Kavango West farmers face common challenges

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Memory Mutenda

Nkurenkuru-The Kavango West Regional Farmers Union (KWRFU) through the office of the regional governor held its first ordinary congress in the region under the theme, ‘Organised agriculture to combat common challenges’, where they also addressed common difficulties they face on a daily basis.

“To address poverty in the region we looked at the issue of farmers not being engaged, if we engage and bring farmers together we can eradicate poverty in the region,” said Governor of Kavango West Region Sirkka Ausiku.

Speaking at the same event, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa said farming is an individual activity and government is there to support and assist farmers with programmes rendered through regional offices countrywide.

Kavango West Region, which is 99 percent rural, is a home to many people who are dependent on farming for survival.

The Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU) is working with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) to engage farmers in the country to play a fruitful and productive role as producers. NNFU is also working to improve access to inputs and market outlets through regional planning and producing ‘agripreneurs’ doing business through agricultural production.

The congress was attended by various leading institutions, such as Agribank, AMTA and the Meat Board of Namibia, who all came to share information on services rendered to farmers to enhance production on their farms.

KWRFU also elected a new executive team during the congress. Electing leaders is very important in every organisation, Mutorwa said. “Don’t approach the issue with emotions, take it seriously and don’t elect lazy people,” he advised the farmers.

Responding to concerns raised by farmers on banks’ requirements when applying for a loan, Mutorwa appealed to banks and financial Institutions to think out of the box and to assist farmers by assessing individual cases on merit.

* Memory Mutenda is an information officer working in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology based in Kavango West.

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