Low rainfall in Namibia

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Tok Tokkie desert in Namibia

Namibia: Below-Average Rainfall Could Hamper Grazing

The low rainfall figures recorded in Namibia this year could lead to reduced grazing in some parts of the country.

The latest Food Security Early Warning System Network (FEWSNET) Agromet Update Bulletin – issued and prepared in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) last month – indicated that rainfall was generally low in the north-west and north-central parts of Namibia in November and December.

Heavy rainfall was, however, received in some areas in early December.

“The low rainfall has led to reduced grazing in parts of the country, with satellite images of vegetation also indicating below-average conditions in some of the northern areas.

With the national seasonal forecast predicting normal-to-below normal rainfall for the period January to March 2015 in some of these areas, close monitoring will be required,” it cautioned.

The low rainfall was associated with a delayed and erratic onset of rains. In many of the affected areas, the seasonal onset of rains was delayed by 30 to 40 days, according to the bulletin.

However, it warned that the delayed onset and subsequent late planting could shorten the time available for crops to grow and mature before the end of the season, or before the mid-season dry spells set in.

This will potentially result in reduced crop yields and delayed harvests.

Read the full article: allAfrica

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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