Minister of Agriculture Christian Degraaf says that deaths of some cattle around Semolo in Ngamiland in 2012 cannot be wholly blamed on cattle having drunken water from evaporation dams in the area.
Degraff said this when answering a question from Member of Parliament for Ngamiland, Thato Kwerepe who had asked if the Minister was aware that some farmers had lost their cattle as a result of drinking water from the ponds.
Degraaf said soon after receiving the reports, he sent an investigation led by Deputy director in Verterinary Services to investigate the issue adding that their investigations did not reveal any cattle deaths in the area in 2014.
The deaths in 2012 on the other hand, he said, coincided with the peak of the drought period. His Ministry’s response to the problem of drought had been to assist farmers by subsidising cattle feeds in Ngamiland and zone 7 by 35 percent, and 25 percent in other areas which was subsequently increased to 50 percent country wide to save the national herd.
At the peak of the drought which had seen hundreds of cattle dying because of the drought, some farmers in Ngamiland had planned to come and see the president on the issue and ask if they could be exempted from paying their loans with National Development Bank. Their argument was that the cattle had died from drought and the absence of a lucrative market as a result of foot and mouth disease. The trip never materialised.