Most subsistence farmers in northern Namibia are preparing to harvest abundant mahangu this season. Among the hopeful farmers are the inhabitants of the Omusati region, who over the last few years endured devastating droughts.
Sabina Uusiku from the Okapika village said early next month, many farmers will start harvesting. “This year, we will have a good harvest. There is so much in my mahangu field – and there is much more in the extra field behind my house,” she added. Mbamuna Rakotoka from Ruacana said they are also hoping for a good harvest in their village as there are just plenty crops. Many people in his village are also preparing to harvest their crops.
“There is just too much mahangu. Some have fallen off already and are covered by weeds,” said Rakotoka. Much of the rain in northern Namibia fell from March until the beginning of April, resulting in healthy mahangu, pumpkin, sweet melon, maize, groundnut and green bean crops.
Besides the crops, pastures have improved and livestock is in good condition. Rakotoka added that although the rains have now stopped as the country moves into winter, a number of floodplains, locally known as oshanas, swamps, lakes, and traditional wells are still filled with water. Bumper harvests equally excited subsistence vegetable farmers in the region, who have already started cashing in their produce.
Nangula Shikongo from Oshiteyatemo in the Omusati region grows various vegetables, in addition to mahangu. She ventured into vegetables, and has over the years sustained her family of 15.