Agriculture minister Calle Schlettwein this week said ploughing services and other support to farmers should be considered essential and exempted from current Covid-19 curfew restrictions.
This follows a number of concerns raised by communal farmers in the northern parts of Namibia complaining the 21h00 curfew is negatively impacting them.
The farmers complained they are forced to stop ploughing their fields at 21h00 due to the curfew.
At the moment, the national Covid-19 curfew is from 21h00 to 04h00 countrywide.
However, concerned farmers say this is affecting them badly because most of them have vast fields and tractors require many hours to plough. Approached for comment, Schlettwein said agriculture must receive support from all stakeholders.
“As to the ploughing services and other support to farmers, our understanding still is that the whole agricultural food value chain is to be considered as essential services – and therefore, where possible, should be exempted from restrictions. This, of cause, can only occur when no undue risk is induced. We are grateful for the rain and must make to most of the opportunity that is now available,” he said.
He, however, promised to take up the matter to ensure farmers are allowed to continue ploughing past the curfew.