OTJIWARONGO, 13 JAN (NAMPA) -
The rain received in the Otjiwarongo district since last month has done little to help improve the condition of livestock in the area. Otjozondjupa regional agricultural scientific officer, Dina Murenje in an interview with Nampa on Tuesday expressed concern about the general state of livestock and grass in the district.
She said majority of the large livestock in the area of Otjiwarongo is in a poor condition and has been that way since 2014, when severe drought conditions were experienced in the country. There has not been much improvement since then.
"I drove around some farms in the Otjiwarongo district last week and I saw that a lot of the large livestock was lean. Their digestive system also has not yet adapted to the fresh green grass which has started to germinate," she said.
Murenje explained that the grass is also struggling to recover on most of the commercial farms situated in the area of Otjiwarongo. She said in the past, grass on commercial farms in the district would have been up to knee height in January, which is not the case this year.
Besides the drought conditions, Murenje said possible overgrazing during 2014 and 2015 could have contributed to the poor condition of the grazing.
The recovery of grass in the area is slow, as the rains received in December fell quite late and not for very long, she indicated. Murenje however noted that the rainfall patterns in the Otjiwarongo district have shown an increase, with 61,5 millimetres (mm) of rain recorded in December last year and this month.
Records for the same time in the previous years show that the area received 59,6 mm of rain. Murenje encouraged farmers to keep records of rainfall received on their farms so that by March this year, they can determine whether drought conditions will continue in 2016.