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Government processed over 4,000 drought relief claims since October

Government processed over 4,000 drought relief claims since October

Staff Reporter

THE government has processed a total of 4930 claims for drought relief through the Livestock Support Programme between October 2023 and March 2024.

This was disclosed by the Ministry of Agriculture, which explained that the government implemented drought relief measures in all 14 regions of the country through the Livestock Support Programme to aid farmers impacted by drought. The ministry explained that the programme is expected to continue until 31 March or until grazing and livestock conditions recover.

“As of 15th March 2024, a total of 4930 claims has been processed, which includes 3249 claims for Livestock Marketing Incentives, 25 claims for Lease of grazing, 16 claims for Transport to and from better grazing areas and 1640 claims for Lick Supplements and fodder subsidy. These incentives are still ongoing and the number of claims is expected to increase by the end of the programme,” the ministry disclosed.

The agriculture ministry emphasized that this was necessitated by the distressing grazing conditions experienced in most parts of the country, largely due to poor rainfall and dry spells dominating the second half of the 2023-2024 rainy season.

In this regard, the ministry revealed that grazing in the north-eastern and north-central regions of the country ranges from poor to good.
“In the Oshana region, grazing is good, especially in the cattle post areas, whereas it is fair in Omusati and Ohangwena regions. Grazing conditions in Oshikoto range from fair to good, with fair conditions mostly in the northern part of the region,” the ministry explained.

The ministry also pointed out that grazing conditions in the Kunene Region vary from poor to good, with optimal grazing predominantly found in the northern part of the region. The ministry elaborated that moderate grazing exists across the bulk of the Kunene Region, benefiting from comparatively higher rainfall, but the Sesfontein area stands out with inadequate grazing conditions. Conversely, the ministry added, the southern part of Kunene, specifically the Khorixas area, suffers from poor grazing conditions.

The ministry further revealed that the Khomas Region has varied grazing conditions, as the northern and central parts of the region have fair to good grazing conditions, while the southern parts have poor to severely poor grazing conditions. Regarding the Erongo Region, the ministry explained that the region’s overall grazing condition ranges from fair to poor. Utuseb was highlighted as one of the places in the Erongo Region that has been critically affected, as the area received no rainfall since the onset of the rainfall season.

“The overall grazing condition in the Omaheke region ranges between fair and poor, with the exception of the Otjinene constituency, which is partly slightly better in some areas. Shrubs and trees are prevalent for browsers, but the grass is poor. Aminuis constituency and Talismanus area in Otjombinde constituency are critical,” the ministry revealed.

The ministry also disclosed that in the Otjozondjupa region, grazing conditions are unfavourable in Gam, Tsumkwe, Mkata, and Okamatapati constituencies, while they are acceptable in other areas of the region.
In the South, the ministry revealed, grazing in the //Kharas region ranges from poor to critical, with the southernmost part of the region experiencing severe effects, while grazing conditions in the Hardap Region range between fair to poor.

“Rangelands in Hardap are bare, with very limited dry matter, whereas trees and shrubs are very dry, with not much forage available for livestock. In addition, two incidents of veldt fire happened in Gibeon between December 2023 and January 2024, whereby an estimated 1000 ha of grazing land was destroyed,” the ministry explained.

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