Farmers encouraged to proactively manage crops
In the face of a growing demand for water and anxiety about future weather patterns, it is imperative that local farmers take the onus upon themselves to mitigate the risk of water shortage by finding innovative and alternative methods to conserve water for their crops.
This is according to Johan van den Berg, specialised crop insurance manager with Santam, Namibia.
Although, according to recent reports, the local government has called for N$3,7 billion over the coming five years for the development and upgrading of its water supply infrastructure, a significant amount of water is needed for agricultural use, and farmers should take their own precautions.
Van den Berg suggests the best approach to improve long-term crop sustainability is by mitigating as much risk as possible and by proactively managing this intricate ecological area.
Santam suggests that farmers select the most suitable areas, better plant genetics and keep away from marginal production areas.
Farmers can also approach insurers to provide cover for “acts of God”. For example, there is a fire product currently available for the industry.
“The problem in planning for climate change is whether it is part of natural variability or real change and if it is real change, what will be the extent?” concludes van den Berg. “Despite the unanswered questions in predicting climatic patterns, however, every farmer can and should take decisive actions to mitigating potential upsets damage to their crop.”