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Monday, August 3, 2015

Food crisis looms in Namibia

A major food crisis may occur in the northern communal areas of Namibia by the end of August, says the Crop Prospects, Food Security and Drought Situation Report, NaijaAgroNet can authoritatively reveal.

This has prompted Namibian government to contemplate importation of about 210 000 tonnes of cereal to ensure food security to cushion effects of the 2013 and 2015 droughts which occasioned poor harvests in these regions.

NaijaAgroNet also reports that sections of the country worse affected by the drought were the Kavango East and Kavango West regions which indicate a reduction of 80per cent below average and 73per cent lower than last season’s harvest.

As a country, NaijaAgroNet gathered, the national coarse aggregate production (maize, millet, sorghum and wheat) is estimated at 67 800 tonnes, reflecting a substantial decrease in the harvest of about 46 per cent below the average production and 49 per cent lower than last season’s harvest.

The report states that although maize production in the commercial areas recorded about 36 700 tonnes this season, over 92 per cent of this total came from irrigation projects, and dry land maize only contributed about 8 per cent of the total, while Pearl millet production showed a decrease of over 74 per cent below average and 65 per cent less than last season, NaijaAgroNet learnt.

“Sorghum production has also showed a significant decrease and is estimated at 79 per cent below the average production and 60 per cent lower than last season. Wheat is a winter crop and production thereof is ongoing. The harvest estimate for wheat is provisionally forecast at 12 700 tonnes. This reflects an increase of 21per cent above the average production and 23 per cent higher than last season,” the report says.

 “In contrast, the current domestic cereal domestic availability is only about 28 per cent of the cereal requirements; hence a shortfall of 234 000 tonnes is required to cover the shortfall. This consists of 59 800 tonnes of wheat, 118 100 tonnes of maize and 56 100 tonnes of pearl millet and sorghum.”

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE

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