ONGWEDIVA - Livestock farmers in Oshana Region want the Namibian government to engage Angola authorities on a possibility of allowing them to graze their cattle in, and export meat products into, Angola.
The farmers argue that the available grazing areas in the north are densely populated with livestock – and thus not enough for all animals.
Speaking on behalf of the farmers, Namibian Farmers Union president Jackson Emvula said while farmers are encouraged to reduce their livestock, local retailers are reluctant to buy their meat products.
“Why do they want to import goods from the other side of the redline while we have a problem of destocking?” Emvula wanted to know.
He was speaking at the presidential town hall meeting at Oshana yesterday.
President Geingob was in the region to give account to and give answers to the queries raised in the first presidential meeting held four years ago.
“We are here to account because if you don’t, the people will lose trust. We are here to tell the truth because the truth will set you free,” President Geingob said.
Another critical issue raised at the meeting was the question of traditional leaders overcharging farmers who relocate their livestock to other traditional jurisdictions.
Emvula said farmers are being overcharged for grazing their cattle in some areas.
Contrary to the concern raised, the governor of Oshana Region Elia Irimari responded that Oshana has been accommodating farmers from all neighbouring regions at Uuvudhiya Constituency where grazing is still good.
To claims that only a minimal number of farmers are benefiting from the drought programme, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said farmers are reluctant to apply for the government subsidy currently provided under the drought programme. Giving an outlook of the assistance provided to Oshana as part of the drought programme, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said 15 367 people in dire need of help were registered, but due to the limited budget government could not cater for all.
Despite that, government has assisted the region to extend water pipelines in Uukwiyu-Uushona Constituency to help the people along the 6km water pipeline to get access to water and further down to the grazing area.
Equally, government has also been providing water to areas that are without water, she said.
In the same vein, government is also reiterating the call to individuals to contribute a voluntary two percent towards the drought relief programme.
So far N$104 million has been collected to aid government in their fight against drought, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila told the audience.
Yesterday’s town hall meeting was the seventh in a series that would see the President go to each region for similar engagements.
His next such meeting is slated for tomorrow in Eenhana in Ohangwena Region.
2019-08-06 06:50:58 19 days ago