Ploughing in full swing

Farmers prepare mahangu fields after good rains

27 December 2018 | Agriculture

Following the good rains experienced in Kavango East during recent weeks, some farmers have already started preparing their mahangu fields.

Namibian Sun spotted some of the farmers ploughing their mahangu fields along the Rundu-Divundu road over the weekend.

While many farmers across the country opt to make use of tractors to plough their fields, these farmers are still doing it the traditional way, by making use of oxen.

Some of the farmers indicated they started preparing their fields due to the recent good rains.

They said that due to the unpredictability of the rain, it is always best to start ploughing as soon as possible.

“We are happy with the rain so far and that is what prompted us to start ploughing,” one farmer said.

In an interview with Namibian Sun last month, Kavango East governor Samuel Mbambo encouraged farmers to plough their fields and aim for a bumper harvest.

This complements Mbambo's famous initiative called Operation Werengendje, which aims to boost subsistence farmers, so they produce food for their own consumption and for sale.

“Indeed the time has arrived for people to prepare their fields, especially the crop farmers. With Operation Werengendje we would like to have people who are working to produce their own food, even more than they can consume, so that maybe they can sell it and generate an income,” Mbambo said.

He said each of the six Kavango East constituencies had received N$100 000 from his office during the previous growing season.

The funds came from two fishing companies - Fishcor and Namsov.

Mbambo said after the harvesting season, the farmers managed to sell mahangu worth N$1.7 million to the Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA).

“This means that the input was N$600 000 and the output was N$1.7 million; you can see how successful Operation Werengendje is. Some of the people are still selling to AMTA,” Mbambo explained.

The governor also used the opportunity to call on all stakeholders to assist the farmers, in order to enhance food security in the region.

KENYA KAMBOWE