Windhoek-Restoring the once formidable association to its former glory, and subsequently the Epukiro communal area’s position as a leader in high quality breeds, is what the new sheriff in the association envisions.
“I want to restore EEFA (Eastern Epukiro Farmers Association) as the mother of the Epukiro communal area,” says Katjinduu Tjahuha.
Among his foremost and immediate goals is to improve the revenue stream of the association. “Only once the association is strong can it be able to help farmers,” reflects he.
His second goal is improving the marketing of animals in the area, doing especially away with the permit system, which he says has long been tolerated in the area without any notable benefits to farmers. For two years running now, the area has been experimenting with auctions as a means of marketing animals, and this albeit proving profitable to the communal producers.
The area faces many development challenges but of immediate concern to the new sheriff is what has been happening on the farming front. Among these challenges has been the inability of the association to help farmers vaccinate their animals during the outbreaks of diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).
In terms of the corporate social responsibility of the association, he observes that many schools in the area are dilapidated beyond hygienic habitation by the learners. But the government has been unable to help due to the economic recession the country faces lately. Neither has EEFA been able to chip in because of its own financially precarious situation in recent years.
Tjahuha also emphasises the need for the association to help farmers in enhancing the quality of their livestock, as well as adding value to such, noting that only this can guarantee a prosperous and progressive communal farming economy in the area, and in turn, ensure a better living standard for the inhabitants of the communal area.
But Tjahuha is well aware of the intra-community schisms and internecine squabbles and rivalries within the constituency with spillovers into farming, which have affected performance on this front. Thus, this is much his mission to bring the community, which is torn asunder by the various schisms, together and to rally it behind farming efforts. He sees this as the only way forward for the once budding farming community.
He is hopeful and confident that the traditional leaders, at the centre of the schisms in the area, are approachable in this regard. Given EEFA’s current asset base, including an office complex, as well as a plot at Plessisplaas, the sky is the limit.
The association also has a project of mentoring its members in producing quality breeds, which currently has 20 cattle, including a bull. Tjahuha intends giving this project a better push.
For the new sheriff of EEFA most of his plans are achievable provided the farming community, and especially EEFA’s members, rally behind him and are active in the activities of the association. Rather than retreating to their homesteads’ laagers while expecting him alone to steer the ship as has been the case in the past.
Tjahuha thus pleads with EEFA’s members, the Epukiro farming community, as well that of Eiseb where the association also has a branch, to feed it with ideas all the way.