More than 370 000 in dire need of food: OCHA

25 Nov 2015 14:20pm


WINDHOEK, 25 NOV (NAMPA) -



More than 370 000 people are at risk of food and livelihood insecurities in Namibia, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) said on Friday.



The Vulnerability Assessment Committee Results for 2015 issued by Ocha for the period up to March 2016 said food assistance should be considered for thousands of people up to next year.



Listed under the key recommendations, the report says: "Targeted food assistance to be considered for the period up to March 2016 for household facing survival deficit, and conditional assistance to be considered for household facing livelihood protection deficit."



Under the overview for the 2014/2015 crop production season, the institution noted that crop estimates indicated extremely poor crop harvest in all dry land crop producing regions.



The crop production is also 17 per cent lower than the 2012/2013 drought season. While breaking the statistics down, Ocha said aggregate cereal production (white maize, pearl millet, sorghum and wheat) is estimated at 67 800 metric tonnes, which reflected a reduction of 46 per cent below average and 49 per cent lower than the previous season.



This include 38 100 metric tonnes of white maize; 15 300 metric tonnes of pearl millet; 1 700 metric tonnes of sorghum; and a total of 12 700 metric tonnes of wheat.



On maize production in Namibia, the results indicated that maize in communal areas is 80 per cent below average and 73 per cent lower than the previous season.



Maize in commercial areas is 12 per cent below average and 46 per cent lower than last year. Pearl millet declined by 74 per cent below the average and is 65 per cent lower than last season.



Sorghum is 79 per cent below average and 60 per cent lower than last season?s harvests. Wheat is about 21 per cent above average and 23 per cent higher than last season. The cereal deficit of 209 100 metric tonnes under normal circumstance was covered through imports.



According to an overview of 2014/2015 livestock conditions, Ocha said it ranges between fair to good in most areas. However, it reflects a reduction of 46 per cent below average and 49 per cent lower than previous the season.



The north-east grazing areas ranged between poor to good, while the north-central regions' grazing range is between fair to very poor and grazing in the north-west (Kunene Region) is critically poor to poor in most areas.



Grazing in the Otjozondjupa Region also ranges between poor to good, while the Erongo Region recorded poor grazing in the communal areas and commercial areas reported fair to good grazing.



The Hardap and //Karas regions reported fair to poor grazing conditions in the communal areas. Under the key recommendations, Ocha proposed that the production of improved pearl millet seeds under irrigation by Green Schemes during off seasons for the next cropping season be implemented as approved in the interim drought programme.



It also said implementation of the medium to long-term measures stipulated in the interim drought programme should continue. The measures included livestock marketing incentives, transports and lease of grazing, livestock fodder/hay and animal health package to farmers, as well as water provision.



It also recommended the regular monitoring of key vulnerability indicators such as staple prices, livestock prices, and grazing.



(NAMPA) PC/CT/AS