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Omaheke farmers grateful for Agribank-GIZ Women & Youth training

2022-12-06  Staff Reporter

Omaheke farmers grateful for Agribank-GIZ Women & Youth training

Farmers at Otjimanangombe village in the Epukiro constituency of the Omaheke region say they are grateful for the training they have received through the Agribank-GIZ Women and Youth training programme.

In 2018, the village women felt the need to form the Otjimanangombe Women in Business Association (WIBA), which has since developed gardens where they grow lucerne and vegetables to sustain their families. 

This was motivated by the desire to protect their livelihoods and those of their families. The group was further stimulated by the deteriorating drought and the Covid-19 restrictions, which at the time made food security more difficult.

They received Agribank Women and Youth Training, funded by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit’s (GIZ) Farming for Resilience project (F4R) on crop, poultry and fodder production. 

Several farmers who benefited from the training stated that they learned a variety of skills from it, including seed bed preparation, farrow watering, drip irrigation with bottles, using kraal manure, purchasing the right seeds, adhering to seed packet instructions, knowledge of poultry enterprises (broilers, layers, dual-purpose birds), poultry stages from chick development to slaughter, lick and feed techniques, and more. They testified so during a recent visit to the eastern village by Agribank, adding that they have likewise established backyard gardens to feed their families. 

One of the women in particular, who identified herself only as Ewaldine, said she started with the sale of eggs through her flock of layer chickens, planting of tomatoes, garlic and onions.

In addition, she and her husband started producing fodder for their livestock by processing maize residues (cob straws), grass, pods from Vachelliaerioloba (Camelthorn tree), and grass using a hammer mill.

The farmers further expressed appreciation for the Agribank-GIZ training intervention, and demonstrated commitment to follow through with their gardens’ establishment. 

The farmers, however, expressed the need for support to acquire adequate fencing materials, implements, drip irrigation system equipment, shade netting as well as ploughing services. 

They said since the training, they have managed to clear up a piece of land and fenced it off by using temporary fencing materials, and plan to prepare seed beds to plant vegetables.

“We have opened a bank account, whereby the members pay a minimal amount of N$100 per annum or N$10 a month as contribution towards the project,” Agribank quoted the farmers as having said, adding that their ultimate aim is to produce livestock fodder by planting lucerne, grass and crops. 

Nonetheless, the farmers complained about several challenges such as inadequate fencing material, which allows goats, sheep and other small animals such as rodents and birds to enter the gardens, as well as inadequate watering infrastructure and implements for the gardens.

2022-12-06  Staff Reporter

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