MET working on effects of climate change on food productivity

30 Jun 2017 15:50pm
WINDHOEK, 30 JUN (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Environment and Tourism is working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry to tackle the threat climate change poses to the productivity of Namibia’s agricultural sector.
This was said by Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta in the National Assembly on Thursday in response to a question by United Democratic Front Member of Parliament Apius Auchab.
Auchab wanted to know how land degradation and drought threaten Namibia’s efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger.
Shifeta explained that in terms of the policy and planning environment, his ministry made substantial progress in recent years and have developed Cabinet-approved strategies and programmes.
These include the National Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (2013-2020) and the Third National Action Programme for the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (2014-2024).
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry has also finalised the Comprehensive Conservation Agriculture Programme for Namibia (2015-2019).
“These strategies and plans are guiding interventions for us to prevent and reverse land degradation and to help us to become more climate resilient,” Shifeta said.
The two ministries are further busy enhancing the capacity to monitor the twin threats of land degradation and drought.
The Environment Minister further informed the House that his ministry is coordinating a nationwide land degradation assessment to identify land degradation hot spots and to put in place remedial measures in affected areas so Namibia can become land degradation neutral.
The fifth National Development Plan (NDP5) includes ambitious targets such as increasing food production by 30 per cent by 2022, the thinning of 82 200 hectares of bush encroached land annually over the NDP5 period as well as the adoption of conservation agricultural methods by 50 per cent of farmers by the end of NDP5.
Shifeta said his ministry is busy mobilising resources to support communities in preventing land degradation and increasing their resilience to climate change.