DELVING deep into Namibian traditions and traditional farming methods, Zambezi Green Commercial Farm is reviving centuries’ old farming practices and ancestral knowledge to reclaim an agricultural productivity on sustainable level with lasting benefits to humans.
The farm was established by Rector Muchimamui Mutelo as a pilot gardening project on a quarter of a hectare land in 2017. Mutelo wanted to restore local knowledge in farming to improve food security, nutrition, crops and soils in Namibia, using organic fertilizers and compost made from organic material waste mixed with livestock waste to fertilize the land.
Regan Mwazi, Agribank Executive of Marketing and Customer Strategy along with the Regional Branch Manager visited the farm and were impressed at the scale of the operation.
“It’s a magnificent operation that if adopted by farmers in the region could make the region a breadbasket of Namibia a reality in a short-period of time,” said Mwazi.
With financing from Agribank in 2018, the farm has expanded to seven hectares and supplies the local retailers such as Pick n Pay and Spar with fresh horticultural products throughout the year. The farm now supplies 700 kilograms of tomatoes every week to each local retailer with a trading agreement. Other crops such as watermelon, green maize, okra, cabbage and butternuts are also regularly supplied to local retailers.
According to Mwazi, the farm has created five permanent and 15 temporary employment opportunities and has the potential to create more with the envisaged expansion
Mutelo explained that his farming practice do not merely reduce environmental impact by producing fewer greenhouse emissions and championing the revival of traditional farming practices, but his personal connection to the land and its sustainable farming methods produced some of the finest crops ever harvested.
Mutelo turned the pilot project and formalized it as Zambezi Green Commercial Farm in 2018 and is currently developing the Farm and growing the company into a centre of excellence, both in organic farming as well as in agricultural research.
“What’s old is new again. Our ecologically-sound agricultural practices stem from traditional knowledge that is holistic in nature,” noted Mutelo.
For the long-term benefit of the society and the planet, Zambezi Green Commercial Farm aims to be a research farm that strives to advocate for this more resilient agricultural system as well as partnering with the Ministry of Agriculture, research institutions, universities, colleges and educational institutions.
In addition, working directly with local farmers in Namibia, Zambezi Green is committed to improve their economic state by validating and scaling their organic farming techniques.
According to Mutelo this will empower them to be focused on sustainability rather than just survival. “Our initiatives include training local farmers on decomposition techniques and scaling their existing sustainable farming methods. We advocate the use of heritage agricultural know-how for the sustainable food production,” he said.