Governor suggests reducing cattle numbers


24 November 2016 | Agriculture

The governor of the Erongo region, Cleophas Mutjavikua, called on cattle farmers to seriously consider reducing the numbers of their livestock in light of the ongoing drought and lack of food for animals.

“There is simply not enough land to sustain large numbers of cattle in the region. Fighting poverty requires agreeable mechanisms and the Erongo region does not have a green scheme or enough rain water to cultivate maize or mahangu. The only sustainable method for the area is farming with goats,” said Mutjavikua during the handing over of fodder to the value of more than N$1 million from FNB Namibia and partners on Monday in Karibib.

“Cattle farming in Erongo is extremely tough while living in the region comes with benefits. Traditional farming methods will not survive and must adapted due to climate change. We signed lucrative agreements to export beef. If we are unable to maintain this source, the agreement will be breached and therefore the survival of the livestock farming industry is essential.”

Measures introduced to bring relief for farmers affected by the drought, include agreements negotiated with farmers to accommodate a certain number of cattle on their farms.

“I also tried to negotiate with the Permanent Secretary for the ministry of agriculture, water and forestry to allow cattle to be accommodated at Omatjene Research Station. My request was not granted.”

Mutjavikua praised FNB and partners for their donation and said the gesture left him speechless and filled with gratitude.

The FNB Namibia Holding Trust contributed N$700 000 to the cause and the disaster relief fund. Telecom, Cymot, Namib Mills, Swakopmund municipality, Windhoek Drycleaners and a host of individuals and small businesses pledged an amount of N$320 000.

The bulk of the fodder was supplied by the John Alfons Pandeni research station situated 20 km outside Grootfontein in the Otjozondjupa region.

The government, army, private sector and individuals provided ten trucks for the distribution of the fodder.

Each truck will be accompanied by an official responsible for loading while traditional authorities are expected to provide a full account of the recipients of the distributed fodder.

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