Erindirombaka-The third Omaheke Crop Farmers Day held here in Otjombinÿe constituency under the theme: A climate-smart nation for the eradication of hunger and development of agribusiness, was a success.
The day was initiated for the purpose of increasing food security for the betterment of the Omaheke people and the nation at large. The mandate of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry is to promote, develop, manage and utilise agricultural resources including water and forestry as the ministry wishes to intensify and diversify agriculture. It is evident that agriculture in Sub-Sahara Africa is faced with climate change and Namibia is no exception.
In a speech read on her behalf, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Anna Shiweda, said: “Over the past three years the country has experienced severe drought and observed a reduction in the annual rainfall, together with erratic and uneven rainfall patterns and prolonged dry spells, leading to land degradation thereby compromising human and capital resources adversely.”
Therefore, the agriculture ministry introduced interventions through agronomic programmes such as the green scheme, which is aimed at utilising water resources where available; the national fresh produce business hubs such as the Agriculture and Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA) which ensures facilitation of fresh produce in hubs; and agriculture technology centres which are meant to ensure the smooth operation of technological equipment.
Other interventions are the dry land crop production and comprehensive conservation agricultural programmes. The interventions are responses to the country’s national development plans (NDPs) and are aligned to the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) as well through their impact to improve agricultural output in communal areas by immensely contributing to food security at household level.
The event was attended by farmers from across Omaheke and Otjozondjupa regions, who showcased their produce as well as learnt from those who are a step ahead in crop production.
Bella Kazakoka is a small-scale farmer who has been in the industry for three years now and she only had positive and encouraging words. She urged the community to stand up and knock on doors for help, saying when people are determined they surely go far.
The farmers expressed gratitude to the organisers, saying the day would promote their produce and boost their cash flow.
Amidst the challenges of climate change and unfavourable conditions, farmers are zealous to emulate the example in order to contribute to the national economy. The ministry has distributed subsidized farm inputs including fertilizers and improved seeds, and provided agriculture services including ploughing and weeding, to Omaheke farmers.
• Julia Kamarenga is an information officer with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology based in Gobabis.