Wildlife attacks on Namibia’s livestock industry is exposing farmers to financial ruin. Farmers in the southwest African country are concerned and are now calling on government to implement an insurance cover to safeguard them against wildlife invasions.
According to Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) member Geoffrey Mwilima, the recent increases in human-wildlife conflict is a key reason behind a proposal he tabled to the National Assembly. The political party proposed that farmers should be fully compensated for any wildlife attacks on their agricultural businesses.
Mwilima said that the current scheme, which entails farmers relying on themselves, has not been effective.
“There must be an introduction of an insurance cover policy scheme in place for human-wildlife conflict,” he added.
“This insurance cover policy is an innovative compensation approach, where farmers pay a premium for cover against a defined risk such as livestock deprivation and damage to farm property.”
According to Mwilima, the current compensation schedule of payment needed to be readjusted for equivalent purposes. This is because it had not been effective.
“For instance, it is not possible for the scheme to offset only a mere N$1 000 for crop damages per hectare of maize, whereas a farmer can harvest and get capital output ranging between N$20 000 to N$30 000 from the very same hectare,” Mwilima pointed out.
He also said that this impact farmers dealing with livestock losses, as N$3 000 is typically what is paid to a farmer when wildlife attacks happen. This figure, however, does not even cover the cost of a calf on communal Namibian farms.
“It is also observed that this unfair compensation has created tensions in our communities,” he added.
Read the full story on FoodForAfrika.com
Sign up for Mzansi Today: Your daily take on the news and happenings from the agriculture value chain.