High yielding Conservation Agriculture (CA) field in the 2013 drought year, Oshikoto region.
Creative Entrepreneurs Solutions (CES), a Namibian NGO, has issued an urgent funding appeal for N$1 million due to the effect of the drought on household food security for farmers in the North.
The funding, worth N$1 million, would go towards a Drought Emergency Intervention for Food Security Production (part of the Namibia Conservation Agriculture Project 2) through which farmers will be assisted in switching from rain-fed agricultural production to conservation agricultural methods to help re-establish food security and income.
According to CES, “[…]more than 500,000 children, women and men, mainly from subsistence farming households, are depending on drought relief food aid.”
With the severity of the drought, many farmers are dependent on aid and need to implement different methods of farming that are conducive to Namibia’s dry climate.
CES stressed that, “Farmers in these areas [Namibia’s seven northern crop-growing regions] typically utilise maladaptive farming practices ill-suited to climate change adaptation, which results in low yields, hunger, poverty and increasing vulnerability to climate change impacts, such as the alternating threats of droughts and floods.”
Through the Intervention, 2 000 farmers will be assisted with the goal of producing 7 000 tonnes of staple food by July. According to CES, the market value of this amount of staple food is N$ 22,713,000.
“We believe in farmer empowerment and know that food can be produced locally even under harsh climate conditions,” CES said, stressing that assisting farmers in switching agriculture methods would help reduce the amount of those dependent on drought relief hand-outs.