More than N$150 million is required to implement the Country Programming Framework (CPF) covering t 2019-2023, the Agriculture minister, Alpheus !Naruseb has revealed.
This comes as Namibia last week launched its CPF, which was developed by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), in consultation with various government agencies, namely ministries of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Fisheries and Marine Resources, Land Reform and other non-state actors.
According to FAO, the CPF defines the priorities for collaboration between FAO and the government and the outcomes to be achieved in the medium-term (4-5 years, aligned to national planning cycles) in support of national agriculture, rural development and food security development objectives as expressed in national development plans.
The United Nations agency notes that the CPF defines the medium-term response to the assistance needs of member countries in pursuit of national development objectives that are consistent with the FAO Strategic Framework and Regional Priorities, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other Internationally Agreed Development Goals (IADGs). “I am informed that the total resources required to implement this CPF amount to ten million seven hundred and twenty-eight thousand and five hundred United States Dollars (USD10,728,500). Of this amount, four million five hundred and seventy-eight thousand and five hundred United States Dollars (USD4,578,500) is available; while six million one hundred and fifty thousand United State Dollars (USD6,150,000) will need to be mobilised. It is envisaged that some resources required to implement the CPF will come from FAO’s Technical Cooperation Programme and South-South Cooperation during the CPF implementation period,” the minister said.
One key focus area of the CPF is to strengthening capacity for disaster risk reduction, resilience building, climate adaptation and mitigation, comes at a time Namibia is facing recurrent droughts, floods, feld fires, high temperatures, diseases, and pest outbreaks as a result of climate change. Already the Ministry of Agriculture has provisionally forecasted the country’s cereal production to plummet by 53 percent of last season’s harvest, a move which is expected to result in the country resorting to imports to augment the produce shortfall.
The development comes as the country has received poor rainfall during the 2018/2019-rainfall season, with the Namibia Meteorological Services rainfall report noting that March 2019 as fifth consecutive month with suppressed rainfall over large parts of the country.“Based on the assumption that good crop growing conditions prevail for the remainder of the season, the 2018/2019 aggregate cereal production is provisionally forecasted at 71,400 metric tons. Provisional crop estimates, indicated that all crop-producing areas are expecting massive reductions in the expected harvest. Aggregate cereal production (maize, pearl millet, sorghum) shows that the country is expecting a substantial reduction in harvest of at least 53 percent of last season’s harvest and over 42 percent below the average production,” the March Crop Prospects, Food Security and Drought Situation Report said.
“Reports from various regions in the country indicated poor rainfall performance experienced between October 2018 and March 2019, causing poor crop germinations as well as the wilting of both crops and grazing. Poor and below average rainfall did not only affect the agricultural production, but also worsened the water supply, particularly in areas that are heavily dependent on the surface/rainfall water. At the time of this report most of the water catchments (e.g. earth dams, ponds, Iishana), are either dry or has very little water level to sustain livestock and in some areas also human consumption.”
For May 2018 and February 2019, the country had imported total of 123, 300 metric tons of coarse grains.
“This indicates that, by end of February this year, the imports have only covered the deficit of wheat resulting in a surplus of 22,000 metric tons. There is still uncovered deficit for maize, which after trade deficit/surplus still showing a shortage of 52,100 metric tons. The uncovered deficit under normal circumstance is covered through additional commercial imports.”
The ministry warned that despite household food security remaining satisfactory in most regions of the country, cases of food insecurity in some parts of the country have started to emerge. “Household food security remained satisfactory in most regions of the country, following good improvements in agricultural production recorded in the last two seasons. The situation is however expected to weaken as from the next harvest (May 2019) amidst poor crop production referred to above. Pockets of food insecurity are also still being reported in various areas especially those that suffered poor agricultural production due to prolonged dry spells or floods during the 2017/2018 rainfall season coupled with the current ongoing drought conditions in the country,” the report said.
Animal mortalities according to the report are expected to increase as grazing conditions in the country continue to deteriorate, with 30876 cattle,24598 goats, 8238 sheep, 518 donkeys and 296 horses having died due to drought from October 2018 to April 2019. “Grazing conditions continue to deteriorate in most parts of the country in the midst of very poor and below average rainfall conditions experienced countrywide. In most areas, grazing is reported to vary between fair to poor (in Zambezi, Kavango West and Kavango East regions) to very poor elsewhere in the country. The central, southern, north central and the north western regions of the country are the most affected and livestock mortalities as a result of malnutrition were reported.”
“Poor livestock conditions were reported in the southern regions (//Kharas, Hardap and Omaheke), north central (Omusati, Ohangwena, Oshana and Oshikoto), and north western regions (Kunene and Erongo) with livestock mortalities as a result of malnutrition being reported. The situation is more critical in Aminuis in Omaheke region and Ovitoto, Okakarara and Otjituuo in Otjozondjupa region as well as most part of Erongo, Hardap, //Karas and Kunene.”
Meanwhile, government has announced the Comprehensive Drought Interventions aimed at providing reliefs to the drought affected communities countrywide.
The drought relief measures by government were to take effect from April 2019 to March 2020 including food assistance, water provisions, livestock marketing incentives, lease of grazing and transport, as well as fodder and licks subsidy for core herds.
The initiative precedes earlier food relief intervention which were implemented in Omaheke, Erongo, Kunene, Otjozondjupa, Hardap and //Karas regions as from November 2018 to March 2019.