Iyambo dismayed by Etunda

Budget cuts have affected green scheme production

12 December 2016 | Agriculture

The vice-president, Dr Nickey Iyamba has expressed his dismay with the levels of production after a visit to the Etunda Green Scheme Irrigation Project near Ruacana in Omusati Region last week Thursday.

Etunda is the largest government farm in the green scheme programme in terms of hectares and volumes of production.

The land is 1 200 hectares in size but less than half, 450, is being utilised. As from observations made by the vice-president, the irrigation project consists of 15 centre-pivot lands, but only five are in use.

For the remaining ten, infrastructure and facilities such as irrigation materials and water pipes are unused, amounting public resources wasting.

The project is divided into two segments of 450 hectares each with commercial farmers using the 15 centre-pivot facilities which cover 30 hectares each.

There are 71 spaces for small-scale farmers which consist of three hectares each and ten spaces for medium-scale farmers also consisting of three hectares each.

Farmers use to receive vouchers from the Agribank to buy inputs such as fertilisers, chemical and seeds, but after the budget cuts, this was halted and many farmers simply stopped production.

This affected both the commercial and small-scale farmers.

“Only the maize fields impress me. Half of the land here is not in use. I think we made a mistake when we cut the agriculture ministry''s budget.

“There is no money to produce any food in government''s green scheme irrigation projects,” Iyambo said.

In October this year, finance minister Calle Schlettwein announced national budget cuts from N$67 billion to N$4.9 billion in his mid-term budget. The cut has severely limited spending.

“This visit was a lesson learned that we were not supposed to cut green scheme irrigation funds.

“We are in the grip of a drought and we are not producing at maximum capacity. We are going to use the money we have to buy drought relief from other countries to feed our people.

“Remember that the money we are spending on drought relief cannot be recovered as the aid is distributed for free,” Iyambo continued.

The secretary for the small scale farmers in Etunda, Petrus Daniel told Namibian Sun that since Agribank stopped providing vouchers, farming became impossible for them.

“We cannot afford chemicals and pesticides. Some of the farmers gave up and those of us still farming are finding it difficult to maintain our fields.

“Our products are affected by pests that we do not know where they come from and we are finding it difficult to control them,” Daniel said.

ILENI NANDJATO

Similar News

 

Norwegian quota advertised

6 hours ago | Agriculture

The Meat Board of Namibia has started with the process to allocate the Norwegian quota for 2018 to appropriate export abattoirs.Namibia is in possession of...

Record weaner season closes

6 hours ago | Agriculture

A total of 15 940 cattle were sold at this year's weaner auctions compared to 5 977 cattle sold in 2016. The average weaner calf...

Ox producers compete

6 hours ago | Agriculture

The winners of this year's Slaughter Ox Competition that is hosted by Agra Auctions was recently announced at an event held in Windhoek. The competition...

Goverment restrictions hamper farming sector

2 days ago - 16 October 2017 | Agriculture

The government's intervention in the value chain is limiting the development of the agricultural sector, while its restrictive measures implemented in the small stock sector...

Food security still problematic

5 days ago - 13 October 2017 | Agriculture

The livestock and meat sector plays a critical role in economic growth and job creation in Namibia, and specifically in food security. However, the country...

Donkey saga: Fu Hai claims it has green light

6 days ago - 12 October 2017 | Agriculture

JANA-MARI SMITHA notice asking for help to process blood and organic waste from a planned cattle and donkey abattoir in Outjo strongly suggests that the...

Act causes concern

1 week ago - 11 October 2017 | Agriculture

The Protected Areas and Wildlife Management Bill which has been under discussion for nearly 20 years to replace the Nature Conservation Ordinance of 1975 was...

'We rely on cattle'

1 week ago - 11 October 2017 | Agriculture

The agricultural sector in Namibia remains largely livestock driven, giving the country a large dependency on a single agricultural activity.It is therefore important for the...

Small-stock sector must reinvent itself

1 week ago - 06 October 2017 | Agriculture

Small-stock farmers have been urged to make use of opportunities to improve small-stock marketing.Market analyst Daniel Motinga said this at a Business7 event at the...

Namibia tightens poultry ban

1 week ago - 05 October 2017 | Agriculture

Namibia has reintroduced a complete ban on poultry imports from South Africa, including poultry feed, as the bird flu (H5N8) outbreak in that country is...

Latest News

Norwegian quota advertised

6 hours ago | Agriculture

The Meat Board of Namibia has started with the process to allocate the Norwegian quota for 2018 to appropriate export abattoirs.Namibia is in possession of...

Anthrax fears rise

6 hours ago | Environment

Botswana authorities are on high alert following the discovery of hippo carcasses in the Okavango River that succumbed to an anthrax outbreak in Namibia. These...

25% of babies born without...

6 hours ago | Health

South Africa is the only country in the sub-region with a sexual, reproductive, maternal, new-born and adolescent health (SRMNAH) workforce that is large enough and...

Shot of the day

6 hours ago | Picture of the day

BERRIES GALORE: A picture taken with a drone shows Belarusians harvesting cranberries at a farm in the village of Selishche, some 290 km south of...

Swapo must reform

6 hours ago | Opinion

The silly season is now in full swing following last weekend's central committee meeting of the ruling party, which wrapped up nominations for the top...

Hell descends on Portugal

6 hours ago | International

A wave of wildfires in central and north Portugal which started at the weekend has killed at least 31 people, civil defence authorities say.Dozens of...

Record weaner season closes

6 hours ago | Agriculture

A total of 15 940 cattle were sold at this year's weaner auctions compared to 5 977 cattle sold in 2016. The average weaner calf...

Ox producers compete

6 hours ago | Agriculture

The winners of this year's Slaughter Ox Competition that is hosted by Agra Auctions was recently announced at an event held in Windhoek. The competition...

Cup kick-off date unconfirmed

6 hours ago | Sports

The organisers of the Petrus Kavhura Cup have announced that they will only set the kick-off date of the tournament at the end of this...

Load More