KEETMANSHOOP – A retired communal farmer from Gibeon in the Hardap Region is now forced to keep her livestock at home as a result of the devastating drought prevailing in the country.
Ursula Kooper narrated her desperate situation to Farmers Forum during a recent visit to Gibeon. “I previously owned a combination of 256 small and large livestock, but it has decreased to a mere 42,” said an emotional Kooper.
She explained that she and her husband Danzer have been forced to sell most of their animals in order to buy fodder and lick supplement. “We do not qualify for assistance under the government’s drought relief programme and so we opted to sell some livestock to sustain the remaining few,” added Kooper.
The farmer also reasoned that since the fields are in a better condition in the proximity of her house it was a better option to let the livestock graze there during the day and keep them safe at their house at night. “If the situation does not improve very soon we might be forced to sell our last few livestock on which we are very dependent for survival,” a worried Kooper reasoned. She further revealed that she is not in good health and that her husband is wheelchair-bound, and this makes their situation even more difficult. On a positive note, the farmer remains optimistic that better days are ahead.