Govt to offer more support to communal farmers

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John Muyamba

Rundu-President Hage Geingob says government plans to provide ploughing and crop planting services to assist people in the rural areas, where many depend on subsistence farming for food, so as to increase their crop yields and help eradicate hunger.

“NEEEF [the New Equitable Empowerment Framework] is also a programme that we intend to implement. It will have to come with conditions in regard to terms of government tenders,”

Geingob said when addressing the main Independence Day celebration at Rundu on Tuesday.

According to the president, some people are opposed to NEEEF but do not provide alternative proposals.

He said it is time that all Namibians adopt the culture of sharing and assisting each other to attain human dignity and economic inclusivity for all.

“In this regard, I would like to quote Joseph Stiglitz, who said: ‘The only true and sustainable prosperity is shared prosperity’. So, as we celebrate the gift of independence, let us also learn to share the gift of prosperity amongst one another as Namibians united behind the common cause of bringing about a prosperous future for all.”

Geingob further told those who travelled to Rundu from various parts of the country to celebrate independence, that as a sign of its commitment to the improvement of the quality of life and living standards of all Namibians, government continues to invest a significant share of the country’s budget in the social sectors.

He said: “47.7% of our budget is allocated to our social sectors at a value of N$27.44 billion, or N$83.71 billion over the MTEF.”

He also noted that the government faces a major challenge to curb urbanisation, which is leading to the rise of urban hunger and poverty, as people leave the rural areas hoping to obtain a better standard of living in urban areas, but often end up struggling to survive in the city.

“We now have a free society and people are able to move and live wherever they chose, sometimes at their own detriment, such as in the case of people settling in floodplains and placing themselves at risk of drowning. Similarly, they go to the cities and towns to set up shacks, whether that area is proclaimed or not, or whether that area is serviced or not,” he noted.

“We know people are coming for the allure of the bright lights of the city. We have witnessed the expansion of Windhoek and many other towns around the country.

“The challenge now is to take these bright lights to the regions in order to curb rapid urbanisation, which leads to the increase of urban hunger and poverty,” he said.

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