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Posts by Charles Tjatindi:
As we continue reflecting on this important consideration, it is equally vital that we pause for a minute and revisit why we want to be farmers in the first place. It all started as an experimental crop farming project. The location – the village of Epata in the Otjinene constituency – seemed ideal for a crop farming venture. If farming with vegetables for profit is your dream, read on as I dissect this mode of crop farming and how one could make good returns from it. The Ongombe Farmers’ Association – one of the oldest bodies representing the interests of farmers at the communal level – keeps going strong amid changing economic times and harsh climatic conditions that continue to impact farming. In June 2020, four farmers came together to devise strategies on how they could cushion the challenges facing start-up communal farmers and allow agribusinesses in communal areas to thrive. Before fruits, vegetables and other produce reach grocery store shelves, several sets of hands have touched the food that ends up on our kitchen tables. Essential to food production but invisible to consumers, farmworkers are primary contributors to the safe, efficient and reliable delivery of our fruits and vegetables. The aggregated national cereal production (maize, millet, sorghum and wheat) is estimated at 175 900 metric tonnes (MT), which is a slight increase of 5% above last season’s harvest of 168 200 MT, and 39% higher than the average production of 126 700MT. Despite growing around cattle, Mitchell Simataa was never inspired to take up farming at a tender age. In fact, the sight of cattle scared him - their huge horns and bulky appearance was anything but inviting for Simataa. In such hard times, especially when the farming community stares another devastating drought in the eye, we should develop a thick skin if we are to sail through such looming drought and other farming hardships. Metarere Ngeenguno had always wanted to farm for himself. The lure of deciding on his own breed, production type and how to market his products effectively was overwhelming for the ardent farmer. Having been raised in the livestock rich Omaheke region, Ngeenguno’s dream grew by the day as he watched other farmers going about the trade in his home constituency of Aminuis. Agriculture contributes heavily to the GDP of many African countries, and it employs more than half of the rural population across the continent. Namibia is no exception. Despite the positive effect of agriculture across the continent, the sector remains unattractive to young people. Many young Africans move to urban areas, and have no interest in taking up agriculture as a source of livelihood. The growth of the agriculture sector in Namibia has been phenomenal. Statistics indicate agriculture in Namibia contributes around 5% of the national Gross Domestic Product. A few months ago, Shirley Katuuo experimented with the idea of launching her poultry farming. The idea was to rear chickens for eggs, which would then be sold locally to individual buyers and small shops. One of the biggest letdowns in livestock farming is the lack of infrastructure on our farms. We often underplay the importance of good infrastructure and as a result, struggle to control and manage various aspects of our livestock farming. Think about how much food you eat each day. Now, think about how big the human population is and how much food is needed to feed all of those people. Commercial cattle farming forms the backbone of the beef industry in Namibia. Over the past few years, the demand for good-quality Namibian beef products, both at home and abroad, has continued on a steady upward curve. The more things change, the more they remain the same. Smallholder farmers in Africa are still among the poorest in the world. This is despite the clear benefits that smallholding farming has for the immediate communities around them. Gerson Kandanga pursued his passion to become a full-time farmer and retired at the age of 45, leaving behind a career in mining - a decision he doesn’t regret. Any path we choose in life begins with one step at a time. As we progress along that path, the steps we take merge, and we repeat those that take us forward while avoiding those that set us back.