‘Agriculture Needs Youth and Computers’

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By Kuvee Kangueehi Okakarara The Deputy Director in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Peter Horn, has called on the youth to actively participate in agriculture as this will help in reducing unemployment in the country. Horn, who was representing the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry at the Otjozondjupa Regional Show at Okakarara last weekend, said the youth have the ability to invigorate agriculture. “It is well known that the youth is much more likely to adopt new technologies and have new ideas.” He said agriculture could utilize their creativity to keep on modernizing the sector as farming without computer technology has become old-fashioned. “We need the youth and computers.” Horn added that new ideas are needed to diversify the agricultural sector in order to create wealth. “We must not only diversify within the existing agricultural practices but also by utilizing opportunities such as tourism and game farming.” The deputy director said tourism and game farming attract overseas visitors, many of whom want to experience African culture while they are in Africa. “This opportunity is under-utilized in the communal areas who have a unique opportunity to offer what only they can provide.” He cited incidents in Tsumkwe where overseas hunters pay up to N$150 000 to shoot an elephant, as a perfect example. The deputy director further noted that it is important to work towards creating wealth from the scarce and limited agricultural resources, based on business principles. “It is the interest of the government that farmers should grow wealthy because the benefits would spread much wider than just the agricultural sector. If the farmers have money they will buy vehicles, clothes and houses, and children will go to school and university and the entire economy will be stimulated.” At the same occasion, the mayor of Okakarara, Kandukira, said a show of that nature is a very important vehicle for stimulating farming and business linkages. “This regional agricultural show is aimed at showcasing products as well as new innovations, particularly from farmers and small and medium enterprises.” Kandukira further noted that the show challenges farmers, SMEs and the unemployed to utilize the opportunity at hand and engage in meaningful farming and business ventures. The mayor also announced that the town council through the Local Authority Development Committee is planning a conference that would enlighten business people and entrepreneurs on business opportunities. The Regional Agricultural Show started on Friday and ended yesterday. Various farmers won different prizes at the event with Noagh Kandorozu’s bull being crowned the show champion.