Oshikuku-Deputy Minister of Economic Planning, Lucia Iipumbu, is urging the nation to develop a culture of preserving and stocking up for future consumption, because weather patterns are not always in one’s favour.
The deputy minister was speaking during the official opening of Parest Farming cc recently, an agricultural retail shop in Oshikuku in the Omusati Region. “Weather patterns are not always in our favour and as such, we need to be alert and prepared at all times,” said Iipumbu.
She said about 70% of the Namibian population depends on agriculture for a livelihood but with notable challenges that are carried from NDP4 to NDP5 there would be unfavourable climatic conditions that bring about drought, floods and animal diseases that are complex to address.
“This is why today as government we commend efforts such as this one of Parest Farming cc for their contribution in complementing the government in reaching its NDP goals of employment creation and economic growth, while tackling food security.”
She added that Namibians should strive towards food security and poverty alleviation as these are not only the responsibilities of the government alone, “it is a fight all Namibians need to take ownership of”.
She further advised people to treat animals like human beings because they too need nutrients and minerals for their bodies to function well, or to produce quality products both for human consumption and other purposes.
Therefore, the Parest shop comes in handy in supplying supplementary feed as well as in providing relief feed during droughts, she commended.
She said that this year an Agribusdev agronomist said the Etunda and Musese irrigation schemes could lose a combined 5 000 metric tons of maize valued at about N$23 million this season because of the bollworm outbreak. Other challenges facing farmers are foot-and-mouth disease among cattle and the outbreak of Newcastle disease in the Omusati Region last year that killed over 4 000 chickens.
“As a government, these are the types of challenges that we seek to address in the NDPs and we need to develop strategies on how best we can mitigate and ensure that the industries grow,” she said.
Speaking at the same occasion, Tarah Shaanika, the chief executive officer of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), said it is important for farmers to concentrate on producing quality products because they now have a quality animal feed shop which is a specialist in animals feeds.
The event was also attended by the mayor of Oshikuku, Mbockoma Mungadjera, and the Osikuku regional councillor, Modestus Amutse