Operation Tulongeni launched in Omusati

05 January 2017 | Agriculture

President Hage Geingob yesterday launched 'Operation Tulongeni 2017' a programme meant to motivate farmers to start working their fields following good rains.

The Tulongeni initiative took place at Matheus Iilonga's mahangu field at Onamundindi village in the Ogongo Constituency of the Omusati Region. Geingob also worked the field, much to the delight of those attending the event.

The head of state told the gathering of mostly subsistence farmers that the operation was a reaffirmation and rededication of commitment to his call that “nobody should go to bed hungry”.

“I am launching this Operation Tulongeni to prove our hard work and commitment that nobody is going to sleep with hunger.

We can only get things done through hard work,” Geingob said.

Tulongeni is an Oshiwambo word, which means “let's work”.

Omusati governor Erginus Endjala briefed the president about the challenges faced by subsistence farmers in the northern regions. He said since 2008, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry had come up with a dry-land crop production programme, where subsistence farmers are assisted by the government when it comes to paying for ploughing services using state-owned and privately owned tractors. “Under this system, the government and the field owner or farmers share the ploughing cost because it is too high. The programme also distributes seed and fertiliser to enable farmers to afford farming necessities and be able to produce enough food,” Endjala said.

A shortage of tractors and other necessities was, however, a challenge for the region.

“In Omusati we have 20 government tractors serving 12 constituencies. We allocated one per constituency, but they are not enough. Government also subsidises private tractors, but still it's not enough,” he said. The president thanked the agriculture ministry for introducing a programme that assists subsistence farmers. “This is a good system and it only needs to be strengthened and empowered,” said Geingob

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