SWAKOPMUND - “I am still dreaming to be resettled because I know I have enough knowledge to contribute to our country’s food security.”
These are the bold aspirations of Ruben Dausab, a man that lives and breathes farming despite the fact that he has never owned a farm nor attended formal education.
Dausab has been a corridor farmer for the past two years and one of the many hopeful Namibians that eagerly wait to be resettled by the government.
He lived on a farm since he was 13 years old. He had been a farmer for 35 years on the same farm before he was evicted by the owner’s son after the farm owners died.
Dausab currently spends his days between a farm 70 kilometres from Karibib where he eagerly helps out a resettled farmer, and a small piece of land that belongs to TransNamib, on which he lives with his wife and children.
Despite not having his own piece of land, Dausab has become a pillar for those farming around Karibib. Although he also does not have any formal education, Dausab is the most trusted person when it comes to broken farm equipment, fruit and vegetable gardens and sick animals.
“This man’s head is like a fountain that never runs dry. When he works in your garden you can embrace yourself for the best harvest,” a farm owner, who Dausab regularly assists, said during a recent visit to the farm.
Dausab lost almost all his cattle and property after he was evicted from the farm.
He has been trying for the past three years to be resettled, however it did not materialise, seeing that he has not been living on communal land which is one of the challenges farmers like him faced in the past when they applied for resettlement.
“I did not qualify in the past as my score was very low. However I am hopeful that the recently-held land conference took the plight of farmers like us into consideration and amended their criteria,” Dausab says.
He added that despite him not having formal education, his experience as a farmer makes up for it and should at least count for something.
“I know I can make government proud and contribute to our food security as well as teach our upcoming farmers how they can become successful,” he says.