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Time for farmers to take advantage of rainfall

2021-01-21  Maihapa Ndjavera

Time for farmers to take advantage of rainfall

With above-average rainfall having inundated Namibia in recent days after a lengthy drought that affected the agricultural production, President Hage Geingob called on farmers to capitalise on the good rain. 

“As a semi-arid country, Namibia has been blessed with above-average annual rainfall. Farmers throughout the country, myself included, are hard at work as we make 2021 the year of resilience,” said Geingob on his Twitter account.

He continued that farmers are working hard to strengthen the agricultural sector and enhance national food security.
Meanwhile, the domestic economy continued on a downward trend, recording a contraction of 10.5% during the third quarter of 2020, compared to a decline of 2.1% recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019. 

Thus far, the economy has registered contractions of 1.4% in the first quarter, 10.1% in the second quarter, and 10.5% in the third quarter, compared to 2020.

The deeper contractions in the second and third quarters are a result of the impact of the Covid-19 restrictions.
According to Alex Shimuafeni, CEO of Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), the agriculture and forestry sector recorded a decline of 2.5% in real value-added in the third quarter of 2020 in comparison to a contraction of 5.5% in the same period in 2019.

The weak performance was attributable to the forestry subsector that registered a decline of 25% in real value added in the third quarter of 2020, compared to a growth of 0.9% recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019. This is due to reduced activities in the harvesting of timber resulting from the lockdown.

Furthermore, the central bank of Namibia, in its quarterly bulletin for December 2020 confirmed the domestic economy slowed during the third quarter of 2020, driven by weak performances in most key sectors of the economy. 

“Declines were observed in the mining, livestock marketing, wholesale and retail trade, and tourism sectors, which have been exacerbated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the mining sector, the decline was attributed to lower production of diamonds, zinc concentrate, and gold,” states the central bank report.

In the agricultural sector, livestock marketing activity declined due to restocking by farmers. Activity in the tourism sector remained depressed as reflected in very low numbers of tourist arrivals. 

Moreover, real turnover in the wholesale and retail trade sector decreased during the quarter under review due to low demand, which was also worsened by the impact of the pandemic. - mndjavera@nepc.com.na


2021-01-21  Maihapa Ndjavera

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