By Pinehas Nakaziko
WINDHOEK – Households in Onyaanya constituency are livid over the process of allocating government subsidy for ploughing, a process they say tend to neglect the households that most need the subsidy. This is because the subsidy is given according to the amount of hectares ploughed in the constituency, and Onyaanya was allocated a subsidy of N$36,000 to plough 180 hectares, which constitutes only 10.41 percent of the farming household in the constituency.
The exact total figures of the farming households in Onyaanya constituency could not be ascertained, but Onyaanya residents say the limited hectares availed were apportioned even to those who could afford ploughing services, leaving out the vulnerable households that should have benefited from the subsidy.
The matter prompted one of the residents, Mathew Hango, an academic, to approach the Councillor of Onyaanya Constituency Henock Kankoshi, which led to a public exchange of words on the matter.
The exchange did not go well and Hango is now upset that the Councillor appears to be indifferent to the plight of the constituency.
“I advised the Councillor that next time subsidy forms must be given to the neediest people if they are not enough to cater for everyone. My advice did not go well with the Councillor, who presumed and alleged that I am after his job,” says Hango.
Kankoshi confirmed that a heated public exchange of words did take place yesterday and told New Era that he tried to explain to Hango about the procedures that must be followed when applying for the ploughing subsidy.
“The government subsidies forms come from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry with its budget and representatives. We are not in 100 percent control of those forms but for us only to enforce the implementation,” said Kankoshi.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry budget allocation for ploughing for 2014 to 2015, in Oshikoto Region is N$ 300 000, which translates into a subsidy of N$ 200-00 per hectare ploughed and the maximum area to be ploughed per household is three hectares.