AgriBank worried about poor rainfall

24 Jan 2019 14:50pm
WINDHOEK, 24 JAN (NAMPA) – The Agricultural Bank of Namibia has expressed worry that the rainy season has progressed, yet the country has received little showers with some parts not receiving any rainfall, an indication to another drought situation ahead.
A statement issued Wednesday by the bank’s technical officer, Erastus Ngaruka, said it appears evident that the effects of climate change on agriculture are observed in many parts of the world, including the dry regions of southern Africa.
Ngaruka said both livestock and crops are vulnerable to the unforgiving climatic conditions such as drought and floods as well as pests and disease outbreaks that results in poor harvesting.
He noted that Namibia has endured recurrent drought conditions since 2013, something that has affected the southern Africa region up to a point were human lives were claimed to have been lost.
He explained that drought is characterised by a period of insufficient rainfall that deprives the soil of moisture resulting in poor land productivity, which compromises of livestock productivity, farm income, and farmers’ sustainable livelihoods.
“Although there have been some improvements in rainfall activities from 2016, there are still inconsistencies and irregular rainfall patterns in most parts of the country, thus threatening the country’s sustainable agricultural productivity,” said Ngaruka.
Ngaruka advised farmers to look at three basic options when things are not going well, either by relocating the animals, selling the animals or feeding them, or a combination of all these options.
He said if the farmer wants to relocate, he or she should consider if the grazing land and water are sufficient, which animals to relocate and how many they should be. Marketing should also be considered in the instance when it is profitable enough to buy food for the remaining animals.