Namibia: Crop Farming Prospects Favourable

8 September 2020

Major crop-producing regions across subsistence and commercial sectors have recorded significant improvements in the crop harvest this season. This follows the favourable crop growing conditions experienced during the 2019/2020 cropping season.

The revised crop estimates indicate a considerable improvement in the harvest, which is significantly above the average production and much higher by far than last season's poor harvest.

This is according to the latest crop prospects and food security situation report, which was released last month.

According to the report, the aggregate cereal estimates showed that the country has recorded about 174 900 metric tons (MT) which is about 270% higher than last season's poor harvest (of 47 300MT) and 41% above the average production of 124 000MT.

Household food security has also improved considerably, the report states, following a significant improvement in agricultural production recorded this year.

"At the time of this assessment in the major communal crop producing regions, households were dependent on the current agricultural production which according to farmers is sufficient to sustain them until the next harvest in May next year," the report notes.

Many farmers have started to sell their crop harvest surplus to commercial millers, individuals and or Agricultural Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA). In the northeastern regions (Zambezi, Kavango East and Kavango West ) most households interviewed indicated that this season's harvest was much more than the normal season and exceedingly higher than last season's harvest.

Although the regions experienced Fall Army worm's outbreak, migratory locust and flood which affected the harvest, according to farmers the current harvest is still expected to sustain them until the next harvest. Food security in the north-central regions (Omusati, Oshikoto, Oshana and Ohangwena) has also improved considerably, following a recent very good crop harvest received this year.

"Food security elsewhere in the country has improved as many areas reported good agricultural production following good rainfall received this season. However, the south, central and western part of the country, in particular //Karas, Hardap, Erongo, south of Khomas and south of Kunene region, the situation is worrisome and requires monitoring and interventions, especially for the vulnerable groups," the report stated.

Good rainfall

Despite a delay in the onset of the 2019/2020-rainfall season, good rainfall was received over the greater part of the country resulting in significant improvements in agricultural production.

Good rainfall was received in the north, northeast, and mostly central areas of the country. However, the south, west and partly central areas recorded late and poor rainfall resulting in protracted drought conditions which continued to torment the livelihoods of various communities in those areas.

The revised crop estimates showed substantial improvement in the harvest with aggregate cereals recording an increase of 270% more than last season's poor harvest, and 41% above the average production.

This increase in harvest is largely due to favourable crop growing conditions experienced over the 2019/2020 rainfall season. All the crop producing regions recorded a bumper crop harvest which did not only enhance household food security but also improved people's livelihoods. Household food security has improved significantly, following a very good agricultural production recorded this year.

Favourable grazing

Grazing and water supply situation has improved greatly in the greater part of the country, following good rainfall received during the 2019/2020 rainfall season.

In most regions, grazing ranges between fair and very good with plentiful rainfall water available in the catchment areas. However, in the south and western parts of the country, grazing is poor due to late and poor rainfall received.

Since the situation may change, it should be noted herein that, this report presents the results of the assessment that took place during the aforementioned dates supplemented by rapid assessment and reports from the agricultural extension staff in Kunene, Omaheke, Otjozondjupa, //Kharas, Erongo, Khomas and Hardap regions.

Secondary information was obtained through the Namibia Agronomic Board (NAB), AMTA and Agricultural Business Development (AgriBus Dev).

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