Omuthiya Gets Veterinary Clinic

FARMERS in the Omuthiya Gwiipundi constituency in Oshikoto region will no longer have to travel long distances in search of medical attention for their animals after the opening of a veterinary clinic in their constituency.

The deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Lempy Lucas, who opened the Omuthiya State Veterinary clinic and houses, said the livestock sector plays a major role in sustaining the livelihoods for a significant number of households in Namibia, including those in Oshikoto.

“In the past, farmers from across the region had to travel to Ondangwa to have their livestock seen by a veterinarian. From now on, this situation is going to be a thing of the past and farmers can access all the services at Omuthiya,” said Lucas.

According to statistics from the directorate of veterinary services in the agriculture ministry, Oshikoto region has 291 994 cattle, 3 405 sheep and 199 153 goats.

Omuthiya Gwiipundi constituency has 26 100 people living in 5 500 households and a total of 33,3% of the households in the region depend on agriculture. Out of the 26 100 households involved in agriculture, 43,9% depend on crop farming.

Lucas said the establishment of such facilities, including the other state veterinary offices in the areas north of the veterinary cordon fence as well as those that are built along the pipeline, are part of the agriculture ministry’s efforts to eliminate trans-boundary animal diseases.

“The ultimate objective of this strategy is to enable the relevant international bodies to recognise these areas as free from foot- and-mouth disease as well as lung sickness,” she said.

She said once the disease-free status is confirmed, the animals can be marketed anywhere in Namibia and beyond.

The fourth National Development Plan (NDP4) has also identified the agricultural sector as having a potential for contributing significantly to national economic growth and development.

NDP4’s desired outcomes are to achieve average real agricultural growth of 4% per year by March 2017.

Lucas urged the farmers and other stakeholders in the livestock and meat industry to support the agricultural ministry in order to achieve these objectives for the benefit of the sector at large.

Source : The Namibian