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Northern livestock farmers troubled by dwindling grazing

Northern livestock farmers troubled by dwindling grazing

Placido Hilukilwa

LIVESTOCK farmers in the far northern regions of Omusati, Oshana, Ohangwena, and Oshikoto are facing significant challenges. The animals are unable to find sufficient grazing due to this year’s extremely poor rainy season.

Many cattle farmers have resorted to collecting empty cardboard boxes from dumping sites in towns to use as animal feed. Those who can afford it are purchasing fodder from livestock feed shops. Others are constantly on the move with their herds, searching for better pastures.

Some farmers have found a temporary solution in the town of Oshakati, where dry water pans offer abundant grass. Cattle herders from remote rural villages such as Oikango, Omashekediva, and Omaalala have relocated their herds closer to Oshakati, where they have established temporary cattle posts.

Young herders, who spoke to Informante, shared that the grazing in Oshakati’s water pans was good when they arrived with their herds last month. However, the area has now become overpopulated. One herder expressed concern, saying, “The cattle population has increased significantly, and the grazing will likely only last until the end of this month. After that… well, I don’t know what we will do next.” His colleague intervened, saying, “We will simply take our herd back to the village and let the elders decide how we can save the cattle.”

According to cattle farmers, this is the first time they have experienced such a severe drought since 2019 when numerous cattle died due to inadequate grazing.

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