Drought Reminder That Namibia As a Semiarid Area

The debilitating drought of 2013 was a stark reminder that Namibian beef producers are farming in a semiarid country, and they must also make provision for such natural catastrophes.

This was said by chairperson of the Namibian Stock Breeders Association (NSBA) Board, Ryno van der Merwe, when he opened proceedings at the second NSBA Meat Production School last week.Van der Merwe said the worst drought in some three decades resulted in producers experiencing drops in meat prices of up to 30%. Added to that, sharp increases in the prices of licks, fodder, electricity and fuel had a dramatic impact on all agricultural producers, except maybe for the Swakara and charcoal industries.

Van der Merwe stressed the importance of the theme of the second Meat Production School which was “increased production for survival,” saying the effects of last year’s drought are still fresh in the memories of producers, and so were the lessons learned from the drought. “The agricultural sector of Namibia has, now than ever before, the responsibility to take hands in every sector, analyse the lessons learned from the severe drought and take the answers into the future to ensure preparedness for tough times ahead,” he urged.

He said every producer in every sector of the multi-facetted agriculture industry must remember they are all family and if one of the family members suffer, the whole industry will suffer.

He urged members of every sector to communicate and share experiences to better all sectors and face the future challenges with confidence.

Source : New Era