Farmers will not be able to get out of drought situation on their own: !Naruseb

Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry Alpheus !Naruseb said, farmers will not be able to get out of the drought situation on their own, thus stakeholders needs to get together to support the rebuilding the industry.

!Naruseb made these remarks on Tuesday when he addressed delegates at the Agricultural Outlook Conference that took place at a local in Windhoek under theme 'Rebuilding After the Drought'.

He said that working in isolation and doing business as usual will no longer work, thus different stakeholders like farmers, Government, private sectors, donor agencies and even investors through Public Private Partnership needs to come together to support the rebuilding phase of primary producers, in order to restore growth and the whole value chain.

We need to develop short-term strategies, but with a long-term view, in order to manage events such as drought and manage it better in the future, and ensure a sustainable agricultural sector. Strategies can include, providing farmers with supportive interest rates to reduce debt payments, but with the commitment from farmers that they will honour their payment agreements, said !Naruseb.

He added that another strategy can focus on recovering rangeland and perhaps providing farmers with a support scheme to restore the balance between grass and bush, strategies which advocates for value addition.

Growth at home strategy also has an important feature of integration into the regional value chain and, that to me, is an avenue of increasing economic value and also job opportunities,

He further added that, now more than ever, all role players in the sector are called upon to create the balance in the eco-system between the bush and grazing lands in order to increase carrying capacity.

Henceforth, it is my call for a balance because Namibia's eco-system is fragile and vulnerable and we cannot afford it to be compromised. On the other hand, we also need to farm with crops that are drought resistant, incorporate and adapt climate smart agriculture in our farming activities and planning, emphasised !Naruseb.

Source: Namibia Press Agency