NAMIBIA (10 February)
According to the Namibia Early Warning and Food Information Unit (NEWFIU) the 2004/05 agricultural season was delayed and generally dry weather conditions have hampered prospects for good harvest. It was also reported that nearly all farmers in the eastern Caprivi were beneficiaries of emergency seed distribution programme at the start of the season. Farmers also benefited from the governmentís extended draft animal power acceleration programme and Productivity Upliftment Micro Project which supplies ploughing implements and accessories. In 2004 despite heavy rains and flooding in Caprivi and Kavago, north-eastern provinces, total cereal production was estimated by NEWFIU at 131†000 tonnes, 28 percent higher than the previous yearís above average output. At the usual level of consumption, this resulted in about 150†000 tonnes of cereal import requirement, largely to be met by commercial suppliers.
According to the UNís Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN), the valuation of commercial farmland is nearing completion which will be used to create a land tax fund to finance, in part, the state's acquisition of agricultural land for the purpose of resettling thousands of landless Namibians.