Govt gears up farmers for drought

12 Jun 2013 10:48

Government announced that at least N$170 million and a further N$50 million will be spend on drought relief measures in the areas of water supply and incentive schemes respectively.
Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa made the announcment at a media briefing this morning, but emphasized that the measures were not aimed at solving all drought related problems and should not be regarded as such.
The N$50 million will cater for both the commercial and communal farmers and will be provided for in the form of marketing incentive scheme, lease of grazing as well as transport subsidies.
The second area to be covered is the Water Supply Drought Relief Implementation Plan of which at least N$170 million has been set aside.
The money will be used to purchase drilling rigs and accessories as well as siting, drilling and installation of boreholes in different regions country wide.
The announcement comes after President Hifikepunye Pohamba’s official declaration of a state of emergency as a result of a ravaging drought that caused farmers losing hundreds of livestock, while crop production was also heavily affected.
Mutorwa adds that the Marketing incentive scheme will support, out of hand transactions, slaughtering through abattoirs, auctioneers, permit day buyers and direct export to neighbouring countries on hoof.
Farmers who sold animals from the 1 March 2013, will receive subsidies of N$300 per cattle and N$70 for small stock.  
This is provided that agricultural extension technician or animal health inspector must attend all the auctions and permit days to certify all the transactions and ensure proper recording of ear tag numbers of all livestock sold.
According to the ministry, the implementation of the measures will be backdated from the 1 March 2013 until the drought situation has been officially been declared normal on the ground, or until the allocated budget of N$50 000 000 is exhausted.