From unemployment to fulltime farmer

28 July 2021 | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTER

WINDHOEK

Agribank recently celebrated the success of 25-year-old Hilja Amvula, a visionary full-time farmer who grabbed an opportunity to venture into pig farming when she failed to secure a job after graduation in 2017.

Amvula holds an honours degree in fisheries and aquatic science from the University of Namibia and she is currently pursuing a master's degree in the same field.

According to Amvula, after months of searching for a job, she met a former lecturer who introduced her to a female farmer in the Okondjatu area of the Otjozondjupa Region, where she started producing and selling feed for animals.

In 2019 she was awarded an innovative businesswoman of the year award at a women's business conference held in Windhoek.

With her prize money, she bought five piglets. A local farmer sponsored her with another five piglets to help her establish a piggery at her mother's homestead at Omaku village in Sandi Constituency, Omusati Region.

As her business grew, she acquired a larger piece of land, two kilometres from the T-junction of Iitananga-Omakange road, where she is currently farming with pigs and growing yellow maize and sunflowers to complement her pigs' feed and to cut on the costs of feed.

Amvula says she appreciates Agribank's assistance through its agri-advisory services, as well as mentorship, guidance, and support.

"The intervention of Agribank has been helpful. You know, as a start-up farmer, I always attended Agribank training and lectures that opened my eyes to different farming aspects and agribusiness investment opportunities. Agribank's mentor for the northern regions, Pendukeni Hamunyela, visits my farm regularly," she says.

She urges young people who have ideas of venturing into farming not to allow a lack of land or start-up capital to prevent them from living their dream.