Friday, July 24, 2009

Floods jeopardize food security in Namibia

Ndapwa Alweendo in, via the Namibian: Food insecurity in Namibia's flood-damaged northern and northeastern regions has reached alarming new heights, according to a report compiled by the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.

Flooding in the area, already made vulnerable by drought in 2007 and flooding in 2008, hit subsistence farmers the hardest: this year's crops could not be harvested and stored maize and sorghum were spoiled by the persistent damp, or washed away entirely. Food inflation, or the progressive increase in food prices, is another contributing factor to food insecurity.

While food inflation has been gradually decreasing since the beginning of the year, it remains in the double digits at 11 percent, according to the Namibian Consumer Price Index released last week by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

The combination of food inflation and the floods have contributed to high levels of what the WFP/FAO report refers to as "chronic food insecurity", defined as "a long-term and persistent inability to meet minimum food requirements."…

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