Nkurenkuru-Kavango West Regional Governor, Sirkka Ausiku, says the region would soon launch a programme to sensitise the community on the need to seriously take up farming and produce food. Dubbed ‘Operation Katemo’, the programme would inform the Kavango West community to make use of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry’s dry land crop production programme, which falls under the Directorate of Agriculture Extension Services. That programme assists subsistence farmers with subsidised seeds, fertilisers and tractor services.
“We are launching it soon, before the beginning of the rain season. We have started with the activity around the communities with constituency councillors together with officials from the ministry of agriculture busy identifying those who will need assistance or those that need to participate in the programme,” Ausiku briefed New Era today.
The dry land crop production programme is not new, it has been there implemented by the agriculture ministry and the money to assist farmers on a yearly basis is being transferred to the regional councils were the dry land crop programme is implemented through agriculture extension services.
“With Operation Katemo, we want to sensitise the community because the participation is less and also sometimes the implementation is done very late. We want all stakeholders to get involved and farmers to be ready as from the beginning of the rain season so they can plough their fields on time,” Ausiku noted.
Last year, Kavango East launched a food sustainability campaign named ‘Operation Werengendje’, while Omusati region also launched a similar programme called ‘Tulongeni’.
“So, we thought of joining the two regions, which have made their programmes public to rally everybody, to advocate for the full implementation of this programme so that the farmers can produce more through the programme’s assistance,” Ausiku added.
Kavango West Region also won this year’s mahangu championship competition through Andreas Kamukwanyama, who emerged for the second time as the National Grand Champion Mahangu Farmer of the Year from Kavango West Region. Kamukwanyama also won the competition in 2010. “We want to use him to mentor other farmers in the region so that they can emulate what he is doing,” the governor said.