Namibia: Farmers Hopeful for a Better Harvest

24 January 2020

Ongwediva — Northern subsistence farmers are hopeful for a better harvest following good rains received since the start of the rainy season.

Farmers are ecstatic over the good rains received thus far, as many have in the last few years had a poor harvest due to a low rainfall.

The situation was worse last year, as many farmers could not harvest a single mahangu grain to feed their families.

The little crops which failed to grow due to the poor rainfall were left for their livestock, which also had a hard survival time as a result. Aina Haihambo, who lives on the outskirts of Ongwediva, said she already started tilting at the beginning of the rainy season last year and her crops are already about knee length.

"So far, things look good and I am positive that this year we will have a good harvest to sustain our families," said Haihambo. However, despite the good crops observed in many areas, some farmers are struggling to control weed in their crop fields.

"My crop field was too wet following the last rains, hence the long grass at some parts, but if we can remove the grass before the next rain, the crops will be able to survive," said Haihambo. Theodensia Akwenye is also amongst those who had not had any harvest last year.

"This year, we made sure we started ploughing early so that we can do much before the rainy season ends," said Akwenye.

Akwenye said one has to ensure they harvest in excess because with the climate change, one is not guaranteed of a good harvest next year. She said because of the lack of harvest last year, many people depended on the surplus from the previous years, leaving their silos completely depleted. While farmers are optimistic of a good harvest, the livestock have also received feed in abundance. Communal farmers remain hopeful that their livestock will be able to fully recover from last year's drought, where a massive livestock death has been recorded.

Many livestock have already showed signs of recovery.

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