40 000 farmers trained through agri centres yearly

To date, an average of 40 000 farming households benefit from subsidised ploughing, planting and weeding services, as well as agricultural inputs such as improved seed varieties and fertilisers on an annual basis.

02 March 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT







WINDHOEK

A total of 167 agricultural development centres were established in all 14 regions, through which about 40 000 farmers are advised and trained in various agricultural production areas annually.

This is according to the agriculture ministry, which highlighted some of the major achievements reached in the sector since independence.

According to deputy director of public relations in the agriculture ministry Chrispin Matongela, the ministry implemented the Dry Land Crop Production Programme in 10 crop-growing regions, aimed at enhancing crop production.

To date, an average of 40 000 farming households benefit from subsidised ploughing, planting and weeding services, as well as agricultural inputs such as improved seed varieties and fertilisers on an annual basis through this programme.

Creating climate resilience

Since 2015, the ministry has implemented the Comprehensive Conservation Agriculture Programme in crop-growing regions, aimed at promoting improved crop productivity, soil fertility and to mitigate against low and variable rainfall, thereby creating climate resilience to farmers.

Through this programme, a total of 5 000 farmers was trained and practice at least one of the conservation agriculture principles.

The ministry also implements the Small Stock Distribution and Development Project, through which it provides quality core breeding flock of suitable indigenous goats to 20 selected vulnerable households per region, leading to beneficiaries gaining a sustainable means of income generation and food security.

A total of 60 farmers received 1 260 goats from the project since its inception in 2014.

Furthermore, nine abattoirs, eight auction kraals and two meat processing facilities were established to provide markets for livestock producers.

Fresh produce hubs

Matongela added that the ministry expanded and developed 11 Green Scheme Irrigation Projects covering a total area of 5 600 hectares of land under irrigation in several parts of the country.

“Two fresh produce business hubs were constructed in Rundu and Ongwediva to create a secure and reliable marketing environment for fresh produce and increase value addition though processing.”

He added that the national strategic food reserves, with a total capacity of 22 900 metric tonnes, were also constructed in the northern and north-eastern regions.

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