WINDHOEK – “We are here to take stock of our activities as stakeholders, and share experiences in the farming industry as partner agencies, organisations and farmers’ unions. We can only do this better if we engage in effective communication, identify what to communicate, when, where and to whom we wish to send our message to,” said the president of the Namibia Emerging Commercial Farmers Union (NECFU) Dr Ndahafa Nghifindaka-Tjiuonguah at the opening of the union’s first congress.
The congress titled “Sustainable Agriculture – Our Future,” discussed different matters in the agricultural sector, including the severe drought that Namibia is experiencing and to find possible alternatives to address them. The congress took place on October 09 – 11 in Windhoek. In attendance were representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water & Forestry, Ministry of Lands and Resettlement, GIZ, Agra, Agribank of Namibia and Meatco.
“The formation of NECFU in an independent Namibia was an important contribution to institutionalise the nation’s commitment towards improvement of living standards of formerly disadvantaged Namibians. None of these achievements would have been possible had our government and other stakeholders not held to our side,” said Nghifindaka-Tjiuonguah.
She noted that all efforts must be made to ensure that sustainable agriculture is realised, the transmittance of which would need effective communication. “A brilliant strategy doesn’t work unless everyone understands and believes in it. And that takes effective communication,” she remarked.
Apart from effective communication, the congress identified lack of working capital, poor veld conditions and highly variable climatic conditions, insufficient information on farming practices, lack of skilled farm workers and a high rate of stock theft, as among the common challenges facing emerging farmers. “To address these issues, it’s important that our stakeholders are here with us today to advise and give relevant recommendations,” she said.
By Staff Reporter