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North-East District harvest under threat

Chairperson of the North-East District Council Florence Mpetsane has said the prolonged dry spell continues to pose a serious challenge towards yields production.

Mpetsane noted that issues of changes in rainfall patterns and high temperatures have mainly contributed to a drop in the number of farmers engaged in ploughing this season.

According to Mpetsane the District has a baseline of more than 17 000 hectares of a cultivatable land and so far a total of about 1 277.8 hectares have only been measured for 439 farmers as compared to the 9 417.11 hectares that were planted in 2014/15 ploughing season by 2 936 farmers.

She said statistics show a decrease of approximately 8139.31 hectares and a decrease of 2 497 farmers who did not engage in ploughing for the current season.

She also said out of the total measured hectares this year, about 211.94 hectares have been row planted by 76 farmers as compared to the 8 214.35 hectares row planted by 925 farmers in the 2014/15 ploughing season.

The situation of the prolonged dry spell, she said is alarming to an extent that most crops failed and farmers had to re-plant.

She said currently the crop stage ranges from emergence to vegetative as compared to the 2014/2015 season when crops around this time were ranging from vegetative to flowering.

The chairperson further said the situation could lead to a total crop failure which its end result will be low yields production in the district.

She also said the situation calls for robust interventions, so as to cushion the rural populace from the looming drought as most of them depend on farming.

Meanwhile Councillor Mbaakanyi Smarts of Mosojane village said there is a likelihood of drought since yields production will significantly decline.

As such he said there is need to come up with intervention plans that can help address the challenge faced by farmers.

Generally rainfall has been decreasing annually and there have been calls for government to intensify efforts in assisting dry land farmers to adapt to the increasing climate variability and yields instability.

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Hunt for new Ombudsman ongoing

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The Minister of Justice, Machana Shamukuni says the search to appoint the Ombudsman and other critical heads of department is currently ongoing and the process is expected to be completed before end of the year.

The Ombudsman position fell vacant almost five months ago after Augustine Makgonatsotlhe was removed from the office and appointed as Ambassador to Kuwait.

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Two Batswana detained in Zim for illegal trade in mercury

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This publication understands that the suspects who are aged between 39 and 56 years hail from Tutume and Selebi-Phikwe. At the time of the arrest, they were found in possession of a pistol, bomb motor and four live rounds. It is understood that the suspects told investigators during interrogation that the deadly substance has a lucrative market in Far East countries, where the demand is high. It is further reported that the suspects claimed that the mercury can be easily accessed in mines through middleman.

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No end in sight for Botswana/ Namibia looming border row

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The Namibian Lives Matter Movement has weighed in on the looming border dispute between their country and Botswana.

Commenting on reports that the Namibian Parliament has dispatched a committee along the border between the two countries on fact finding mission, the group commended“the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, De-fence and Security that will engage community members living along the Namibia Botswana Border in conducting public hearings into acts of aggression and brutality by Botswana Defence (BDF) Force against innocent and unarmed Namibians.” 

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