Last year’s harvest expected to sustain households till May – report
Household food security remained satisfactory in most regions of the country, following significant improvements in agricultural production last seasons, a recent report by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry indicates.
According to the latest Agricultural Inputs and Food Security Situation report, majority households in major communal crop producing regions are still dependent on their harvests for food access. For these households, production is enough and expected to sustain them till the next harvest in May 2021.
Some farmers have sold their surplus grains to commercial millers, individuals and or Agricultural Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA).
In the north eastern regions (Zambezi, Kavango East and Kavango West regions) most households interviewed indicated that, they are still dependent on last season’s harvest this season’s harvest which is expected to sustain them till the next harvest.
Similarly, food security in the north central regions (Omusati, Oshikoto, Oshana and Ohangwena) is also still satisfactory, following a very good crop harvest received last season. Many farmers recorded a bumper crop harvest which is expected to sustain households to the next harvest.
Food security elsewhere in the country is also said to be fine, given a substantial improvement in agricultural production last season. However, the south, central and western part of the country, in particular //Karas, Hardap, Erongo, south of Khomas and south of Kunene region, the situation remained fragile following the late and poor rainfall received last season.
“Therefore, constant monitoring and interventions, especially for the vulnerable groups is needed in these areas,” the report suggested.
Meanwhile, the country restocked the National Strategic Food Reserves between May and October 2020. As at 31 December 2020, the food reserve stocks were very low, representing only 14.05% of the overall holding capacity. These stocks consist of white maize (1,183.74MT) in Katima Mulilo, 2,033.55MT in Rundu and 1,417.32MT at Okongo. Omuthiya and Tsandi silos are currently empty.
“Despite the fact that many cop producers recorded bumper crop harvest last season, farmers are hesitant to sell their grains since they are still recovering from the 2019 devastating drought and are not certain as to whether the 2020/2021 cropping season will be a good season or will just be yet another drought,” the report stated.