Shamathe to lead the NNFU

16 December 2021 | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTER

WINDHOEK

The Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU) board of directors has appointed Kuniberth Shamathe as the union’s CEO for a period of five years, effective January next year.

Before his appointment at NNFU, Shamathe headed the Meatco Foundation. He also worked as a project manager at the Meatco Foundation before he assumed the position of executive officer.

Before joining the Meatco Foundation, Shamathe had worked for several organisations, including as monitoring and evaluation manager at Conservation Agriculture Namibia (CAN), national coordinator for food security and disaster risk reduction at the Namibia Red Cross Society (NRCS) and project officer at Germany Technical Cooperation (GTZ).

Qualifications

Shamathe holds two master’s degrees, one for research in natural resources management from the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), focusing on rangeland management while the second one is a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Namibia (Unam) specialising in management strategy.

He also holds three undergraduate qualifications from NUST (formerly the Polytechnic of Namibia) - Bachelor of Technology Honours and a National Diploma in Agricultural Management.

NNFU president Jason Emvula said the board was confident that Shamathe would contribute towards assisting communal farmers to become successful in contributing to Namibia’s food security.

Shamathe thanked the board for giving him the opportunity to contribute to the upliftment of communal farmers in Namibia.

He acknowledged that the communal farming sector was the most challenging sector and that a lot of support was needed to enable communal farmers to succeed.

“I aim to help build an entrepreneurship culture to transform the communal farmers into business-oriented farmers. To keep giving them inputs is less sustainable. We must relieve the dependence that communal farmers have on the government,” said Shamathe.

He also acknowledged that communal farmers were the most severely affected by climate change because of their methods of farming and population density in their areas.

Looking ahead, Shamathe said he would focus on commercialising and building the climate resilience of communal farmers instead of developing routine support dependency.

He believes that addressing barriers hindering transformation of communal agricultural sector, as well as inculcating a culture of entrepreneurship among communal farmers, is the way to go.

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