WINDHOEK - Ndonga Linena Constituency Councillor Petrus Kavhura has expressed concern that Namibia’s food import is still sky-high, as a result of lack of local food production in the country.
During the 2017/18 financial year, Namibia imported an astronomical 96 percent of its fruits, 96 percent of wheat, 60 percent of pearl millet and 40 percent of white maize from foreign countries.
According to the recent statistics, Namibia imports 96 percent of its total demand for fresh fruit and only four percent is produced locally.
In terms of horticulture, about 25,599 tons were locally produced, meaning 35 percent of the country’s total consumption was locally produced in the said financial year.
Equally, statistics shows that 80 percent of exports is table grapes; the remaining 20 percent is mainly dates.
Therefore, Kavhura said the current trend of statistics of what the nation produces and consumes are not aligned to one another.
“Our food import statistics is also unacceptable. Imagine we are still importing maize and mahangu as if we don’t have land, water and labour. This situation shall be changed if we can empower rural communities through agriculture,” he informed the National Assembly last week.
President Hage Geingob during the State of the Nation Address on April 17 this year said 162 tractors were deployed to provide subsidised agricultural ploughing services to communal farmers.
Furthermore, he noted additional tractors are to be acquired to ensure each crop-producing constituency is serviced by a minimum of four tractors, from the current average of two tractors per constituency.
The councillor hence said he welcome the initiative and therefore urge the ministry of agriculture to leave upon Geingob’s statement and timely deliver the tractors to support the programmes such as Operation Werengendje and Katemo.
Operations such as Werengendje in Kavango East Region, Operation Tulongeni in Omusati Region and Operation Katemo in Kavango West Region are aimed at encouraging farmers to work hard in order to contribute to household and national food security. Due to prevailing drought conditions affecting both humans and livestock, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila recently announced a N$573 million drought package aimed at helping farmers and families currently gripped by severe drought.
Those affected would receive food assistance; water tanks and livestock marketing incentives. Farmers will also be provided with transport subsidy to and from grazing areas, and transport for fodder to the drought affected farmers especially in communal areas.
Furthermore, farmers will be receiving support for lease of grazing for the drought affected and subsidy for crop farmers.
Likewise, farmers will receive lick supplements for a core herd of 25 cattle and one bull per farmer and fodder subsidy for a core herd of 25 cattle and one bull per farmer.
2019-06-04 08:24:57 4 months ago