund to ensure accountability of all monies received and the distribution thereof.

We are appealing to everyone to support this national project in the interest of our country, our farmers and their workers.

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