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Severe food shortage beckons as rainfall fails to deliver

Severe food shortage beckons as rainfall fails to deliver

The country is facing a critical food deficit, particularly in staple cereal crops like maize and pearl millet, as confirmed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform on Monday.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Anna Shiweda, expressed concern over the impending crisis, highlighting the necessity for significant food imports to meet domestic demand, during the delivery of the ministry’s budget motivational speech.

“Based on the Food Balance Sheet, we anticipate a substantial food deficit, particularly in staple cereal crops such as maize and pearl millet, necessitating imports from outside the country,” stated Shiweda.

Traditionally reliant on cereal imports from neighboring Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, Namibia now faces challenges due to below-normal rainfall affecting cereal production in key SADC nations like South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. Shiweda acknowledged the need to explore alternative sources beyond the region to address the looming shortage.

“We may have to procure cereals from non-SADC countries, leading to higher domestic food prices for local consumers,” she warned.

Shiweda underscored the urgency of the situation, urging a comprehensive review of the country’s food production systems to adapt to changing climate conditions.

“This crisis underscores the need for Namibia to revamp its food production strategies, adopting innovative climate-smart approaches to enhance the resilience of the agriculture sector against the adverse impacts of climate change and variability,” she said.


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