KEETMANSHOOP- Julian Bloodstaan, a part-time communal farmer in the //Kharas Region has not yet given up hope, despite losing more than two-thirds of his livestock.
Narrating his painful experience to New Era, this brave farmer stated he had a herd of close to 200 small stock prior to the devastating drought prevailing in the country, but is now only left with approximately 50.
“I sold most of my animals under market value just to buy fodder to rescue the ones that is in a better condition,” he said. The farmer however believes that the situation will improve in future and will hang on to farming.
Bloodstaan explained that, as a means of keeping his small stock surviving, he has to travel long distances in search of better grazing. “The area where I farm did not receive adequate rain for a very long time and some of my neighbours quit farming, relocating to urban areas,” said the farmer.
He further explained he has not yet benefitted from drought support schemes despite applying.
He feels government should strongly consider assisting farmers affected by the drought by meeting them halfway, providing fodder and animal medicines at subsidised prices.
“In addition, the government should acquire good grazing land and allow us farmers to take our animals there until their condition has improved,” said Bloodstaan. He informed New Era he has been a farmer for the past eight years and has seen better days in the past.
Drought is characterized by a period of insufficient rainfall (far below average/normal) depriving the soil of moisture, resulting in poor land productivity. Consequently, drought conditions compromise livestock productivity, farm income and farmers sustainable livelihoods.
During drought, livestock conditions deteriorate due to thirst and hunger, and eventually they die.
Farmers do not earn much from their livestock as market prices fall because the animals’ body conditions are poor. (Additional information adapted from reliefweb)
New Era Reporter
2019-05-07 08:49:59 4 months ago