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Emergency drought measures proposed to Minister

In a joint action, representatives of the NAU, NNFU and NECFU, paid a visit to Minister Schlettwein on Thursday, 04 April.

Although we are grateful for the rain received in parts of the country during the last two weeks, the impact of the drought conditions continues to intensify in certain areas. For this reason, all three unions teamed up to discuss proposals with our line Minister.

The discussions included:

1. It is imperative that His Excellency the President of Namibia is urged to declare the 2024 Drought a national disaster.

  • Hardap as well as the Etaka dam will cease irrigation support during April and August 2024 respectively, profoundly impacting socio-economic conditions in the Hardap and Oshana regions.

2. Drought relief measures should commence as early as possible within a year of disaster and should include all regions and be available throughout the year.

  • The livestock marketing Incentive should be implemented and effective from 1 January 2024, and not only during the latter part of the year.

  • It is important that core breeding herds are protected through the provision of fodder.

3. Requirements for a special program to ensure staple food security which should apply to all crop farmers affected by drought.

  • A special food and cash assistance scheme for affected employees of the Hardap irrigation scheme in case no inflow is received during the current rainy season.

  • A support scheme be implemented to enable crop producers to plant crops again in the 2024/25 season with subsidized seed, fertilizer, and fuel.

4. The value of lean cattle and sheep needs to be improved to supply all export abattoirs with slaughter ready animals for high value markets.

5. On-time payment of producers slaughtering at export abattoirs.

6. Additional funds from the Emergency Drought Fund are required for value-adding opportunities within the beef sector, as well as to additionally slaughter an expected 30,000-40,000 cattle.

7. Addressing cross-cutting pressing issues.

  • All livestock sectors including dairy, SWAKARA and other livestock production sectors should be included in the drought assistance scheme to help safeguard these industries.

8. Agribank payment holiday or interest subsidy should be made available to all farmers who have loans at Agribank, applicable to all products.

The Minister welcomed the proposal made by the farmer unions and established a joint committee to finalise proposals for Cabinet’s consideration.


Source: NAU Newsletter, 05 April 2024



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