THERE will most likely be no need for Government to distribute drought relief to subsistence farmers in the northern regions of Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana and Oshikoto who have recorded a bumper harvest this year.
All eight traditional authorities of Ovawambo – Ondonga, Oukwanyama, Uukwambi, Ongandjera, Uukwaluudhi, Uukolonkadhi, Ombalantu and Ombadja – have reported good harvests in their respective areas.
Angula Kanelombe, the spokesperson of the Ombalantu Traditional Authority in the Omusati Region, said that even though some mahangu fields were damaged by worms, the harvest is generally very good in Ombalantu this year.
“The rainfall was very good and the people worked hard because everyone feared a repetition of the last season’s drought,” he said.
Dineinga Sheya, the secretary to Queen Martha Mwadinomho Kristian Nelumbu of Oukwanyama, said that this year’s harvest is the best in Oukwanyama in recent memory.
“Without exception, everyone in Oukwanyama is talking about a bumper harvest this year. All the existing mahangu storage facilities will not be enough to store this year’s yield. People will have enough to feed their households and put the surplus in the market,” he said.
Mannetjies Kambonde, the personal assistant to King Phillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo of the Ondonga Traditional Authority, ascribed the good harvest to a good rainfall and the commitment of (and hard work by) farmers who experienced a devastating drought the previous season.
“We did have a good rainfall this season and we coordinated and encouraged our people to plough their fields on time and to work hard. The result was a bumper harvest for practically every rural household,” he said.
He said that the traditional authority has taken note of some people who are allocated land for residential and farming purposes, but who eventually end up either using the land for other purposes or leave the land unutilized for many years.
“Traditionally we produce our own food. People are allocated land to produce food. Therefore, we do not tolerate anyone who underutilizes his or her allocated piece of land or uses it for non-agricultural purposes,” said Kambonde.