Rundu rice ready for harvest

A former truck driver is ready to harvest one hectare of rice he planted on the banks of the Kavango River last November.

25 March 2021 | Agriculture

KENYA KAMBOWE

RUNDU



'You will never know until you try' perfectly depicts the story of a former truck driver, now a pensioner, from Rundu's Sauyemwa location who planted rice last year and is now ready to harvest it.

Namibian Sun tracked down Musongo Joseph Kakuvi (60) after one of his nephews posted about his 'Rundu rice' on a social media platform.

Kakuvi, who farms on four hectares of land in a floodplain of the Okavango River, said he wanted to know if it was possible to grow rice in the area. “There were a lot of stories about where rice can grow but I decided to defy the odds and see if our Kavango soil can grow rice. It turned out that our soil is favourable and I am now intrigued to take this project to greater heights,” Kakuvi said.



The process

Kakuvi said his son bought one kilogram of rice seed in Oshakati in last November.

He planted half of it on one hectare, reserving the other three hectares for tomatoes and garlic.

Water is not a problem for Kakuvi, who pumps directly from the river.

Four months later, Kakuvi's rice is ready to be harvested.



Pounding the rice

When asked how he plans to separate the kernels from the bran, Kakuvi said he would use the traditional method of pounding the grain.

“I will pound it like we pound mahangu and then I will be able to separate the bran from the rice. Like I said, it was a trial run for me, I never planted rice before nor have the experience, but I am willing to do whatever it takes to feed my family,” he said.



Challenges

Besides the lack of a machine to harvest the rice, Kakuvi said he needs at least two water tanks to store the water he pumps from the river.

He also needs fencing material.

“They say if you don't try, you will not know and that is what I did but now I am faced with challenges and I am seeking help, especially the water tanks and the fencing material. It's a costly exercise as I have to buy petrol for the pump,” Kakuvi said.

He said if he receives the necessary support, his project can be a great success for him and the region.

“We often hear that Kavango is the potential breadbasket of the nation, therefore I am able to assist in that regard. We can feed the nation with rice and even export it if we take it seriously,” he said.

He urged young and old to take initiative instead of waiting for the government to initiate projects.

“We need to take charge and feed our people. I tried with rice and it worked. If we all try to do something, we will be able to feed the nation and stop importing food from other countries,” he said.

[email protected]

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