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Posts by Charles Tjatindi:
Part-time farmers are often faced with tough decisions to make regarding their farming enterprises. The farming mode or type, location of the farm or village – and most importantly the choices of human resources that would drive operations in your absence are all worries that make for sleepless nights. Veterinarian Israel Meunae Kaatura has a passion for serving the community. For years, he has been going over and above the call of duty to assist farmers who would call him at odd hours for urgent diagnoses on their livestock. Maria Shikalepo takes one last look at her orders of poultry products before carefully loading them onto her trusted transport, and neatly putting each box down to avoid breakage. This is something she does daily before setting off to sell her products. In recognition of the immense role women play in agriculture, we feature four women farmers who are amongst those who have taken farming to new heights. Not only have they ventured into unique modes of farming, but their back stories are filled with awe and inspiration. Ileni Nandjato is no stranger to many, as his journalism career took him to many people’s homes and lives. Working for one of the country’s largest national daily newspapers, Namibian Sun, in the densely- populated northern areas, Nandjato proved his mettle by serving the area well. It is high time we review our farming models and possibly reconsider them. Before we jump onto the bandwagon of New Year’s resolutions, perhaps it is best to track our progress and determine if what you had set out for yourself has worked. Have you become a better farmer in 2022? It is already a month into 2023. Soon the realities of those high New Year resolutions you have set for yourself this year will hit, and you will realise just how intense setting New Year’s resolutions is. Elijah Samora Konguavi has a somewhat unconventional way of marketing his poultry enterprise, aptly named Konguavi Poultry Investment. While many like him are turning to traditional media, such as newspapers and radio to promote their businesses, Konguavi has chosen the least used ‘word-of-mouth’ route – and it has been working. Poultry farming is defined as ‘raising different types of domestic birds commercially for the purpose of meat, eggs and feather production’. Aristotle, a towering figure in ancient Greek philosophy who made important contributions to logic, criticism, rhetoric and psychology among others famously wrote “The more you know, the more you realise you don’t know.” This can not be more true than when applied to the modern world, or in this case farming. I have come across many people who are eager to venture into one or the other mode of farming, but are limited by start-up capital. Steve Kanguatjivi spent most of his formative years among livestock. As a young man growing up in rural Omaheke, the economic potential of livestock farming was entrenched in him by his parents and the community around him alike. Fellow farmers, despite prospects and predictions of a favourable rainy season, the reality on the ground seems to hit differently. The land is simply too barren and hardy in most parts of the country The start of a new year is a good time to reflect and assess if we are doing things in the right way, the smart way; or the innovative way. Someone recently asked me, “What would you do differently if you were to start farming today…?” At first, I thought the answer would be simple – I would simply list all the problems I am currently encountering in farming, and do things differently. But it was not that simple. As much as we encourage young people into farming, you must come armed with knowledge. It is not an ultimate cycler or a get-rich-quick scheme. Farming is a good venture and can multiply your investments a thousandfold. However, it can also go bad, real quick. In 2019, an unprepared Kamakotje ‘Kamaa’ Marenga decided to test the depth of the water with both feet. He rounded up a few of his aspiring Veldmaster sheep breeds and threw them into the kraal with those of other farmers. Novice farmers are faced with one critical question: what type of farming activities do I venture into? Should it be livestock, crop, or poultry farming?