Billions for drought relief incentives, rural water supply

19 Feb 2014 19:50pm
WINDHOEK, 19 FEB (NAMPA) - N.dollars 8 billion has been allocated to the Agriculture Ministry for drought relief incentives, construction of earth dams, expansion of rural water supply, and Green Scheme projects during the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
Minister of Finance Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila made this announcement while tabling the 2014/15 national budget in Parliament on Wednesday.
Highlighting some of the key budget achievements during the 2012/13 and 2013/14 financial years, she said in the agricultural sector, the drought marketing incentive scheme was initiated to help farmers cope with the effects of the ongoing drought.
This is the worst drought to affect Namibia in 30 years, and it has affected more than 700 000 people.
It has also severely threatened the financial sustainability of producers in the agricultural industry.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila stressed that progress was also made in expanding access to potable water and to secure supply for commercial production, to promote animal health quality and food security.
Speaking about the loan disbursement by the Agricultural Bank of Namibia (Agribank) during 2013, the minister said this amounted to more than N.dollars 383 million which benefited over 730 farmers.
Agribank’s total loan book stood at N.dollars 2,14 billion. The bank has also put aside N.dollars 91 million to assist farmers to mitigate the effects of the drought.
“Progress was also made to expand access to potable water and to secure supply for commercial production, to promote animal health quality and food security,” she said.
The drought marketing incentive scheme was initiated to help farmers cope with the effects of the drought.
A total of N.dollars 80 million is allocated for Emergency Management over the 2014-2017 MTEF to further capitalise the National Disaster Risk Management Fund and development of disaster management around the country.
“These funds are augmented by the contingency provision, which amounts to N.dollars 300 million for each of the MTEF financial years,” she added.
(NAMPA)
PC/AS/ND