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Drought has killed more than 88 000 livestock

Drought has killed more than 88 000 livestock

Maria David

FARMERS across the country continued to lose more livestock as a result of ongoing devastating drought.


This was revealed by the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry, in its Agricultural Inputs and Household Food Security Situation report.


So far, roughly 88 219 farm animals died as a result of the drought between October 2018 and September 2019.


Meanwhile, grazing condition has not yet improved and the situation was exacerbated by the delayed rainfall season.


The situation is more severe in the southern regions of the country where poor to no rainfall was reported since the beginning of the season.


Photo: Contributed


In the Omaheke region, the situation was noted to be bad with only few spots of fair grazing in few areas such as Eiseb block and Otjinene. Kunene, /Kharas, Hardap, Erongo, Khomas, Otjozondjupa, Omusati, Oshana, Ohangwena and Oshikoto regions, grazing is very critical ranging between very poor and bare ground, with high livestock mortalities and some farmers reported to have lost all their livestock.


“The unevenly distributed rains, heat waves and prolonged dry spells experienced in the previous season resulted in poor grass production and livestock are surviving on the woody materials for fodder,” read the report.


Furthermore, many farmers were seen moving their livestock from one area to another in search for better grazing.


Meanwhile, its also noted that in the Kavango East and Kavango West region, grazing is ranging between very poor along the river bank due to high stocking rate, and fair state in the inland with few livestock mortalities reported in the Kavango West region. While, the Zambezi region, grazing was noted to be generally poor in areas along the rivers and fair to good in the inland.


“Cases of veld fire was reported in Kavango East and Zambezi regions and is said to have worsened the grazing condition,” stated the report.


The report also noted that livestock body condition has been worsening as drought strengthens with livestock mortalities as a result of severe malnutrition on the rise.


“The entire country is almost equally affected except few areas in the Kavango East and Zambezi regions where there is few patches of grazing left and in the commercial farming areas due to intensive supplementary feeding,” read the report.

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