Farmers cutting capital's grass to save ailing livestock

01 Jan 2016 11:00am
WINDHOEK, 01 JAN (NAMPA) – As the drought takes its toll on the farming sector, farmers have resorted to cutting the grass that lines the streets of the capital to curb its devastating impact on their livestock.
One such farmer is Gert Januarie, a part-time farmer and entrepreneur from Rehoboth some 90 kilometres outside Windhoek.
Nampa spotted the 52-year-old Januarie and his wife Toki cutting grass near Orban Primary School in Hochland Park this week.
Januarie told this news agency he could not bear the pain of watching his animals die helplessly.
As many farmers struggle to keep up with the ongoing conditions, Januarie who owns farm Kagaseip, said the low rainfall recorded in the south forced them to go beyond the norm to find ways to feed their livestock.
“The drought is very serious in the south, there is absolutely nothing there, that is why I am cutting the grass to feed my animals. All you see is stones but at least the water is not as bad, just the grazing for my animals which is the biggest challenge,” said Januarie.
He said that local retailers are in short supply of animal fodder, saying that those that are fortunate buy the whole fodder, leaving others with no choice but to resort to other means.
Januarie added that a lot of people have noticed that the grass along the roads can be used to good use, and many farmers are starting the 'de-bushing' trend in other towns as well.
“You will be surprised to know how many are part of this, so as soon as I am done I will drive to the farm and come back for more grass before it runs out. I want to urge other farmers to come and join us,” he said.
His wife, Toki Januarie who could be seen helping with loading the grass on to the family’s pick up vehicle says that there is plenty of grass for everyone as a few consecutive wet days has been observed in central parts of the country, adding that the clearing of the grass will also help with keeping the city clean.
“It is a good thing, and I think a lot of people will benefit greatly and save more money instead of buying expensive fodder as mother nature can provide for us,” she said.