I am No Farmer But Share My Dream

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Fifi Rhodes

EEWA! It’s been a long time. How are my fellow New Era readers out there?

I am just settling in my chair after a two-week trip to the Kunene Region where life, in my view is not a game but a continuous struggle for survival.

Some people walk on bare feet; hungry children cling to their mothers’ breasts and cattle roam the streets till late at night.

From my various chats with so many of our countrymen and women out there, it seems that everyone wants to eke out a living but fall short of capital.

The situation reminded me of the launch of the Agri Division of First National Bank and I realised that it is never too late to do anything. We must just grasp an opportunity like that with both hands.

Had the bank opened the division earlier, I believe many people would have queued up to start their own businesses, especially in agriculture.

I am a passionate farmer since the age of 12, although I don’t have a farm.

But I applaud the bank’s determination to help people go into business. I wish the institution and others would give loans and training as a matter of urgency to relieve Namibia from its agricultural sorrows.

One attendee that day told me “we are running out of time as the knowledge gap is increasing and the economic gap is widening”.

Therefore we need to translate the wonderful statements that we had in the past of a commitment to agricultural development to an action plan that will make a difference because we cannot meet the millennium development goals, which even the presidents of the world, have endorsed unless we take drastic measures. Therefore, we need to work hard, get all the parts of this puzzle together, and move forward.

Africa, especially our Motherland, is blessed with spectacular skies, but under these promising clouds the agricultural landscape is often defaced by poverty and misery. Outclassed by the rest of the world and failing to feed a few inhabitants, our country with the help of First National Bank is now paving the way for a productive agricultural sector, able to stand its ground in global markets. I hope that all other banks will emulate FNB, as this must become a national objective.

As I lay my head down one night visualising the many opportunities around, it crossed my mind that we need to deepen what is already known, because it is important to advance enough capital to our research institutions such as the Polytechnic and Unam to realise a common dream.

Almost all of us depend on agriculture. The economy runs mainly on agriculture, so if agriculture fails, the economy fails.

Tourism and agriculture have a huge potential and if we dream together and act now, I strongly believe that we as one nation will play a very important role in the world economy.

What I saw out there over my 2???_?_’???_?’???_???

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