Eiseb farmers want auction facilities

25 Jan 2018 18:30pm
By Charles Tjatindi
EISEB POST 10, 25 JAN (NAMPA) - The community of Eiseb Block in the Otjombinde Constituency has bemoaned the lack of livestock auction facilities in the area.
Eiseb Block is located some 360 kilometres (km) north-east of Gobabis in the Omaheke Region.
Farmers here told Nampa on Wednesday the area appears neglected as they are unable to fully capitalise on the sale of their livestock due to the absence of auction kraals.
The nearest auction pens available for the use of this community are at the Okatumba Gate, some 160km away.
The community argued that because they rely heavily on animal husbandry for survival, which involves the selling of their livestock’s offspring for cash, the absence of auction facilities in their area has made life difficult.
The farmers said despite producing livestock in high quantities annually, only a few better-off farmers manage to send their livestock to auction pens at the Okatumba Gate due to high transport costs often associated with this exercise.
“The transport fees, which go up to N.dollars 600 per animal, are just too high. If we have an auction pen here, we will save on that,” said an elderly farmer in the area, Elizabeth Mbetjiha.
She said as a pensioner, livestock farming is her only alternative income source and as such, it was important for her that she maximise on her returns when she sells such livestock.
Local farmer Peter Ueritjiua told Nampa on Tuesday that unless the regional government comes to their aid, they will not be able to keep up with the high transport costs.
“Everything you do on this earth needs money. For us who are unemployed and only rely on our livestock farming for survival, it is never easy,” said Ueritjiua.
He noted that when their children return to school, they have to sell a calf or so in order to afford their transport to school.
“When they return for holidays, it is the same process. How are we supposed to keep up with that when our livestock do not fetch good prices due to high transport costs?” he asked.