Agriculture in Major Decline Due to Drought

THE country’s economy grew by 4,4% last year despite a severe drought, which was rated as one of the worst in recent years, the Namibian Statistics Agency said in the rebased GDP statistics for 2013.

The agriculture sector was worst hit by the drought and contracted by 26,9% compared to a growth of 8,8% in 2012.

The agency said the 4,4% GDP growth was due to the growth in the secondary and tertiary industries that recorded growth rates 8,7% and 6,4% respectively.

The secondary industries’ growth was mainly driven by the booming construction sector. The Agency said growth in the construction sector was due to growth in the construction works in the mining and public sectors.

Primary industries on the other hand, recorded a decline of 9,3% compared to a growth of 16,7% in 2012. This was due to the poor performance of the agriculture sector, the fishing sector, which contracted by 2,6% and the mining and quarrying sector that recorded a decline of 1,2% in 2013.

“The drop in mining output is attributed to the decline in uranium production,” the agency said.

Livestock and crop farming declined by 39,2% and 8,6% in real value added. Before the drought in 2012, livestock farming grew by 6,4% while crop farming grew by 12,6%.

The fishing and fish processing sectors drop of 2,6% was a major decline compared to an increase of 23,5% in 2012. Demersal fisheries recorded a decline of 4,5% in 2013 compared to an increase of 15,6% registered in 2012. Midwater fisheries output recorded a growth rate of 3,2%, much lower compared to 57,5% in 2012.

Uranium mining registered a decline of 6,9% compared to a growth of 27,1% in 2012.

The manufacturing sector recorded a g growth of 2,2% in 2013 compared to a growth of 1,4% in 2012 due to a g growth in the beverages and chemicals industries.

Source : The Namibian