Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare Bishop Zephania Kameeta says it is high time that communal farmers attach economic value to farming.
Speaking at the official opening of the investor’s conference at Berseba on Friday, Kameeta stressed that farmers have the potential to make an income to sustain themselves and their families, if they can find creative ways to make farming more profitable.
He explained that farmers have the potential to assist the government to eradicate poverty, by coming up with innovative ways to make profits. “There is a need for us as farmers in the communal areas to find innovative ways of making our farming practises profitable,” he urged.
He further said each and every farmer should see farming as a business, which can assist in bringing an income, which is essential in eradicating poverty in the country.
He stressed the war against poverty is multi-faceted and requires various weapons to fight it, stating that government alone can’t win the fight against poverty and thus farmers should see themselves as entrepreneurs, who are not only generating wealth for themselves, but also creating job opportunities for others, which will offer a lasting solution to poverty.
“It’s time that we look at farming with entrepreneurship and business eyes and thus use farming as a weapon to defeat poverty,” he noted.
Also speaking at the official opening of the first-ever Berseba Goat Expo on Saturday, deputy director in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry Issaskar Mate highlighted the importance of agriculture, saying a large population of Namibia is directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture.
He pointed out that the //Karas and Hardap regions have about 54 percent of Namibia’s goat and sheep population and this he said is an indication of the potential the two regions have towards agriculture in the country, adding that this can complement the objectives of food production to alleviate poverty, as contained in the Harambee Prosperity Plan.
“Goat production as a source of food and income will play a significant role in contributing towards the achievement of this noble objective” he said.
Mate then called on farmers to adapt to climate change and farm with breeds that are well-adapted to the climate of the region, saying this is important, as such animals can survive and produce optimally despite extreme weather conditions, unlike exotic animals.
He also urged farmers to produce more in order to feed the country, stating that food security and self-sufficiency starts at household level. “A household must produce what it consumes, then produce for the village, then for the town, constituency, region, country and eventually for the international markets,” he said.
The expo, which ran from Friday to Sunday, saw various exhibitors showcase their goods and produce, while farmers had a chance to sell their goats.