Namibia drought feed subsidy fund nears its target of N$10 million
WINDHOEK - The Dare to Care Fund to subsidise emergency fodder to get livestock market-ready during Namibia’s crippling drought received another boost – this time from money collected at the country’s recently held second Biomass Technology Expo.
The Namibia Biomass industry Group (N-Big), which jointly hosted the event with the Namibia Charcoal Association (NCA) on August 9 near Otjiwarongo in the central north, officially handed over N$75 000 to the fund’s custodians, the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) and Namibia Emerging Commercial Farmers Union (NECFU), last week.
During a short ceremony at the NAU’s Windhoek head office, N-BiG general manager Colin Lindeque said the N$75 000 proceeds were essentially from farmers to their fellow farmers in that money was collected through raffle ticket sales as well as a slice from entry tickets and food and beverage sales during the day-long agricultural expo.
NAU executive manager Roelie Venter and NECFU president Dr NAC Nghifindaka confirmed that the Dare to Care fund stood at more than N$8 million – only N$2 million of the targeted N$10 million is needed to be collected. This was thanks to multiple donations, including from banks and a petrol companies. It is independently audited to ensure every cent is accounted for. The ongoing N$50 subsidies per bag of feed at agricultural product retailers across Namibia are available to commercial, communal and emerging farmers alike but is capped at 100 bags per person.
All of Namibia’s 13 regions are in the grip of the crippling drought, some parts for the seventh consecutive year. President Hage Geingob declared a state of emergency in early May. Latest forecasts are not favourable for rain in spring and early summer.
The Biomass Technology Expo, which showcased equipment, services and techniques to utilise unwanted bush to mitigate the effects of the drought, exceeded expectations by attracting 100 exhibitors and 1 500 visitors. Lindeque expected next year’s event to be even bigger.
2019-09-10 07:41:57 6 days ago