By Cathy Godfrey
KATIMA MULILO, 27 May 2022 – Munuko Elvin, a farmer in the Machita area in Katima Mulilo Rural constituency, is bemoaning how buffaloes suspected to come from Botswana have grazed about 18 hectares of his 30-hectare maize field.
According to the farmer, buffaloes have been a threat to crops since he has been farming but were not an issue last year. This year the animals started arriving in January and he reported the matter to the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) on two occasions. They, however, said they could not come to inspect his fields due to lack of transport.
Eventually, they came last month in April and he showed them the area and how his crops had been destroyed. He is furious with the ministry for not considering how much he has spent on the field and only compensating him with N$4000, which is nothing close to the amount spent.
“I used about five bags of seed for each hectare that cost N$475 per bag, the tractors we used to cost N$ 750 now they are N$ 900 per hectare due to the fuel cost, running costs and labour for the workers who work here is money from a N$ 40 000 loan I got from Letsego,” said Mukuno
These are costs he feels the ministry should consider when they compensate farmers. He obtained the loan to enable him to look after his family through the field and expected a good harvest to help with his children’s school fees. Two are at university, two at high school and he has other dependents. The product also helps cater to their own mealie meal needs as store-bought products are now expensive.
He appealed to the ministry and government to find ways to help them. If they cannot do it in monetary ways, they could consider assisting them with fencing the area by helping with poles because by himself he cannot manage, he suggested. – Namibia Daily News