By Deon Schlechter
WINDHOEK – Panic-stricken farmers in both the commercial and communal water-fed crop farming areas across Namibia yesterday painted a bleak outlook for this year’s annual maize and mahangu production, as the rains stay away and planted material is scorched by the blazing sun.
Speaking to New Era while standing in his wilting maize field, chairperson of the Namibian Agronomic Producers Association, Gernot Eggert, described the unfolding situation in the so-called Maize Triangle area of Tsumeb, Grootfontein and Otavi, as critical. “Not all is lost, but some crop producers are now faced with a terrible situation, as their maize fields wilt away in front of their eyes and predictions of good rains towards the end of January hold little promise for them,” he says.
A similar scenario is unfolding in many parts of the communal crop farming areas in the north-central regions of the country where farmers, whose livelihoods depend on their annual maize and mahangu yields, are witnessing the devastation of their planted field every day as temperatures soar into the mid-30’s and the long-awaited rains stay away.