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Food security weakening

Food security weakening

Staff Reporter

THE livelihood of people especially in the rural areas has severely been affected by the ongoing drought, including access to safe and nutritious food.
It has also crippled the ability of agricultural sector to contribute to Namibia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
According to the Namibian Vulnerability Assessment Committee report (NAMVAC, 2019), over 289,644 people are food insecure and need immediate food assistance. This number is expected to rise during the course of the 2019/2020 consumption period.
Household food security has weakened significantly, following a very poor agricultural production due to severe drought conditions experienced this season.
Consequently, many households experienced food insecurity during June 2019, with the situation expected to last until March 2020 as drought conditions continue tormenting the country.
It was noted that majority of crop farmers recorded crop failure, which has consequently limited their capacity to restock their food reserves.
Equally so, livestock farmers continued to incur livestock losses due to lack of grazing and water as result of drought.
It was reported that farmers in the communal areas are unable to sell some of their livestock due to lack of formal market, poor livestock conditions for sale and very low livestock prices.
Meanwhile, government has embarked on comprehensive drought interventions to be implemented countrywide until March 2020.
These interventions include food relief to the drought affected communities, especially the vulnerable groups.
Other interventions include livestock marketing incentive scheme, lease of grazing, transport subsidy to and from the grazing areas, water tanker services, rehabilitation and installation of boreholes, subsidy on lick supplements for core herd, fodder subsidy and provision of certified seeds.

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