Seed capital for veggie tunnels of Hope Village

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Great expectations… DBN CEO Martin Inkumbi (right) handing over the symbolic cheque to Hope Village director Marietjie de Klerk. DBN’s donation will be used for the construction of veggie tunnels, which will grow food for the orphans and other vulnerable children of the centre and the surrounding community. Photo: Contributed

Staff Reporter

Windhoek-The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) has donated N$50,000 to Hope Village in Windhoek’s Greenwell Matongo. The money will be used to erect two veggie tunnels to cultivate vegetables, as well as for irrigation for the tunnels and supplies to establish the gardens.

Speaking about the donation, DBN CEO Martin Inkumbi said not all projects are able to benefit from the commercial approach the bank takes. To support projects that do not qualify for traditional loans, the bank sets aside a portion of its profits for corporate social investment.

The Hope Village veggie tunnels are what the bank considers an excellent investment. Although DBN will not measure it in terms of financial returns, the veggie tunnels will create significant benefits for the children of Hope Village, the community of Greenwell Matongo and the future of Namibia.

By growing its own food, Hope Village will reduce its requirement for financing from external sources, and will be able to have greater security by providing sound nutrition for its family in a sustainable manner. Teaching children how to grow their own food, he added, makes them sustainable in later life. With the knowledge that food can be grown at home, the bank hopes they can become future producers for themselves, their families, friends and communities.

Hope Village says that in addition to producing food for children, surplus produce will be sold to the community of Greenwell Matongo, and the project will create employment opportunities.

Inkumbi said a large number of urban Namibians do not have access to agricultural land or the means to produce food, and many lack the skills. Their experience of agriculture is that it is an exchange of cash for bags of fruit and vegetables. If the cash or produce is not available, nutrition is restricted.

He added that DBN has implemented an environmental and social management system that promotes the well-being of people and the environment. Inkumbi said DBN expects more from the future and the donation is an expression of that hope.

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