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Union issues drought warning

April 03, 2023

The Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU) has urged farmers to start preparing for the dry season, warning that drought is imminent as the country received insufficient rainfall this season.

Since the previous drought that hit the country between the 2013 and 2019 seasons, rainfall activities have been erratic.

Experts predict that Namibia's climate will become hotter and drier in the next five decades, with greater variability in rainfall.

“No one was expecting this, farmers should be alert and start making necessary preparations because drought is heading our way. It is only prudent to inform our members as many still look reluctant thinking all is well, but it is not,” NNFU’s Acting President Amos Kapi said.

Experts advised farmers to resume and continue with hydroponic projects to produce and store fodder to be used as supplements when the droughts become severe.

Hydroponics were introduced mainly in 2019 as a measure to minimise the effects of the ravaging drought, which led to President Hage Geingob declaring a state of emergency.

The government spent over N$130 million to assist affected farmers, and approximately 90,000 livestock died.

Kapi was speaking at the launch of the NNFU and the Food Agricultural Organisation (FAO) partnership seeking to address the Standard Operating Procedures of the union including its affiliates.

“The NNFU and its affiliates in the past have faced numerous challenges because the existing policies and guidelines do not adequately address governance and structural issues. The partnership will provide much-needed development and review of NNFU policies and guidelines including training and support to Regional Farmers Union (RFUs), Farmers Associations (FAs) and the NNFU leaders,” Kapi said.

He added that such a program will explore a bottom-up approach, while also reviewing RFUs and associations' constitutions.

“For years things have been done in Windhoek, now going forward NNFU will be felt in the regions as we want to capacity local farmers in the grassroots, while we become overseers. All the work will be done by them,” he stated.

FAO's assistant representative for programmes Ferdinand Mwapopi said they will be providing technical support as a specialised organisation, in relation to developing and reviewing of constitutions, standard operating procedure, and aims to induct and train new union leaders.

Through these outputs, FAO hopes that its support will enable NNFU to achieve improved governance and institutional capacity to ensure sustainability and improve its ability to provide needed service to its members and nation at large.

In addition, NNFU should be able to contribute to organised agriculture in the country and strengthen the ability to advocate for better policies in the agricultural sector.

“These outputs and desired outcomes will not only solely be the mission of FAO and NNFU, but it is complementary to the ongoing work being done by the Namibian Government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform. As part of this partnership, FAO is tasked with providing both technical and financial support towards the union's constitution review process, which will also include the formulation of various constitutions for its affiliates that consist of 14 Regional Farmers Unions (RFUs) and over 130 Farmers Associations (FAs),” said Mwapopi.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 04 April 2023 19:16