WINDHOEK – Agra ProVision trained 128 Namibian resettlement farmers from January to March 2015.
The farmers were trained under the “Pre and Post – Settlement training,” to empower resettlement farm beneficiaries with techniques to manage their farms more efficiently and successfully. The overall objective is to improve on productivity on these farms. This training was made possible through funds acquired from the Land Acquisition and Development Fund and transferred to the Agricultural Bank of Namibia (Agribank), for use under the Farmers’ Support Project (FSP) to train resettlement beneficiaries resettled between 2011 and 2014.
The training was hosted in eight regions, covering Khomas, Hardap, !Karas, Erongo, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa, Omaheke and Kunene. Farmers were introduced to different topics to widen their knowledge and understanding on sustainable farming practises; and in particular rangeland management, farm infrastructure, animal health to horticulture and. In addition, know-how transfer on Swakara pelt production was accomplished in the southern regions. “Course participants were most impressed by the rangeland topic, as most participants didn’t realise the relevance and that well-managed rangeland, sustains livestock production,” said Michael Degé, Agra ProVision’s Technical Advisor for Capacity Building and Entrepreneurial Development. He concluded by saying, “the course reconfirmed the importance of proper care for the rangeland, because without that there would eventually be no livestock on the farm.”
Among the highlights of the training courses were excursions to successful farmers in the regions. This enabled course participants to gain good practical training on the topics and an opportunity to work with live animals and identify grass species on rangelands was provided. Thirty percent of the training was dedicated to theory and 70% to the practical training, thus making the internalisation of new learning content easier and making the learning outcomes tangible and relevant.
As part of the training, course participants were introduced to representatives of the regional offices of the Ministry of Land Reform, Agribank, Meatco, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry extension offices, state veterinarians, livestock auctions, commercial farmers and many other stakeholders. This was aimed at improving communication between officials, service providers and the resettlement farmers and to enable relevant support to the farmers.
The training participants commended the courses. One of the training participants, Naomi Kaapama said the training was very useful and taught her various aspects of farming. “The farm management topic was a real eye-opener for me, as I was able to create my farm’s vision, mission and objective. It also demonstrated the importance of keeping good records, good administration management and planning ahead. I strongly recommend this training to all upcoming new farmers,” she confidently stated. Kaapama was joined by her son on the training, to ensure that he is well prepared and positioned to take over when the time comes.
The Farmer’s Support Project is a project of the government of the Republic of Namibia, technically and financially supported by the Federal Republic of Germany through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, and implemented and co-funded by the Agricultural Bank of Namibia (Agribank). Agribank awarded Agra ProVision the contract to organize and develop content and conduct Pre and Post-Settlement training for resettlement farm beneficiaries who were resettled between 2011 – 2014.