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Crop harvests hopeful despite poor rainfall

Crop harvests hopeful despite poor rainfall

Despite poor rainfall performance which is said to have dominated the 2017/2018 rainfall season, most parts of the crop producing areas noted good crop germinations, signaling a good crop harvest.

This is according to the Crop Prospects and Food Security Situation report by the Namibia Early Warning and Food Information Unit (NEWFIU).

NEWFIU noted that with the exception of Zambezi and the commercial area, all the major crop producing regions recorded improvements in the expected crop harvest with most regions recording above average level.

Furthermore, provisional crop estimates indicated a considerable improvement in the expected harvest which is significantly higher than last season’s harvest in the Kavango East, Kavango West, Omusati, Oshana and Oshikoto regions. Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto and the commercial areas have showed an improvement above average level.

However, the commercial area showed a significant reduction in maize production due to Fall Armyworms infestations and poor rainfall conditions. Aggregate cereal estimates showed that, the country is expecting a slight reduction of 1% of last season’s harvest, but overall 12% above the average production,” the report stated.

Meanwhile, household food security remained satisfactory in most regions of the country, following a good agricultural production received last season.

At the time of this assessment in the major communal crop producing regions where over 60% of the Namibian population lives; majority of households are reportedly still dependent on their last season’s production for food access.

With good crop harvest expected and recent reports of good rainfall in the greater part of the country, the agricultural production and water supply situation is expected to improve. However, while waiting for the outcomes of the post-harvest Crop and Household Food Security and Vulnerability assessments, it is advisable to keep on monitoring the situation and advise where necessary; particularly in areas reported to have been affected by flood in the Zambezi, poor rainfall and crop pests in the commercial area,” the reported stated.

NEWFIU, in collaboration with its cooperating partners undertook its first Crop Assessment mission in the seven major communal crop-producing regions as from 5 February to 2 March.

About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys