Namibia: Govt to Support Farmers Hard-Hit By Drought


PRESIDENT Hage Geingob said the government will assist farmers in areas hard-hit by the drought.

The president said the government, although with limited budgetary means, will assist farmers who have "lost large numbers of cattle or will not have a harvest this year" through line ministries.

He made these remarks during the celebration of Namibia's 29th Independence Day yesterday in Windhoek.

During the event, the president urged Namibians to remain "united in purpose" to overcome the challenges the country is facing, including the persistent drought.

"Now, more than ever, we must understand that together in vision, together in purpose and together in commitment, we will sustain our national development and continue on the path towards our economic independence," he said.

Geingob's comment on drought comes after information minister Stanley Simataa announced this week that Cabinet had approved over N$570 million to help distressed farmers and communities. Simataa said the comprehensive drought intervention plan includes food assistance to communities affected by drought and provision of water tankers.

The government, Simataa said, would also provide livestock management incentives and subsidies to farmers.

Livestock farmers would also be given transport subsidies to move their animals to and from grazing areas.

The Namibian reported earlier this month that most households in several constituencies have run out of food, and have resorted to begging.

The agriculture ministry last month also reported that crop-producing regions would have no food by the end of May this year.

According to the report titled 'Agricultural Inputs and Household Food Security Monitoring Assessment', the affected regions are Zambezi, Kavango East, Kavango West, Omusati, Ohangwena, Oshana and Oshikoto.

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