Thousands benefit from subsidised inputs

08 May 2019 | Agriculture

A total of 27 989 farmers benefitted from the Dry Land Crop Production Programme during the 2018/19 financial year.

The programme was implemented by the agricultural ministry in Kavango East, Kavango West, Zambezi, Oshikoto, Oshana, Ohangwena, Omusati and Kunene North, and partly in the Otjozondjupa and Omaheke regions, in order to increase food production.

Through the programme, farmers were assisted with subsidised farming inputs like fertilisers, improved seeds and agricultural services, such as ploughing and weeding.

According to a technical paper submitted to parliament as part of the ministry's budget motivation, a total of 652 tons of fertiliser was availed to farmers under the fertiliser subsidy during the 2018/19 cropping season. A total of 347 tons of fertiliser was procured by the ministry, while the shortfall of 305 tons of was covered with stock from the previous cropping season. The ministry said only 23.7 tons of fertiliser was sold during the 2018/19 cropping season.

A total of 276 farmers benefitted from the fertiliser subsidy - 133 females and 143 males.

During the 2018/19 cropping season, a total of 98 tons of mahangu seeds, 224 tons of maize seeds and 18 tons of cowpea seeds were also availed to the implementing regions of the Dry Land Crop Production Programme.

A total of 16 227 farmers (6 807 male and 942 female) benefitted from the seed subsidy during the period under review.

Furthermore, 17 695 hectares were tilled through ploughing, ripping and planting under the programme.

The ministry said a total of 11 762 farmers, of which 5 338 were female and 6 424 male, benefitted from the subsidised tilling services. A total of 4 152 hectares of land was also ploughed through government-subsidised services and 2 861 farmers benefitted. A total of 169 temporary jobs were created through the recruitment of contract tractor drivers.



ELLANIE SMIT

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