Residents of Farm Uitkoms in the Otjozondjupa region got a new lease on life, following the completion of various training in farming techniques.
The training, which was conducted between June 2020 and June 2021, benefited 25 unemployed and underemployed residents of the Uitkoms community as part of a ‘Foundations for Farming Training and Mentorship Programme’.
An Adonai Trust and Bank Windhoek initiative, the programme empowered the residents with appropriate small-scale innovative farming techniques, using limited land and water resources.
It also exposed them to self-sustainable training methods to generate income from their produce.
The programme’s training manual used Zimbabwe’s ‘Pfumvudza’ concept. It is a crop production intensification approach under which farmers ensure the efficient use of resources, such as inputs and labour, on a small area of land, to optimise its management. Participants were exposed to the Foundation for Farming Training courses, including financial literacy, monthly mentorship visits, and planting at the Uitkoms resettlement farm.
“The project’s long-term vision is to equip Uitkoms’ residents towards becoming self-sustainable,” said the project’s coordinator, Monica Barnard.
“We are pleased with the trainees, their dedication and the harvest they have received this year,” she said.
Uitkoms’ chief, Katae August, who participated in the 2019 and 2020/21 programme, said: “I started to practice the same method in my field. The harvest has been worthwhile, compared to the traditional method; maize sizes are bigger and healthier, and the harvest is also more.”
The participants at the resettlement farm harvested 16 000 cobs, while chief August’s homestead reaped 1 156 cobs.
Bank Windhoek’s head of corporate social investment, sponsorship and events Bronwyn Moody said the bank would continue investing in communities where it operates as a connector of positive change.
“We encourage the participants to practice what they have learnt to sustain the community,” she said.
Since its inception in 2006, Adonai Trust has impacted and positively changed the lives of thousands of people through its programmes and courses. The trust caters to individuals and organisations and is passionate about seeing people transformed into productive and responsible citizens, contributing to the country’s welfare.
Uitkoms hosts about 700 inhabitants, whose primary livelihood depends mainly on cattle farming.
Apart from cattle breeding – Farm Uitkoms has a learning institution for its fast-growing inhabitants. Uitkoms Primary School offers classes from Grade 1 to 7 and is also fitted with recreational facilities in the shape of a gravel football and netball fields.
The resettlement farm also boasts a health clinic centre, with a full-time nurse placed on alert for 24-hours. It also has a makeshift mobile church.