Namibian farmers have been faced with major challenges such as livestock theft, predation, animal diseases, human-wildlife conflict and poaching for generations, and although it is not a new problem, a recent economic impact study by the Agricultural Trade and Policy Institute (ATPI) suggests that farmers have endured losses of up to N$217,5 million between 2015 and 2020 – this includes the cost of control measures. A total of 370 farmers across the ||Karas, Erongo, Kunene, Omaheke, Khomas, Hardap, Oshikoto and Otjozondjupa Regions participated in the study.

Salomo Mbai, ATPI director, highlighted that across these eight regions, farmers lost N$33,9 million to livestock theft (cattle, goats and sheep). Participants at the Agricultural Outlook Conference were especially stunned when Salomo pointed out that farmers lost livestock to the value of N$61,2 million to predators. Statistics also showed that human-wildlife conflict cost farmers upwards of N$23 million in damages and a further N$15 million in deterrent measures.

According to Salomo, the number of livestock lost due to theft and predation in 2021 was 5 300 and 10 103 respectively. This amounts to N$14,7 million and N$22,5 million in terms of monetary losses. The cost of farm equipment and infrastructure stolen for the same period totalled N$9,4 million. It cost farmers N$18,7 million in combined control measures.

[Source – Agriforum Namibia]

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