Drought, Covid-19, Trigger Food Price Inflation in Namibia

The price of food in Namibia is on the rise, increasing more than any other item in the average consumer's shopping basket. According to the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), inflation on food and non-alcoholic beverages during the first quarter of 2021 was higher than on all other items. For this quarter, prices increased by 5,8% compared to 2,6% in the corresponding quarter in 2020. The NSA revealed this in its recently released 2021 bulletin on agriculture, forestry, and fishing in the first quarter.

The main driver of food insecurity in Namibia is mostly erratic and below-average rainfall resulting in dry spells or drought. Food insecurity was further aggravated by heavy rains in January 2021 in the southern regions, and more generally by a loss of income since 2020 because of Covid-19. In June 2021, Namibia recorded the highest Covid-19 caseload since the beginning of the outbreak, with a daily average of 990 cases - over four times the average recorded in May.

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