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Posts by Charles Tjatindi:
Government has implemented several policies and programmes as well as increased the budget spent on the agricultural sector to support emerging farmers. Agriculture, or more specifically livestock farming is one of the largest industries in Namibia with huge economic importance. Oh, how the world has changed. Traditional farming, which largely involved keeping on a few animals for prestige, has surely outlived its days. Sadly, so did the age-old tradition of sticking to only popular livestock breeds. Subsistence farming in the communal areas continues to bear the brunt of Covid-19, as farmers succumbing to the disease left behind a huge income shortfall for the surviving family members. Despite its obvious benefits, the noble initiative of subsistence crop farming, which enables a family to feed right off the fields, have not been successfully replicated across the country. Since the domestication process in the Neolithic Age, livestock has spread all over the world as a result of human migration or interchanges among neighbouring human populations. I have over the years observed how much advice, information, education and personal experience on farming lie out there. The volumes are just too much to handle for a starter farmer. In 2018, part-time farmer Wency Ndjitaviua took on poultry farming as a favourite pastime. At the time, it was her passion for farming that drove her to experiment with the poultry sector, owing to great inspiration from her mother who had been a farmer in her own right. Before we go any further, it is important to note that all business forms have hiccups and would most probably fail - and rise - along the way. Now, let›s look at why farmers often do not make it. Eight years ago, Rochelle Neidel ventured into full-time farming. Among the reasons for taking on farming, Neidel was driven by one significant conviction - to debunk the misgivings that the sector is inhospitable and a rough host for a woman farmer. Stress in farming comes from much more than just the tillage of soil and harvest of crops. Aina Imalwa, a small-scale farmer under the government’s green scheme has taken the bull by the horns by embarking on a mission to feed her country. Nollar Tjaimi is a determined woman. Having eventually managed to set up her own communal farm last year, she keeps yearning for more. There are few things we get wrong as farmers, and we hardly admit to it. It is not surprising; farmers are - just like most of their animals and crops - hardy individuals that are staunch believers in systems and processes they are accustomed to. If they had not tried it themselves, then it probably doesn’t work. Traditional farming, which largely involved keeping on a few animals for prestige, has surely outlived its days. And sadly, so did the age-old tradition of sticking to only popular livestock breeds. When people think about agriculture, they tend to think about farmers tending the fields and looking after crops or livestock. You may be thinking ‘I don’t want to be a farmer, so agriculture isn’t for me’. But think again. Elton Gurirab is living his dream. It has been an elaborate journey of more than 15 years of constant improvement and betterment of his products, a difficult but rewarding chapter of his farming life. Growing fruits and vegetables seems overwhelming to most people, but it’s actually much simpler than it sounds. An unrelenting spirit has paid off for Tjipekapora Hijangoro who after many years of hard toil and experimenting with the Boer goat has emerged as one of the breed’s top producers. For someone who is just getting started in building their wealth, the sheer variety of investment opportunities can be intimidating.