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Municipality of Grootfontein

Agriculture

The district of Grootfontein is known mainly as an agricultural district with emphasis on extensive cattle farming and to a smaller extend agronomy where the following crops are being cultivated; Maize, Peanuts, Sorghum, Cotton, Sunflower and various types of animal fodder. Maize is by far the major crop.

 The average yields for the different crops on dry land are:

 Maize/ha          2          –          3 tons

Peanuts/ha      1          –          1,5 tons

Cotton/ha        5          –          1,2 tons

Sunflower/ha   5          –          1,2 tons

Sorghum/ha     2          –          3 tons

Due to the general shortage of water, agronomy under irrigation is done mostly on a small scale and then also mostly regarding citrus and vegetables.

 Grootfontein is mainly a cattle area with emphasis on breeding cattle and weaners that are being sold to speculators and ox-farmers in the central parts of Namibia and feedlots in Namibia and South Africa.

Sheep and goats are being farmed on a much smaller scale and then mostly for own consumption and a small surplus to sell privately. Small stock can definitely be farmed on a larger scale in the Northern parts of Namibia. The large Southern part of Namibia is however traditionally an excellent area for small stock farming.

There are 568 commercial farms in the Grootfontein district ranging from smallholdings of 25 ha to large cattle farms of more than 7000 ha. The average extensive cattle farms normally range from 3000 to 5000 ha.

The number of cattle in the district ~ 84 000

The number of sheep in the district ~ 20 000

The number of goats in the district ~ 17 000

To increase their income, at present not too heal thy economic environment, some farmers use kilns to produce charcoal from encroachment bush that is a problem on many farms.   Another advantage to this is that the farmer recovers his natural grazing by removing the bush. Opportunities in this regard are plentiful, especially if more economically viable markets for charcoal can be found.

The farming community in the district is serviced by two government-owned experimental farms, a well-established agricultural extension office and a veterinary office.