Hundreds of farmers benefit from Crave project

06 August 2020 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



Hundreds of farmers benefitted from the Climate Resilient Agriculture in Three Vulnerable Extreme Northern Crop-Growing Regions (Crave) project during the 2018/19 financial year.

The project, hosted by the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF), has been funded by the Green Climate Fund to the tune of N$150 million over a period of five years.

This is according the recently released 2018/19 EIF annual report.

The project aims to increase climate resilience and reduce the food insecurity of subsistence farmers in Namibia, the report said.

It targets the vulnerable north-eastern small-scale subsistence farming communities in the Zambezi, Kavango East and Kavango West regions.



Serving the country

Under the project, the upgrading and refurbishment of the Mashare Agricultural Development Institute into the Centre of Excellence in Climate Resilience in Agriculture (MCRACE) was started.

“Upon completion, the centre will serve the rest of the country on issues of climate change, climate-resilient agriculture and conservation agriculture as from January 2020,” the report said.

Furthermore, a total of 24.5 hectares was put under rain-fed production on three demarcated plots at demonstration sites at the MCRACE.

The first plot of 11.55 hectares was for mahangu seed production, to rotate it with cow pea during the following cropping season.

The second plot of 6.5 hectares contained cow peas to rotate it with pearl millet during the following cropping season, while intercropping of mahangu and cow pea was done on the third plot of seven hectares.

This plot was set as a trial on crop performance under the inter-cropping system.



Community-based demonstration sites

A total of 20 hectares of community-based demonstration sites were also approved for the Kavango West (two hectares horticulture and eight hectares dryland) and the Zambezi (10 hectares dryland) regions.

Meanwhile, 53 hectares were to be finalised in the 2019/20 financial year for Kavango East, according to the report.

A total of 112 beneficiaries, of which 41 were men and 71 women, were directly linked to the two approved community-based demonstration sites. Furthermore, eight tractors and eight rippers were also procured and availed to the regions focusing on horticultural farmers, targeting 30 hectares under the project.

A total of 300 beneficiary horticultural farmers, of which 183 were women and 117 men, were supported with training and inputs such as vegetable seeds and fertiliser.



Farmers supported

Ten tractors and 10 rippers were also used in rain-fed production and 186 hectares were ripped during the 2018/19 production season.

A total of 181 (109 women and 72 men) rain-fed farmers were supported with training and inputs.

Furthermore, the report said a Micro Incentive-Based Crop Insurance Scheme was designed and rolled out to 81 (39 women and 42 men) out of the 120 rain-fed small-scale farmers identified on 259 hectares in total.

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