Cereal Production Seen At 136 700 Tons

THE national cereal aggregate production is forecast to be 136 700 tons, an increase of 68% compared to last season, according to a report by Namibia Early Warning and Food Information Unit (NEWFIU). The unit is part of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry.

In the 20132014 rainfall season, most parts of the country received normal to above normal rainfall which is consistent with the rainfall outlook for the season.

The north central regions, reported below average and poor rainfall performance, which according to farmers has been sporadic, erratic and insufficient in the first half of the season with serious prolonged dry spells in January and most February, affecting both crop production and pasture establishment, the report said.

The report said crop estimates showed an improvement in 20132014 harvest better than last season, but still below average for the communal producing areas, while commercial areas recorded a bumper harvest.

BETTER CROP

Analysis of the crop harvest estimates indicated that most of the communal crop producing regions recorded a better crop harvest this year which is significantly higher than last season, but still below the average harvest.

“The below average harvest is mainly due to a general poor rainfall performance coupled with American Bollworms. National cereal aggregate production is finally forecasted at 136 700 tons, reflecting an increase of 68% higher than last season’s harvest and 9% above the average production,” the report said.

Much of this improvement comes from the commercial areas where a bumper harvest has been reported. Most parts of the country reported good grazing conditions except the north central and north western part of the country, where fair to poor grazing conditions are reported following poor rainfall performance in these areas.

FOOD SECURITY

The households’ food security situation improved, following a recent main harvest since the beginning of May this year.

“However, this improvement, according to farmers, is still below average and the current harvest is expected to last between December this year and main harvest in May next year,” the report said.

The country’s aggregate coarse grain production (white maize, pearl millet, sorghum and wheat) for this season is estimated at 125 000 tons. This consists of 73 400 tons of white maize, 44 100 tons of pearl millet, 4 100 tons of sorghum and 14 900 tons of wheat.

POOR GRAZING

The report said although, much of this increase comes from the commercial areas, the communal areas have also recorded a significant harvest better than last season.

Pearl millet production this season showed a substantial increase of 79% above last season’s harvest, but yet 26% below the average production. Similarly, sorghum harvest showed an increase of over 90% above last season’s harvest, but yet is 50% below the average harvest.

With regards to household food security, the report said situation in the northern communal crop producing regions is reported to have improved following a recent main harvest in May.

Most parts of the country reported good grazing conditions except the north central and north western part of the country, where fair to poor grazing conditions are reported following poor rainfall performance in these areas.

Source : The Namibian