Pasture conditions weak due to drought

26 Jan 2014 16:00pm
WINDHOEK, 15 JAN (NAMPA) - The pasture conditions in various parts of the country are said to have deteriorated greatly due to the drought.
This is according to the Agricultural Input and Household Food Security Report released by the National Early Warning and Food Information System (NEWFIU) on Monday.
The report said many farmers lost livestock due to the drought, and the regions have in addition noted a slight delay in the start of the rainy season which is expected to bring much-needed improvement to grazing areas and improve water availability, particularly for livestock.
“Nevertheless, the most likely scenario is that grazing conditions will improve as most parts of the regions are reported to have received good showers lately,” the report said.
It further stated that due to a higher concentration of animals in the Zambezi Region, the grazing conditions in the region are said to be fair to very poor.
This is especially true for the north eastern part of the region which includes Kabbe North and South, the Katima Rural constituencies, as well as in the Linyanto and Lyaboloma areas.
The NEWFIS report further said poor grazing conditions were reported in the north-central regions, with all four north-central regions (Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Ohangwena) being equally affected.
“The situation was reported to be very serious in the cattle post areas especially in the Oshana region,” it noted.
According to the report, water shortages for livestock were reported in the four north-central regions, particularly in the cattle post areas.
Some farmers who were interviewed said the availability of water keeps livestock in good body condition even if grazing is not sufficient.
In the Kavango East and Kavango West Regions, grazing conditions were poor to very poor in areas along the Okavango River, while elsewhere in the region the situation is said to be fair to good except in some areas which suffered veld fires.
The report said the situation is particularly serious in the Uuvudhiya Constituency in the Oshana Region, where many farmers from the north-central regions moved their livestock for better grazing conditions which have now deteriorated due to overgrazing.