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NCA livestock improvement initiative launched

2022-03-31  John Muyamba

NCA livestock improvement initiative launched

RUNDU - A fresh initiative to improve livestock farming in the northern communal areas was launched in Rundu on Tuesday.

The Meatco Foundation and its consortium of the Namibia National Farmers Union and the University of Namibia are implementing the Livestock Value Chain Development and Climate Change Resilient Action in the northern communal areas (NCAs) of Namibia.

The project is funded through the European Union Development Fund 11 (EDF11) to the tune of N$27 million over a period of three years with the overall objective of developing Namibia’s northern communal areas’ livestock sector through integration, scaling-up and replicating a livestock value chain approach that will explore and strengthen, in addition to operationalise sustainable livestock farming and marketing, entrepreneurship, climate change resilience and livelihood improvements of people in the NCAs.

“This historic occasion will see the start of the implementation of a project that will contribute immensely to the livestock sector in the northern communal areas,’’ said Kingsley Kwenani, executive officer at the Meatco Foundation.

He noted that in 2021, the European Union through the ED11 Fund, launched a call for proposals on support to the livestock sector in Namibia’s NCAs under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF11). 

“The Meatco Foundation with its consortium of the Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU), Unam and Meatco responded to the call and presented its proposal, which was successful,’’ Kwenani said.

 The development of the action included a consultative process with stakeholders to avoid duplication. This included regional consultations from the Kunene up to the Zambezi region with representative structures of farmers organisations, cooperatives, ministry of agriculture regional office representatives and abattoir operators in the NCAs.

During the launch, Kavango East governor Bonifatius Wakudumo, in a statement read on his behalf by his personal assistant Andrew Haingura, encouraged farmers to grab the opportunity and to take it seriously so as to ensure that their farming practices and livelihoods are enhanced.

“We are cognisant of the fact that our small-scale farmers’ entry into commercial livestock farming is severely hampered by the lack of access to critical resources that include access roads, financial assistance, extension support and production skills,’’ he added. 

“In this context, we believe that with the launch of this project, the Kavango East region is moving closer in realising its desired dream of a sustainable agriculture- driven economy,” the governor said.

Usiel Kandji, a member of the Meatco board of trustees, also gave an input. 

“When you look at the NCAs, it is actually characterised by high livestock numbers, perceived low livestock production, a degraded resource base as well as low or no marketing. The project being launched today intends to address the entire value chain, and I believe that the challenges the NCAs are facing will be addressed by this project. It also has a strong element of capacity-building,’’ he said. 

“I believe this project will be successful, and it will require us to work together as various stakeholders. I do believe that with the support of our government, particularly the ministry of agriculture, these funds will be put to good use and will be able to alleviate poverty as well as uplift the social conditions of our people in the rural areas,” Kandji stated.

“The government, the EU, the Meatco foundation as well as the NNFU and partners did their part. The project concept note was written, and here we are launching today. Dear farmers, it is now up to us to work hard to realise the objectives,” said one of the beneficiaries, Amon Kapi from the Zakumuka Cooperative of the Kunene region.

2022-03-31  John Muyamba

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