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Bleak harvest projected for northern farmers

2019-02-28  Nuusita Ashipala

Bleak harvest projected for northern farmers

ONGWEDIVA - Many northern farmers have not even ploughed their communal crop fields despite entering the third month of the rainy season characterized by insufficient rainfall.

For those who have tilled, their plants are in the process of withering as the rains continue to stay away.
There are mounting fears of starvation not only for livestock but for humans because of an anticipated poor harvest. With the exception of the San community currently receiving drought relief food from the government through the constituency offices, some other members of the community are also flocking to the constituency offices in search for assistance to no avail.

Contrary to what has been in the past years, farmers whose crops have germinated have also stopped weeding, as they fear this could expose their crops to more heat. Equally, herding livestock has also been put on hold.
Farmer’s livestock who live close to the road and town are now flocking to the road and into the towns to search for greener pastures feeding on almost anything.

“This could be the most devastating drought to be experienced in years, devastating in the sense that we have not received sufficient rain in the recent years,” said one Salom Johannes who escorted his cattle to graze along the Outapi road.

Okalongo Constituency is one of the constituencies where farmers have not tilled yet. “The situation is devastating, the biggest part of the constituency is yet to plough. We have people flocking for food to the office, but the food available is meant for the San community,” Okalongo Constituency Councillor Laurentius Iipinge said. The politician said the constituency through the Omusati Regional Council will submit a report and request assistance for drought relief food to the affected communities. The Chairperson of the Ohangwena Regional Council and the councillor for Omulonga Constituency, Erickson Ndawanifa said the situation in Omusati is similar to that of Ohangwena.
He said the situation is dire for livestock farmers as there is no feed at all.

Ndawanifa encouraged farmers not to give up and pleaded that they use what they have in their silos sparingly. He further called on business personalities to come to the aid of those struggling to put bread on the table. Drought is not just a concern for the northern regions, it is a national concern.

This is evident in the many reports of farmers across the country crying about feed and water to sustain their livestock. 

2019-02-28  Nuusita Ashipala

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