Namibia is poised as a food sufficient country, according to the Namibia Early Warning and Food Information Unit of the agriculture ministry, Namibia will not experience food shortages this year after good harvests were recorded across the country.
Based on the report dated 10/07/2018 shows that Namibia recorded good harvests throughout the country despite poor rainfall received during most of the last rainy season.
According to the report, significant improvements were recorded in the agricultural sector due to good rainfall in the last two months of the season, which also improved water availability and pasture condition to some extent. Household food security, according to the report, remained satisfactory in most regions of the country following good harvests over the last two seasons.
However, pockets of food insecurity were still being reported, especially in areas that suffered very poor rainfall, excessive rainfall and damage due to fall army worm outbreak last season.
According to the report, the revised crop harvest was significantly higher than last season’s harvest and above average.
The aggregate cereal estimates showed that the country is expecting an increase of at least 11% on last season’s harvest and about 26% above the average production.
The report further stated that all major crop producing regions also showed above average production, except the Zambezi region, which showed a slight reduction of about 1% below the average production.
Most parts of the northern communal areas crop producing regions received good rainfall during March and April, resulting in a very good harvest this year.
According to the report, maize production in communal areas of the Zambezi, Kavango East and West regions, recorded an increase of 10% over last season and about 4% above the average production.
Maize in Zambezi increased by 19% over last season’s harvest. “In contrast, maize production in the Kavango regions showed an improvement of 20% above last season’s harvest, but still remained 72% below the average production,” the report stated.
In commercial areas on the other hand, maize production recorded a significant reduction of about 19% over last season’s harvest, but was still 41% above the average production.
Reduction in maize production in commercial areas was caused by poor rainfall and the fall army worm that affected both green schemes and dry-land commercial producing areas.
In terms of food security in the country, the report says the available cereal for the current consumption period was estimated at 200 500 metric tonnes.
This consists of 15 400 tonnes of wheat, 96 800 tonnes of white maize and 88 300 tonnes of pearl millet and sorghum.
“The current cereal domestic availability is only about 57% of the domestic cereal requirements, hence 150 800 tonnes of cereals are required to cover the shortfall.
The estimated deficit for wheat and maize under normal circumstances is expected to be covered through imports,” the report stated.