Ongwediva-Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) regional coordinator for the Ohangwena region, Hidipo Hamata, is calling upon communal farmers to spend less time in cuca-shops and invest more in crop fields.
Hamata’s call comes ahead of the ploughing season, which is expected to kick-off with the fall of sufficient rains.
Although decrease in rainfall has been recorded over the last few years leading to poor harvests, Hamata reckons idleness has also contributed immensely to the poor harvests. He says there is need for a radical mind shift for society to inculcate a culture of producing enough produce for dry spells rather than awaiting government handouts.
“As a movement that believes in agriculture, we are calling upon our people to work hard so that they can have sufficient food for themselves and be less dependent on government food relief handouts,” says Hamata.
He maintains that food security is very important in the fight against poverty and hunger. Apart from saving for the dry spells, Hamata adds that communal farmers should further produce enough to sell and generate income for improved quality of life through improved diet and nutrition. He further calls on the government to continue providing fertilisers and tractor services at a subsidised rate.
The government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, at the beginning of last month affirmed its commitment to providing fertilisers and tractor services to communal farmers.
Permanent Secretary Percy Misika says the ministry has allocated another N$35 million for the current crop production season. It spends about N$35 million yearly in subsidising communal farmers.
Recently, New Era wrote that with the delay in rains this far, communal farmers are likely to experience a low-rainfall come June next year. Although the ploughing season usually kicks off between October and November, not much has been done because sufficient rainfall has not been recorded.