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Hunger season peaks in Namibia but good harvest expected

Food security is tightening for households in Namibia, as the hunger season reaches its peak. But Namibia’s social safety nets are likely providing some relief, ahead of harvest time in the next few months.

The Regional Climate Change Programme (RCCP) highlights a report by the Namibia Early Warning and Food Information Unit (NEWFIU), which says that most rural households depleted their granaries by September 2009, and are now reliant on the market for access to food.

The report is based on a survey undertaken by NEWFIU in the Caprivi, Kavango, Omusati, Ohangwena, Oshana and Oshikoto regions, where 70 percent of the population lives.

You can download the full report here:

The Namibian government has several social protection measures in place, such as an old age pension for those 60 and older, an orphan and vulnerable children grant and a special programme for the San people. It is likely that these grants play an important role in providing cash, which enables people to buy food at the market.

Food aid provided as flood or drought relief is only meant for people in critical need.

The NEWFIU report is also covered by the New Era newspaper, which reports that excellent millet harvests are likely in 2010, in the north-central regions of Namibia. The rains in Namibia’s millet belt have been good and should they continue, harvests are expected to be 70-90% better than in 2010 and 20% better than in normal years, the NEWFIU report is quoted as saying.

There’s no improvement in sight for white maize production though, because of poor rainfall in areas producing this crop.

From mid March when most seasonal produce (legumes, green maize, squashes, etc) were expected to become available until the time of the main harvest in May.


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