AN initiative between the Forestry Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry and the Ohangwena Regional Council, called Fruit Tree Planting, provides fruit bearing trees to households in the region as part of the local economic development.
This followed the official launch of the five-year programme at Onepandaulo village in the Ohangwena Region’s Endola constituency.
As part of the programme seedlings will be transported to respective households in the constituencies. Each household will be provided with five different fruit trees such as Guava, Mango and Lemon, including a Moringa/Oleifera.
A total of 2 255 trees will be planted in the first phase whereby after a few years, every household is expected to give back 25 trees in return.
The project is aimed at contributing to balance diet, food security, income generation and local development advancement in order to add value to their communities.
The Directorate of Forestry has acquired seeds from the Okahandja Research Station to be used for the project.
The Chief Regional Officer of Ohangwena, Fillipus Shilongo, said that the initiative stands to directly contribute to food security and environmental sustainability.
“Each household is expected to produce 10 000 fruit tree seedlings per year for five years,” said Shiliongo, adding that a once off training on tree caring will be provided to all identified beneficiaries.
Shiliongo stated that Ohangwena has 43 723 households as per 2011 housing census, however the project is aimed only to benefit those living in villages, with town residents excluded.
Speaking during the launch of the project, chairperson of the Ohangwena Regional Council, Erickson Ndawanifa said fruit trees planting is a wakeup call for everyone in and around the region.
“Stop waiting on the government for everything and start coming up with initiatives that is aimed at curbing poverty,” said Ndawanifa.
The Endola, Omulonga and Epembe constituencies have been chosen to be the initial starting constituencies for the project.