N.dollars 45 million spent on drought marketing scheme

04 Apr 2016 17:00pm
WINDHOEK, 04 APR (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry paid more than N.dollars 45 million to farmers as part of its drought marketing incentives scheme during the 2015/2016 financial year.
A technical paper presented by the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa and delivered in the National Assembly (NA) last week noted that a total of 3 319 claims were received and processed. Three claims from the northern communal areas (NCA) and 3 000 from south of the veterinarian cordon fence (SVCF) were received. In addition, a total of 19 claims for transport were processed from both the NCA and SVCF. The value of the transport claims amounted to about N.dollars 158 000.
“Namibia was affected by a severe drought during that financial year, therefore Government re-introduced the drought marketing incentive scheme. The lease of grazing incentive scheme and the transportation of livestock incentive scheme were put in place by Government to assist both communal and commercial farmers, whose livestock were affected by drought,” he said.
Farmers were assisted to market their animals through the scheme, lease grazing areas and transport their livestock to better grazing areas identified by the farmers.
However, insufficient banking information and the lack of proof of payments for transactions were some of the challenges faced by the ministry in the making of payments.
According to the report, 120 livestock auctions took place in the Otjozondjupa Region (Okahandja, Otjiwarongo, Otavi and Grootfontein) where on average 1 800 cattle and 160 small stock units were sold with a turnover of more than N.dollars 9 million per auction for both large and small stock. Auctions and permit days are also held in the communal farming areas such as at Okakarara, Okondjatu, Okamatapi, Otjituuo, Ovitoto and Gam.
Meanwhile, Mutorwa raised the concern with Members of Parliament (MPs) over Namibia being threatened by drought conditions as a result of poor rainfall experienced during the 2015/2016 rainfall season. All 14 regions reported a poor rainfall. Prospect for agricultural production is negatively impacted in terms of crop harvest, grazing establishments in some areas as well as water for human and livestock consumption. With just less than a month to the end of the rainfall season, outlook of the rainfall appears worrisome. The dams supplying water to the central areas of Namibia remain disturbingly and unacceptably low.
“It is our perception that the drought situation will prevail again during the current season. It is also our conviction that the ministry together with the Office of the Prime Minister and other stakeholders will have to continue to implement the existing drought mitigating measures as well as develop new measures to deal with the consequences and effects of the drought in some specific areas of our country,” he added.
The MAWF budget allocation for the 2016/2017 financial year is more than N.dollars 2.3 billion of the N.dollars 61 billion National Budget.