Agribank warns of veld fire danger

Tujoromajo Kasuto

The Agricultural Bank of Namibia has cautioned farmers in the regions of possible veld fires that may break out due to some dry carry over grass materials that are still available on farms due to the prolonged dry climate.

Agribank said in its monthly market watch for October, that according to the October Namibia Rangeland monitoring report, rangelands are much greener compared to the previous year due to good rains received in the 2021/22 rainy season.

However, the Bank said some parts of the Kunene remain dry as the country receives no to little rainfall in that area.

As a result, ‘’farmers are cautioned to be vigilant of veld fires due dry carry over grass materials that are still available on farms’’.

The report further noted that cattle marketed for slaughter dipped further as Namibia’s beef

subsector marketed 15,840 cattle for slaughter in September 2022 due to a slow take-up in cattle marketing after SA lifted the ban in most parts of the country aimed at curbing the foot- and – mouth disease outbreak.

The number of cattle marketed declined drastically declined from 16 952 in August 2022, due to a ripple effect from the 21-day nationwide ban on the movement of cattle in South Africa.

According to the agriculture-focused bank, the number of total cattle marketed declined further to 15, 840. The sheep industry was also affected by the movement ban, as 70% of the sheep marketed is live export to South Africa.

Moreover, the average beef producer price remains elevated, averaging at N$59.5 per kg year to day ending September 2022, compared to N$51.2 per kg recorded during the same period in 2021.

‘’Weaner auction prices subsided drastically to N$37.4 per kg at the of September 2022, compared to a N$39.9 per kg recorded in 2021.

The decline in prices can be attributed to the increase in the number of live exports,’’ Agri Bank said.

The report further stated that the improvement in land pasture due to better rainfall recorded in 2022 coupled with the positive rainfall outlook for the next season, keeps the industry upbeat and hopeful for better grazing and production in 2023.

Agribank noted that a potential spillover of brown locust as Agri SA predicts a potentially devastating brown locust swarms in the upcoming summer season.

‘’Brown locust outbreaks have been reported in parts of the Northern Cape and the Western Cape.

These swarms have been caused by above-normal rainfall, a phenomenon which is forecast to persist into the summer season. Production efficiency, innovation, and agile strategies will be critical in the current business cycle and foreseeable future, to remain viable,’’ the report said.

By Observer