N$825 million set aside for drought relief

Niël Terblanché
In an effort to combat the severe drought conditions plaguing residents of various regions, the Cabinet has sanctioned N$825 million for the Drought Relief Support Programme.

The announcement was made by Emma Theofelus, the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, in a recent document outlining Cabinet decisions.

The Drought Relief Support Programme is designed to mitigate the adverse effects on communities and farmers directly impacted by the drought.

A sum of N$600 million has been designated specifically for food assistance, for affected communities.

Distribution will start from 1 July through to 30 June 2025.

The remaining funds are earmarked for: N$25 million for seed availability and horticultural activities, N$100 million for the continuation of the Livestock Support Programme, and another N$100 million will go towards enhancing water supply through the installation of boreholes.

Significant adjustments have also been made within the livestock sector.

“Cabinet approved the increase of livestock marketing incentives, raising the subsidy for large stock units from N$500 per head to N$750 per head, up to 75 heads, and for small stock units from N$100 per head to N$150 per head, up to 375 heads,” explained Theofelus.

Funding for these initiatives will be drawn from the National Emergency Disaster Fund (NEDF).

The Livestock Support Programme will include various incentives such as subsidies for grazing leases, transportation, and the purchase of animal feed.

Theofelus said an additional special initiative will start in July, where fodder will be procured and sold at subsidised rates through Agricultural Development Centres until December 2024.

According to the minister, the Cabinet has directed the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform to assess and refine payment modalities to streamline the implementation of these subsidies and address payment challenges.

“Moreover, an awareness campaign will be launched to encourage farmers to take measures to decrease the numbers of their livestock while conditions and prices are still favourable,” she said.

She said the comprehensive response by the government is aimed at safeguarding both the agricultural sector and the wider communities against the devastating impacts of the current drought.

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