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Urgent drought relief interventions to be implemented

Urgent drought relief interventions to be implemented

Staff Reporter

THE Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry along with the Ministry of Finance must find ways to finance and support farmers to implement new methods of fodder production as an urgent intervention to mitigate the effects of the devastating drought on Namibians and their livestock.
The Cabinet at its 14th sitting directed that the production of fodder through planting, growing fodder by means of hydroponics and machines that convert encroaching bush into fodder as a resilience measure should be added to existing financing schemes for farmers and the Agricultural Business Development Agency (Agribusdev).
In the same vein Cabinet had given the agriculture ministry one month to develop comprehensive business models for the operation of the various green-schemes to start with the production of fodder for livestock.

Pictured: An example of hydroponic fodder production. – Photo: Contributed

A dire need exists to create fodder production capacity at green schemes and in this regard Cabinet supported proposals to enhance the fodder production capacity at government run green-schemes.
The decisions and directives follow after Cabinet was informed of an increasing number of beneficiaries and livestock that needs support.
Members were also informed about an additional amount of N$7 006 609 transferred to the Oshana and Oshikoto Regional Councils for the installation of water pipelines and tankers, as part of the drought mitigation measures, in addition to the N$30, 5 million already transferred to regional councils for borehole and water point rehabilitation and installation.
Members expressed their support for the Office of the Prime Minister to make available additional resources under the National Emergency Disaster Fund (NEDF) for the provision of water to severely affected communities as an urgent resilience measure
The cabinet further directed the agriculture ministry to expedite the finalisation of the business models for the respective abattoirs and meat processing plants which are aligned with government objectives to prioritise the marketing of farmer’s livestock in the communal areas of the country.

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