THE Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform is committed to training 40 000 farmers yearly in agricultural and production to improve food security in the country.
The agriculture ministry’s spokesperson, Jona Musheko, explained that the ministry has 144 Agricultural Development Centres (ADCs) established in all 14 regions through which about 40 000 farmers are advised and receive training in the agriculture sector annually.
He made this revelation while addressing young aspiring farmers at the Samora Machel Youth Forum held in Windhoek over the weekend.
Musheko added that the ministry will also implement the Dry Land Crop Production Program (DCPP) in ten crop growing regions with the aim of enhancing produce.
The identified regions include the Zambezi, Kavango West, Kavango East, Omusati, Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Oshana, Kunene, Otjozondjupa and Omaheke regions.
To date, about 40 000 farming households benefit from subsidised ploughing, planting and weeding services, as well as agricultural inputs such as improved seed varieties and fertilisers on annual basis.
The overall objective of DCPP is to ensure and accelerate the provision of subsidised agricultural production inputs and mechanised services, including tillage and planting, thereby increasing crop yield, food and nutrition security, creation of employment opportunities, as well as contribution to the reduction in poverty and income inequality.
He further explained that the program is aimed at promoting improved crop productivity, soil fertility and to mitigate against low and variable rainfall, thereby creating climate resilience to farmers.
“Through this programme, a total of 5 000 farmers were trained and are practicing at least one of the Conservation Agriculture (CA) principles,” he said.
He added that the ministry is also implementing the Small Stock Distribution and Development project, which provides quality core breeding flock of suitable indigenous goats to 20 selected vulnerable households per region.
This helps beneficiaries to gain a sustainable means of income generation and food security.
Chairperson of Samora Machel Youth Forum, Isdor Aluteni, said that the decision to host an agricultural engagement was based on the belief that agriculture is an industry where more youth should tap into food security.
Aluteni indicated that they were able to learn about the horticulture scheme that enable them to contribute to value added produce, and how best to grow into poultry.
“One thing we didn’t know was that anybody can apply for resettlement farm for agricultural purpose,” he added.
The forum was attended by 20 youths from Windhoek.