Farmers in //Karas Region continue to lose their livestock due to poor grazing.
The acting chief agricultural scientific officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Clarence Ihapa Tjiho, said the situation would keep deteriorating unless some rainfall is received soon.
He says there is little grass for animals to feed on and this has led to some of the farmers losing their livestock due to hunger.
Tjiho noted that although it’s not easy to point out the exact number of livestock deaths as a result of the drought, a number of reports have been received from various farmers, and his office has also visited some areas where animal carcasses could be seen lying on the ground.
“Farmers have lost livestock, especially cattle and a few small stock,” he said.
While small stock like goats and sheep seem to cope better in severe conditions, cattle that need more grass are highly affected.
He says farmers have also reported a number of abortion cases, which according to Tjiho can also be linked to the drought, as it’s caused by the low nutrient level in animals.
Tjiho noted that government is doing all it can to help farmers and since July this year about 270 applications have been received for the livestock marketing incentive scheme.
“These applications were processed and forwarded to Windhoek for further verification and payment,” he said.
Meanwhile, the drought relief programme in the region has reached for more than 7 334 people since June this year, according to information provided by the //Karas Regional Council’s chief regional officer (CRO) Saul Kahuika.
Kahuika said that in Berseba constituency about 4 400 people received food, with Karasburg East and West are second with about 1 775 people and Keetmanshoop Rural and Naminus constituencies making up about 1 000 of the total number of recipients. These figures are set to increase.
“The program will continue until government says stop,” he said.
With a few showers received in other parts of the country, farmers in the region are crossing their fingers that rain will be received soon, without which things could get worse.