Government commits to crop subsidies

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Nuusita Ashipala

Ongwediva-The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) has assured farmers that it will continue to provide farmers with seeds and tractors at a subsidised rate.

The permanent secretary in the ministry, Percy Misika, says the subsidy is part of the ministerial mandate to contribute to increased food production and household food security.

“The ministry will continue with this initiative as it falls under the ministerial priority list,” Misika added to underscore the ministry’s commitment.

He said this in response to Farmers Forum questions about whether the ministry would continue with the subsidy given a cut in its budget.

During the current financial year a total of 40,000 households have benefited from at least one of the subsidised services such as tillage, ripping, planting, fertilisers application, weeding and subsidised inputs such as fertilisers and improved seeds.

A total of 132 tonnes of pearl millet and 32 tonnes of maize seed were sold under the subsidy programme to 26251 households while 160 tonnes of fertilisers were sold to 5058 households.

Misika says during the last financial year the ministry committed N$35 million towards the subsidy programme and is expected to spend another N$35 million during the current cropping season.

The programme was introduced to empower farmers in the crop growing regions such as Kavango East and West, Zambezi, Kunene, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Otjozondjupa and Omaheke to increase food production and enhance household food security.

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