Farmers Ready to Plough

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By Petronella Sibeene

WINDHOEK

Crop farmers in central, northern and eastern parts of the country have started preparing for planting with the onset of the rainy season.

Hannes Grobbelaar, a farmer from Grootfontein, said yesterday that some farms have received above 20 millimetres of rainfall.

“Preparations of the soil have started. We are opening up the soil so that when it rains again, the soil will be wet enough to allow ploughing and sowing,” he said.

The farmer said that seeds and fertilizer are ready and planting is likely to take place during the first week of December 2007.

“We are looking forward to planting. The season looks promising based on what the weather people tell us,” he explained.

Grootfontein forms part of the maize triangle.

However, Otavi, which also forms part of the maize triangle, has not received much rain.

One farmer, who declined to be named, said preparations at this stage involved mainly repairing of tractors and other implements used for ploughing.

“We received five millimetres of rain and we cannot start anything,” she said.

A farmer from the Gobabis area, Johannes Blaauw, said the area has since last week recorded about 35 millimetres of rain. And farmers in that area are already working on the soil and getting ready for planting.

He said he intends to put 120 hectares under white maize, 30 hectares under yellow maize, 10 hectares under groundnuts, 25 hectares under cowpeas, and one hectare under sunflower.

Weather forecaster, Odillo Gobetsi, from the Meteorological Office, yesterday said the northern, central and eastern parts of the country could expect thundershowers with possible heavy storms today.

By Friday through to the weekend, it will be dry in the extreme west and south-west of the country. The dryness in the northern areas of Otavi, Okaukuejo, and Grootfontein will continue until Tuesday next week.

The rainfall outlook for Namibia for the period October to December indicates normal to above normal rainfall across the northern and southern parts of the country.

The office warns that the outlook is relevant only to seasonal time-scales and relatively large areas. As such, it may not fully account for all factors that influence regional and national climate variability.

The last rainy season left most farmers across the country disappointed.
Production for 2006/7 was 40 percent lower compared to the 2005/6 farming season.

Domestic cereal production in 2006/7 was estimated at 114???_?_’???_?’???_???

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