Drought relief suffers under tight economy – disaster fund starts subsidies for animal feeds
The Dare to Care Disaster fund, a private sector initiative to assist farmers to buy animal feed has not reached the N$10 million target set for the end of March 2019 yet, but the Namibia Agricultural Union remains confident that it will eventually reach the intended target. This week the Union announced that only N$4.1 million has been raised so far and that the subsidy scheme was postponed by one week to put all administrative processes in place.
The Executive Manager of the NAU, Mr Roelie Venter told the Economist that fundraising continues, with several meetings with large corporate donors scheduled for next week to solicit more contributions.
The scheme will now officially start on Monday 08 April 2019 with a fifty dollar subsidy per bag of a list of approved animal feed products.
The Dare to Care fund was initiated by the Namibia Emerging Commercial Farmers Union, the Namibia Agricultural Union, and the private sector to make certain animal feeds more affordable through subsidization for all drought-stricken farmers, both commercial and communal.
The subsidizing scheme should have started this week however due to the shortfall in funds, it has been postponed to next week with only 76,000 bags of feed ready to be subsidized to the farmers. A fixed subsidy of N$50 per bag of animal feed will be applicable to all approved animal feed products which include Epol herbivore, Epol antelope cubes, Enerfeed, Enermol, rangeland grower, game pellets, lucerne pellets, Breker 12 pellets, Molatek molasses meal, Molatek Meester 20, sheep/cattle finisher pellets, Taapu Afrondmix and Wagnou Volvoer.
These products range in price from N$171 to N$271 indicating that that the average price a farmer has to pay for a bag of feed is roughly N$240. The N$50 per bag constitutes a saving for the farmer of about 21% therefore farmers will still have to be able to pay more than N$20,000 from their own pockets for a batch of 100 bags of animal feed.
Every producer only qualifies for a maximum of 100 bags of subsidized feed which can be found at the following retailers; Agra, Animal Fedco, Leonardville Garage, Otjozondjupa Feed, Helmering Winkel, Kaap Agri, HJ Moller Transport & Voere, Toitjies Boerediens, and DA Viljoen Transport.
“We realise that much more help is needed and that not all farmers can be assisted sufficiently and therefore appeal to everyone who has not yet made a contribution to assist us to reach our target of N$10 million,” the Namibia Agricultural Union who is responsible for the day-to-day management of the project said in a statement on 04 April.
According to the Union, the duration of this subsidy scheme is subject to the availability of funds for the Dare to Care drought programme and producers who want to utilize the subsidy must provide the Union with a copy of their Fanmeat card and a copy of their identity card.