Poor grazing conditions continue

The drought situation in the country continues with most parts that reported poor grazing conditions, due to poor rainfall performance.

Pasture establishment tend to follow the rainfall patterns and as such, only the north-east reported good grazing conditions, according to the latest Namibia Crop Prospect and Food Security Situation Report.

Issued by the Namibia Early Warning and Food Information Unit (NEWFIU) in March 2013, the country is hard hit by drought and as a result crop production showed a negative outlook, poor grazing conditions are experienced as drought conditions intensify, and the food security situation is weakening.

In the Caprivi and Kavango Regions good pasture establishment were reported which according to farmers are much better than last season. In the north central regions, poor grazing conditions were reported in most parts and fair to good in cattle post areas.

“Water for livestock is tight-fistedly available as most water reservoirs filled from last season’s rainfall did not get a refill this year and are currently dried out,” it stressed.

In the Kunene Region, particularly in Opuwo and the surrounding areas, grazing condition was very poor throughout the area. If rainfall conditions do not improve from now on, grazing will have been depleted in all areas. Grazing Condition in Outjo area is deteriorating particularly in communal areas (Kamanjab, Khorixas and Erwee) but browsing materials for goats are still available.

Poor pasture conditions were reported in Otjozondjupa region especially in Grootfontein area mainly during the month of February leading to emergency marketing of livestock. In Omaheke region, grazing condition was reported to be very poor because of low rains. Some animals died of drought in Aminus and Eiseb. An emergency situation is reported to prevailing in this area.

In the Otjinene area, one of the affected farmers reportedly lost 40 cattle. Poor grazing conditions were also reported in Khomas region and the situation is said to be serious in the south were very little amount of rainfall was received.

On the livestock conditions in the country, no major livestock disease outbreaks were reported in the north central regions at the time of the assessment. However, a localised outbreak of Anthrax was reported early January this year in the Oniipa constituency in the Oshikoto Region.

According to the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS) in the region, the situation was brought under control, following measures to restrict livestock movements and vaccinations to various livestock species.

Furthermore, the regions reported isolated cases of diseases that are associated with inadequate nutrition due to poor grazing conditions.

Moreover, cases of internal parasites were also reported in various parts of the regions, but according to the DVSV, in these areas, the magnitude of the parasites is lower than last season.

Livestock conditions range between fair to poor in areas on the periphery of township and good in the cattle post areas.

Ticks infestations among cattle are still a problem in the eastern part of Caprivi region.

According to the State Veterinarian responsible for this area, tick borne diseases have also increased gradually.

Other diseases reported included; Lumpy skin in the eastern part of the region, Dermatophilosis and Black quarter were also reported in the Katima rural constituency.

Furthermore, cases of Pasturella, Pneumonias and internal parasites in small stock were also widely reported in the region. Livestock were reported to be in good condition.

In the Kavango region, no major livestock diseases were reported at the time of the assessment and livestock are said to be in good condition.

Other parts of the country, no major livestock diseases were reported except those that are related to poor grazing conditions.

WINDHOEK: There appears to be no end in sight for the drought situation in Namibia, with most parts of the country reporting poor grazing conditions due to poor rainfall.

Pasture establishment tends to follow the rainfall patterns and as such, only the north-east reported good grazing conditions, according to the latest Namibia Crop Prospect and Food Security Situation Report.

The information in the report was obtained during a crop assessment mission conducted in the Caprivi, Kavango, Omusati, Ohangwena, Oshana and Oshikoto Regions by a crop assessment team from 05 February to 01 March 2013.

Issued by the Namibia Early Warning and Food Information Unit (NEWFIU) in March 2013, the report said the country is hard-hit by drought and as a result, crop production showed a negative outlook, poor grazing conditions are experienced as drought conditions intensify, and the food security situation is weakening.

Good pasture establishment was reported in the Caprivi and Kavango Regions, which according to farmers was much better than last season. In the north-central regions, poor grazing conditions were reported in most parts, while it was said to be fair to good in cattle-post areas.

“Water for livestock is tight-fistedly available as most water reservoirs filled from last season’s rainfall did not get a refill this year and are currently dried out,” the report stressed.

In the Kunene Region, particularly in Opuwo and the surrounding areas, grazing conditions were very poor throughout the area. If rainfall conditions do not improve from now on, grazing will have been depleted in all areas. Grazing conditions in the Outjo area are deteriorating, particularly in communal areas (Kamanjab, Khorixas and Erwee), but browsing materials for goats are still available.

Poor pasture conditions were reported in the Otjozondjupa Region, especially in the Grootfontein area mainly during the month of February, leading to emergency marketing of livestock. In the Omaheke Region, grazing conditions were reported to be very poor because of low rains. Some animals died of drought in Aminus and Eiseb. An emergency situation is reported to prevailing in this area.

In the Otjinene area, one of the affected farmers reportedly lost 40 cattle. Poor grazing conditions were also reported in Khomas and the situation is said to be serious in the South, where very little rainfall was received.

With regards to the livestock conditions in the country, no major livestock disease outbreaks were reported in the north-central regions at the time of the assessment. However, a localised outbreak of Anthrax was reported in early January this year in the Oshikoto Region’s Oniipa Constituency.

According to the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS) in the region, the situation was brought under control following measures to restrict livestock movements and vaccinations administered to various livestock species.

Furthermore, the regions reported isolated cases of diseases that are associated with inadequate nutrition due to poor grazing conditions.

Moreover, cases of internal parasites were also reported in various parts of the regions, but according to the DVS, in these areas, the magnitude of the parasites is lower than last season.

The report also noted that tick infestations amongst cattle are still a problem in the eastern part of Caprivi Region.

According to the State Veterinarian responsible for this area, tick-borne diseases have also increased gradually.

Other diseases reported included Lumpy Skin Disease in the eastern part of the region, Dermatophilosis and Black Quarter Disease were also reported in the Katima rural constituency.

Furthermore, cases of Pasturella, Pneumonias and internal parasites in small stock were also widely reported in the region. Livestock were reported to be in good condition.

In the Kavango Region, no major livestock diseases were reported at the time of the assessment and livestock are said to be in good condition.

In other parts of the country, no major livestock diseases were reported except those that are related to poor grazing conditions.