A TOTAL of 48 613 youth were employed through the agricultural sector in 2016 and remains the backbone of the economy and prosperity for many Namibians, despite challenges and plagues experienced.
Presidential advisor on Youth Matters and Enterprise, Daisy Mathias, revealed at the youth in agriculture networking event held recently.
Mathias stated that Namibians need to invest in the agricultural sector as it is key to economic recovery and growth.
According to her, the government’s intent to intensify investments into the agricultural sector, to add value, and grow the agro-industry for the purposes of job creation and export earnings.
She urged Namibians to refocus their energy and investments into establishing businesses for young people in this sector, to achieve the desired end result, of employment creation.
Speaking at the same occasion, Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth, and National Service, Emma Kantema Gaomos also indicated the sector contributes 3 to 5 percent on average to Namibia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Gaomos stated that the agricultural sector remains one of Namibia’s biggest employers, providing approximately 167 242 jobs of which 90 076 are male and 77 166 female, or 15.3 percent of the total Namibian workforce.
“The good news is that the agriculture sector grew by 42.7 percent in the first quarter of this year,” she said.
Gaomos stated that it was achieved mainly due to better rainfall, but also improved and diversified crop production and indicates that the sector has good potential for sustainable growth.
Founder and Executive Chairman for youth in agriculture, Haikali Ndatulumukwa said their goal is to attract investments for agriculture in the country.
“As you have heard even during the pandemic, agriculture remains a key driving force for economic development,” he said, adding that as the agriculture sector grows and diversifies, so do the careers that support it.
According to him, the industry must look at the potential in rural services such as agritourism, transportation, food processing, marketing, and of course buying local.
He noted that the potential for job creation in the agricultural sector is high and they need to see their youth as entrepreneurs, taking advantage of opportunities in the agriculture value chain.