50 PCT OF NAMIBIAN POPULATION FED WITH IMPORTED CEREALS IN 2016

Namibia imported large amounts of cereal in 2016 to feed more than 50 per cent of the population,according to a report of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) on "Agricultural Inputs and Households Food Security Situation".

The cereals included pearl millet, sorghum, wheat and maize which are subsistence rain-fed crops and form the major staple food for more than half of Namibians.

The report indicates that since the start of the current crop marketing season in May 2016, the country has imported 39,700 tonnes of wheat, 50,100 tonnes of white maize and 8,000 tonnes of pearl millet by November 2016.\

"These imports were due to the fact that most households who were able to harvest in 2015 reportedly depleted their poor harvests and had to depend on the retail market and the Government Drought Relief Food Programme to access food," the report states.

Crops from the 2015 harvest, according to the report, only lasted up to August last year when it was supposed to sustain households until the next ploughing season, which usually starts in December or January.

The report further reveals that despite the imports, there are still uncovered shortfalls for wheat, white maize and pearl millet of 24,800 tonnes, 49,000 tonnes and 44,000 tonnes, respectively.

The country experienced yet another poor rainfall season that year which affected the recovery of the agricultural sector, and thus food insecurity continues to be the biggest problem the country is faced with.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK