Operation Iilonga focuses on farming

New initiative encourages intensified crop farming to make the most of an expected good rainy season.

05 January 2017 | Agriculture

President Hage Geingob is expected to launch Operation Iilonga at the Ogongo Constituency in the Omusati Region on Wednesday.

The chairperson of the regional council, Modestus Amutse, made the announcement in a telephonic interview with Nampa on Tuesday.

The initiative is the first of its kind in the country.

Amutse said the initiative was aimed at motivating farmers to engage in serious land cultivation, as good rain is predicted for this year.

The launch will take place at the field of Shitana Shiilonga at Onamundidi village.

This venue is where the Ogongo Agricultural Campus of the University of Namibia has been conducting rice-planting trials for the past few years.

The minister of agriculture, water and forestry, John Mutorwa, said about 730 000 rural Namibians were affected by the current drought.

“This accounts for about 57 percent of the rural population,” said Mutorwa.

The situation presented an urgent need for the nation to devise appropriate strategies that could enhance resilience to drought, he said.

He said the prevailing drought conditions resulted in the country being unable to produce sufficient food, which meant the government had to allocate money for humanitarian assistance.

Mutorwa suggested that Namibia adopt sustainable food production methods with fewer means, and use natural resources wisely.

The regional councillor for Okatana Constituency, Rosalia Shilenga, who read Mutorwa's speech, urged traditional leaders to ensure that their communities work hard to produce enough food this season.

“Ensure that nobody is at cuca shops just enjoying alcohol at the time others are busy in their crop fields cultivating in order to produce food,” Shilenga urged.


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