Nationwide Food Shortages Anticipated

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By Chrispin Inambao

WINDHOEK

Many rural households should brace themselves for food shortages around August. The food shortages are precipitated by low crop yields from the recent harvest. The outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) could also wipe out many cattle in Caprivi.

Continuing prevalence of foot-and-mouth disease, particularly in eastern Caprivi reportedly spread by buffaloes that entered the country from Botswana, led to the closure of Meatco’s abattoir, says a Food Security Situation Report issued yesterday by Matheus Ndjodhi, an agricultural economist in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry.

He based his report on field information gathered last month by the Namibia Early Warning and Food Information Unit (NEWFIU) that undertook a crop assessment mission in the northern communal crop-producing regions to quantify food.

During the mission, many farmers in the north central and Kavango regions were still harvesting their crop, while in the north-east, the harvest was
almost complete and farmers were threshing the harvested crop to be subjected to a quantitative assessment.

He forecast Namibia’s aggregate cereal production for the 2007/8 crop season at 121.3 tonnes, a quantity not so ‘significantly’ diffe-rent from the 2006/7 harvest that had a yield six percent less compared to the recent maize/millet harvest.

The national food balance sheet shows an after-trade deficit of 8?

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