27 Apr 2016 13:10pm
WINDHOEK, 26 APR (NAMPA) A market is needed for communal farmers living above the Red Line in Northern Namibia, particularly the Kunene Region, to profit from their livestock instead of losing the animals due to the drought.
This was said by National Council (NC) member Weich Mupya on Tuesday.
The agricultural sector in Namibia is divided by the Red Line, or Veterinary Cordon Fence (VCF). Marketing north of the fence differs from marketing south of the fence.
The VCF divides the north, which is a Food-and-Mouth Disease (FMD)-prone area from the south that is FMD free. Due to the FMD free status, meat produced south of the VCF can be marketed in the international market.
Speaking during the review of the Appropriation Bill in the National Council on the budget allocation of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Mupya said the drought relief programme needs to expand so it can accommodate livestock as well.
Mupya said the drought relief programme focuses mainly on providing for people and excludes their livestock, which creates a burden for farmers as there is no market where they can sell their animals to prevent drought losses.
This is the seventh year farms in the north of the country should be assisted to feed animals while Government looks for a solution to address the market issue.
He added that the majority live in the rural areas and thus their stock is also in those areas, however, there is no market in the region.
Mupya said a possible solution for the communal farmers would be to limit the market to the national market and give communal farmers an opportunity to also benefit from their products.
He added that currently, the only benefactors to the buying market of stock are in the international market, while commercial farmers are the only ones benefiting.
The OPM received an allocation of N.dollars 485 744 000 of the N.dollars 61 billion of the 2016/17 National Budget.