Saturday, December 3, 2022

Masisi declares drought

President Mokgweetsi Masisi has declared 2021/22 a moderate drought year throughout the country. According to a press statement issued by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the declaration follows consideration of the Drought and Household Food Security Assessment and Analysis Report.

It says although the distribution of rainfall over the 2021/2022 season was good both in space and time over most areas, the dry spells that prevailed during the months of January and February 2022, resulted in lower hectarage planted.

The statement says the January/February 2022 dry spells contributed significantly to the deterioration of pastures as most have shown signs of stress.

“Water for livestock is, however, adequate and will sustain livestock until the next rainy season. The available forage will not sustain livestock until the next rainy season, therefore moderate drought is anticipated for livestock,” the statement says. It adds that although the season is being classified a non-meteorological drought, the prevailing climatic conditions experienced affected production in the agricultural sector.

Furthermore, indications are that, livelihoods of a significant number of rural households remain vulnerable and thus the need for Government’s intervention.

In view of these conditions, the following relief measures, actions and assistance be implemented with immediate effect until 30th June 2023, save for the feed subsidies which will end on 31st January 2023.

Government is expected to pay 30% of the seasonal loans to farmers in all Districts, who obtained loans from Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) and National Development Bank (NDB) through the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (ACGS), to supplement crop failure as was determined at the time of the assessment.

Government is also expected to provide a 15% Livestock Feed Subsidy for roughage, mineral supplements and botulism vaccine to farmers in all Districts, effective 1st August 2022 until 31st January 2023.

Government will also continue with a consistent supply of ready-to-use therapeutic foods for children with acute malnutrition. The Supplementary Feeding Programme be continued for implementation of the following:

-Continue with provision of two (2) meals at primary schools, that is, breakfast and mid-day meal.

-Continue with provision of three (3) meals for recognised settlements at Remote Area settlements. -Continue with blanket supplementary feeding for children aged 6-59 months, as well as single ration for normal growth and moderate underweight children and double ration for severely underweight children; and Continue with the provision of a special food basket for underweight children (6-59 months) in hot spot Districts/ Sub Districts/areas of Mabutsane, Ghanzi, Kgalagadi, Kweneng East, Tonota and Boteti.

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