GIEWS Country Briefs: Namibia 19-January-2012

News and Press Release
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  • Generally favourable rains at the start of the 2011/12 cropping season in late 2011

  • Last year, large decline in cereal production was observed following floods and a dry spell

  • More than 240 thousand persons are food insecure

Good rains in northern areas of the country favour the current cropping season

Land preparation and planting activities for the 2011/12 agricultural season commenced in November/December 2011 and benefited from good rains at the end of the year. However, localised heavy downpours in parts of the north, particularly in Caprivi region, which is prone to flooding, may have hampered agriculture activities in affected areas. Weather forecasts point to an increased probability of above normal to normal rains in the next months over most of the country.

The government has continued its investment in the agriculture sector for the 2011/12 agricultural season through increasing its support towards an expansion of the irrigation system to boost production and lower reliance on imports.

In 2011, large production losses were registered in northern regions

Flooding and prolonged water logging in Kunene, Caprivi, Kavango, Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshikoto and Oshana regions resulted in significant production declines in some constituencies. The flooding followed an extended period of above average rains between January and April 2011. The north central regions of Oshana and Omusati were worst affected by the flood waters, recording a 63 and 55 percent cereal production losses respectively, compared to the previous year. In addition, the torrential rains led to losses of livestock, particularly goats.

In aggregate, cereal production in 2010/11 is estimated at 117 000 tonnes, 25 percent below the previous year’s good harvest.