Windhoek-Operation Werengendje, which is the programme to strengthen food security in the Kavango East Region, has thus far assisted more than 300 farmers.
It also resulted in more than 2 000 hectares of land being ploughed. This is after the Office of the Kavango East Governor, Dr Samuel Mbambo, injected N$800 000 into the programme and the Office of the Prime Minister donated four tonnes of seeds to the project, which was launched in September 2016. The motto of Operation Werengendje, which was initiated by Mbambo’s office last year, is ‘A Hunger-Free Namibia is our Vision. Feeding Namibia is our Mission.’
Literally translated Operation Werengendje means Operation Ants or Termites. During an interview with New Era on the sidelines of the Nampo Agricultural Show in Free State, South Africa last week, Mbambo explained that ants or termites are hard-working insects that gather their food in summer.
“The wise King Solomon once said ‘Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest’ – (Prov. 6:6).”
Mbambo explained the first step in the process of wealth creation is food production.
According to Bonny Kahare, control administrative officer in the Office of the Kavango East Governor, the yield from Operation Werengendje will be determined after current harvesting is completed.
Later this year we will review if the money and effort invested will yield more than the initial capital injection,” Kahare said.
The aims and objectives of Operation Werengendje include producing enough food for the country, reducing hunger, contributing to poverty eradication, increasing overall food security and supporting the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP). Operation Werengendje also supports the government’s idea of a National Strategic Food Reserve and ensures the sustainable production of the supply of staple food such as mahangu.
As such, Operation Werengendje targets mainly, but is not limited to, mahangu farmers.
“As a strategy to the food security of our nation, mahangu farmers are encouraged to participate in this operation. This will ensure the sustainable production and supply of mahangu, which is consumed by more than 60 percent of our population. The success of Operation Werengendje will immediately increase the yield and the quality of life of the people in the region in particular and the country in general,” said Mbambo.
The key stakeholders in Operation Weregendje include the agriculture ministry (through green schemes, AMTA and Agribusdev), the Office of the Kavango East Governor, the Kavango East Regional Council, traditional authorities, churches and their communities, crop producing farmers, private tractor owners in the Kavango East and beyond, as well as the business community in and outside Kavango East.
“Operation Werengendje is part of the implementation strategy of the Harambee Prosperity Plan. It is open to everyone who believes that food sufficiency and food security are the foundation of self-reliance and economic emancipation. Everyone is invited to join the noble cause of fighting hunger and poverty to make HPP a reality,” Mbambo concluded.