WINDHOEK – None could sigh a big sigh of relief than the president of the Eastern Epukiro Farmers Association (EEFA), as indeed all the farmers in the communal areas of Epukiro, Eiseb, Otjinene and Otjombinde (Rietfontein) in the Omaheke Region.
This is following the uplift of the ban on the movement of animals, following the sighting of a buffalo in the village of Ovye in the Eiseb communal area on May 1. But to the relief of the farmers the buffalo was traced a day after its sighting and killed. Also it has been established that the dreaded Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) did not infect it. The killing of the buffalo is a great relief especially to EEFA’s president, Katjinduu Tjahuha, who since assuming the reigns of the farmers’ association last May, has been vigorously campaigning for the phasing out of the livestock prices depressing permit system in the constituency to be replaced by auctions. This is because at any permit there is only a single buyer at a time and thus there’s no competition among buyers. In this way, buyers determines livestock prices at will hence the depression in the prices of livestock in most communal areas, Epukiro included.
In this regard an auction is taking place tomorrow at the village of Otjiwarongo in the Epukiro Constituency. Auctions have been a rare occurrence in the constituency because of the permit system that has been consistently dominating the livestock market in the constituency, as indeed in many communal areas in various regions of the country like Erongo, Kunene, Otjozondjupa and indeed Omaheke. But the sighting of the buffalo in Eiseb has been threatening this auction in Epukiro because of the subsequent ban of the movement of animals in the said areas of the Omaheke. For many parenting farmers in these communal areas the unbanning of the movement of animals also comes as a great relief, a week or so before they must send their children back to school.
Tjahuha says in this regard the auction tomorrow is very much on course with the animals expected to be in the auction pens today for selling tomorrow. He says with the buyers expecting close to 400 animals or more, he expect farmers to supersede this number by far with individual farmers having registered to sell between 50 and 100 animals each. Since getting the assurance from auctioneering agencies about this auction, Tjahuha has been appealing to farmers to bring animals in good numbers to show auctioneers that auctions must be the in-thing onwards in the constituency due to the sufficient supply of animals.
Meanwhile, close to two months of the banning of the movement of animals in the Okakara Constituency after the sighting of a buffalo in the village of Okarui, this ban remains in force. This is because the buffalo has never been found. An emergency meeting of all farming stakeholders in the constituency was convened yesterday by constituency councillor to discuss this vexed question but by the time of going to print its outcome could not be