Query: The trainees at Mashare Agricultural Training Centre have been without food for a few months and said they have tried to enquire from the head office by talking to Ms Andowa, but to no avail.
Response: Ms Andowa was abroad on an official duty for three weeks and only returned to the office on April 24, 2017. However, there are other officials at the head office whom the trainees could have contacted. They could also contact Mr Manenge, who is the head of Mashare Training Centre with their grievances, or they can contact the permanent secretary’s office.
Query: Is it true that the trainees at Mashare Agricultural Training Centre are forced to work without safety clothes, as only some of them received the protective clothing?
Response: Protective clothes were given to all students, but due to the standard sizes that were provided, some students could not fit into the clothes.
Query: Can the ministry clarify as to when last it allocated money for food for the trainees at Mashare Agricultural Training Centre and how much was spent on food?
Response: At present, the ministry is operating on a continuous budget that is not adequate to ensure that the basic service continues. The ministry has spent N$72,102 in the last financial year on food provision for the students.
Query: Is it safe to say that the ministry has stopped providing funding for food at the training centre?
Response: The ministry cannot stop providing food, as the trainees are our responsibility, therefore the ministry has not stopped buying food. It is actually an issue of late fund delivering of budget constraints. The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry has made alternative arrangements and approached AgriBusDev to assist with supplying food to Mashare Agricultural Training Centre and they promised to contact the green schemes within their region and provide what is available.
Query: Ministry of Agriculture, please clarify, how many other agricultural training centres are going through the same situation, because it is likely that if it is happening at Mashare, it is probably happening at other agricultural training centres around the country?
Response: The ministry is not aware of any other similar situation happening at any other agricultural training centre.
Margaret Kalo, senior public relations officer, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, E-mail: Margaret.Kalo@mawf.gov.na