The drought periods pose a big problem. They often last a couple of years and drive many farms into ruin. Because buying supplement feed would be too costly, entire herds must be sold at lowest prices. Once such a drought period is over, many farmers don't have enough capital left to buy new breeding stock.
Quite a few farmers have lately taken the step to raise a supplement income by opening their farms to travellers. A stay on a guest farm can be very rewarding and renders a close insight into the life of real Namibians. Many of the about 2000 guest farms truely are nature paradises, some of them with considerable game stock and hunting facilities. You will find addresses of guest farms on the infopage.
Top: Karakul sheep. Once a lucrative business, but after the boykott of karakul pelts many farmers have been forced to look for a new means of existence. Left: Ostrich breeding has become important during the last few years.
Farms in Namibia
In the arid regions of central Namibia, farming is essentially limited to extensive pastural agriculture. Sheep and goats are predominant in the dry southern parts of Namibia, cattle in the northern parts. The farmers supply meat for the domestic and the South African markets.
Due to the sparse vegetation, large areas are necessary in order to feed relatively few animals. One cow needs about ten hectares of pasture, sheep and goats need about two to three hectares each. For this reason, farms must be of a considerable size in order to work profitably. Their sizes average between five and ten tousand hectares.