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Home / Late rains improved agricultural production
Late rains improved agricultural production
2018-07-31Staff Report 2 Staff Reporter WINDHOEK – Despite the poor rainfall performance earlier the rainy season most parts of the country received good rainfall in the last two months and resultantly there is a significant improvement in agricultural production. According to the July report of the Namibia Early Warning and Food Information Unit (NEWFIU), encompassing an assessment of the country’s situation between May 7 and June 4, the good rainfall did not only improve crop production but also water availability and to some extent, grazing. The revised crop estimates indicated a substantial improvement in the crop harvest, which is significantly higher than last season’s harvest and above average. Cereal estimates indicated expectation in the increase of at least 11 percent on last season’s harvest and about 26 percent above average. All major crop-producing regions showed above average production except Zambezi, with a slight reduction of about a percent below average production. Household food security remained satisfactory in most regions with the majority of households reportedly depending on their own harvest for food security. But few pockets of food insecurity were being reported during the assessment period especially areas affected by poor rainfall, excessive rainfall and damages due to the fall army worms. Grazing conditions were reported fair to good in most parts but distress grazing conditions were being reported in the south-central and eastern parts partly due to poor rainfall received at the end of the rainy season. The first half of the rainy season, October-December, saw poor rainfall which stretched into the first two months of the second half of the rainy season, January- February. Although the 2017/2018 season started on time, the season was characterised by sporadic light to moderate showers towards the end of October to early November in most parts of the country. Follow-up rains to strengthen the onset of the season in November to early December were absent causing significant delay in agricultural activities. In the northeastern regions, Kavango, East and West and Zambezi, improvements in rain were seen only from February. In the north-central regions Oshikoto, Oshana, Ohangwena and Omusati, rainfall improved from the end of February while elsewhere it improved from March with significant rainfall. The bulk of the country saw normal to above normal rain affecting the recovery of grazing. The country received below normal rainfall in the regions Zambezi, Omaheke and Omusati while most areas received normal to near normal rainfall. Much of the rainfall received in the various parts of the country was received in the last two months of the season, affecting agriculture, especially crop production. 2018-07-31Staff Report 2