Famers trimming grass in Gobabis for their livestock

13 Nov 2013 17:40pm
GOBABIS, 13 NOV (NAMPA) – The prevailing drought conditions have forced farmers in the Omaheke Region to scavenge for dry grass within the boundaries of Gobabis, as the town appears to be the last fortress for desperate farmers.
The high prices of fodder and licks have had desperate farmers who are trying to keep their livestock alive, looking elsewhere for relief.
This is how Gobabis - the region’s main economic centre and major town - became a haven for dry grass for the farmers.
On any given day, Gobabis is a hive of activity as farmers - most of whom come from as far as Eiseb Block (some 360 kilometres away) - are seen cutting the tall dry grass which the Gobabis Town Council has no use for.
While the exercise might have started in the remote informal settlements, it has now moved closer to the town centre as farmers are often spotted cutting grass around the Legare Stadium, which is not located far from town.
Poli Handura from Aminuis was hard at work on Tuesday, cutting and stacking grass in his pick-up. He was being assisted by his two nephews.
“I used to buy lucerne to feed my cattle, but the price of lucerne has shot through the roof, and we cannot afford it anymore. We used to buy it for N.dollars 120 per 50 kilogramme bag, but it is now priced at N.dollars 150 per bag.
“That is when someone told me that I could come and cut grass for free here in Gobabis,” he told Nampa.
Farmers in the region’s worst drought-stricken constituencies of Aminuis and Otjombinde have started preparing for the worst as the rain also doesn’t come.
In Aminuis, the drought has also taken a toll on humans as they can no longer milk their livestock due to the weak conditions they are in.
Many cattle slaughtered in Aminuis due to the drought have also been found with nothing but sand in their bellies, ostensibly from the constant foraging for insufficient and almost non-existent grazing.