EMERGENCY measures which includes growing and producing emergency fodder on the various state owned Green Schemes to mitigate the effects of the drought that has been wreaking havoc on live stock numbers has been approved by Cabinet.
Prime Minister Saara Kuukongelwa-Amadila presented the framework of the emergency measures to Cabinet earlier this week and as part of the plan 30 percent of the areas under irrigation at the Green Schemes would be planted with fast growing crops such as barley, sorghum and oats.
In addition to the planting of crops under irrigation Cabinet also approved the decision that alternative methods to feed decimated livestock like green feed produced by way of hydroponics and fodder produced from encroaching bush should be pursued with haste.
In this regard N$33 198 000 from the National Disaster Fund have been made available to Agribusdev to go ahead with the various projects. Of this amount N$10 445 827 have already been paid to Agribusdev to plant fast growing crops that can be used as emergency fodder.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) was given the green light to expand the production of green feed by providing subsidies to farmers to get hydroponic fodder growing projects started. Such subsidies will cover half of the start-up costs to farmers that intend to grow seedlings as fodder for non commercial purposes. Seeds that will be used in such projects will also be subsidised with 50 percent by the Government.
The Office of the Prime Minister and the MAWF were tasked to coordinate the extension of subsidies.