The FAO avails survival livestock feed to drought-stricken local farmers, households
Around 1,200 vulnerable farmers and households in targeted regions of Erongo, Kunene, Otjozondjupa and Omaheke will benefit from the 180 tonnes of multi-nutrient blocks and 180 tonnes of hay availed by United Nation’s food agency, (FAO) this week.
The support was received by the governor of Omaheke Region, Festus Ueitele at Farm Du Plessis, 80km outside Gobabis and members of the surrounding community and farmers who will be beneficiaries of the donated livestock feed were in attendance.
FAO’s Country Representative, Farayi Zimudzi at the event handed over the multi-nutrient blocks, which is the first portion of the support and the hay is set to follow.
“The blocks contain the much needed proteins, trace minerals and provide much needed energy to the barely surviving livestock many farmers are struggling with,” she said.
According to Zimudzi, the assistance will go a long way in enhancing the productivity of the few remaining livestock as well as lessen the burden of farmers who are unable to access nutritious fodder for the livestock, amongst others.
“A bleak picture is painted when the images of emaciated livestock and carcasses are now normal to see in mainstream media,” she said, adding that the situation is indeed dire since the declaration of the state of emergency.
The current drought has not only affected livestock productivity, but it has also caused an increase in animal disease prevalence, immense pasture degradation and has severely reduced overall access to water, she added
According to Zimudzi, in efforts to equip the nation with the necessary information and skills needed during emergency situations, the agency will train 42 agricultural extension officers from all 14 regions on Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards (LEGS) from 9 to 19 September.
Meanwhile, Ueitele thanked the FAO and also handed over a Certificate of Appreciation “ For support with drought relief efforts whilst working towards improving agricultural productivity and helping to better the lives of the people of Omaheke Region”.