Govt Spends N$57 Million on Livestock Subsidy

HARDAP, Omaheke and Otjozondjupa regions claimed the biggest chunk of government’s livestock marketing incentive scheme, receiving a combined N$36 million of the N$57 million disbursed countrywide from March 2013 to January this year.

The Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa, made these revelations last week in the National Assembly where he also gave details of the number of boreholes drilled, installed and rehabilitated since last year.

Government came up with the incentive in June last year as part of the N$218 million drought relief plan. The incentive was to encourage farmers to sell their livestock in the face of the devastating drought.

He was responding to questions by DTA of Namibia parliamentarian Philemon Moongo.

Mutorwa said Hardap Region made 1904 claims worth N$18,1 million, followed by Otjozondjupa Region with 2 044 claims worth N$10 million and Omaheke Region which received N$8,6 million for 2025 claims.

Government received a total of 8 243 claims from 12 regions between March 2013 and January this year which amounted to about N$57 million under the scheme.

Ohangwena Region was the lowest ranked beneficiary followed by Oshana Region which received N$26 200 for 19 claims, Omusati Region got N$71 000 for 47 claims, while Kavango Region received N$260 000 for 97 claims.

Others are Zambezi Region which claimed N$920 000, Erongo N$1,1 million, Khomas N$5,3 million, Kunene N$4,1 million,

Karas N$7, 6 million.

Mutorwa said an initial of N$48 million was set aside for this incentive but it was not enough and the ministry requested an additional N$14,2 million from Treasury to pay the claims.

The government paid a subsidy of N$70 for every goat, sheep [or whatever constitute small livestock] sold and N$300 per head for cattle.

According to the statistics, the state was supposed to pay N$34,6 million to farmers as from January this year and Mutorwa believes that amount may have been reduced as people continued to be paid since the first month of this year. Of the N$34,6 million, about N$22 million was budgeted for the top three regions namely Hardap with N$11,5 million, Otjozondjupa with N$6,7 million and Omaheke with N$4,7 million.

Ohangwena which submitted 25 claims was scheduled to receive about N$50 000 in the second phase.

The ministry’s permanent secretary, Joseph Iita, told The Namibian yesterday that farmers in regions like Ohangwena were reluctant to sell their livestock, despite favourable conditions set by government.

Farmers in regions like Kunene reportedly refused to sell their livestock due to cultural reasons.

Mutorwa also told the house about progress made in the drilling of boreholes.

The minister said 324 boreholes were drilled, 108 installed and 216 rehabilitated at a cost of about N$130 million in the 201314 financial year.

An additional N$76 million was made available for the purchase of material for in-house rehabilitation and installations.

The minister, however, said they were faced with a lot of challenges in drilling the boreholes such as the delay in installation since the water quality analysis had not been done.

“Suppliers all over the country were overwhelmed by the quantity of water materials needed, which mostly had to be imported,” he said.

Source : The Namibian