Gobabis-Omaheke farmers are suggesting the harvesting of a poisonous plant on a government subsidised plan as one means of combatting the disastrous effect of the plant on farming activities in the region.
The farmers also suggested that the matter be tackled aggressively with studies being carried out to ascertain what the harvested plant could be used for. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Natural Resources visited the Omaheke Region to consult the community on a motion on poisonous plants and the motion on the reintroduction of vaccinations and subsidisation for supavax, anthrax and brucellosis.
The farmers see it fit for the government to provide them with subsidised vaccines.
Namibian farmers are faced with various challenges including the poisonous plant known as otjikurioma in Otjiherero and scientifically as Dichapetalum cymosum, which is prevalent in most parts of Omaheke.
The farming community present at the consultative meeting expressed grave concern about the damage caused by the poisonous plant yearly.
According to Dr Baby Kaurivi of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, farmers have in the past tried various measures, such as controlling and supervising the provision of water to livestock, moving to areas uninfected with the poisonous plant, and other measures, to address the problem but none have yielded a lasting solution.
* Julia Kamarenga is an information officer with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology based in Gobabis.