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Agricultural projects reap fruits in Ohangwena

2023-06-27  Max Heinrich

Agricultural projects reap fruits in Ohangwena

ONGWEDIVA – Several agricultural projects in the Ohangwena region have improved the livelihoods of the residents and created permanent employment for farmers, according to the region’s governor, Walde Ndevashiya. 

These farmers are part of 11 532 farmers, who have benefitted from the Namibia Integrated Landscape Approach for Enhancing Livelihoods and Environmental Governance (NILALEG) project. 

“These farmers benefited from the agricultural extension services provided by the Directorate of Agricultural Development Production and DAPEES through ploughing, reaping and weeding, and the provision of improved seeds, which cost the directorate N$1.8 million,” said Ndevashiya during his state of the region address last week. 

The NILALEG project is funded through the Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) and the environment ministry, and it focuses on horticulture production. 

The project for the 2022/2023 financial year has invested N$4.5 million in the Okongo Community Forest Carpentry to upscale its operations. This initiative has created seven permanent job opportunities for the locals. 

Ndevashiya said due to horticulture, agro-forestry and mechanised agriculture, agricultural production has improved and sources of income have been diversified. 

Residents at both household and commercial levels in the region have engaged in poultry farming, which enabled them to make a living and improve household nutrition. 

He said a total of 1787 small-scale communal farmers have benefitted from the Poultry Value Chain Development Scheme during the 2022/2023 financial year. “The governor’s office has initiated development progr ammes, aimed at promoting and improving the socio-economic activities in the region. Micro, small and medium enterprises have been assisted to market and promote their agricultural products,” said Ndevashiya. 

According to the governor, a number of local agricultural entrepreneurs also had a chance to expose their products and received practical training on various agricultural practices to improve productivity. 

The Small Stock Grant Distribution project handed over 220 goats to the region’s beneficiaries – and through supervision during the year, the number of goats has increased to 403. 

The office of the governor also handed out a number of seedlings to community members. 

“The project was initiated to provide seedlings to each household in the 12 constituencies. So far, 11 constituencies have been covered, and 4 909 households, schools, churches and clinics have received free seedlings. It is worth mentioning that 12 permanent job opportunities were created through this project,” said Ndevashiya. 

He said the Directorate of Forestry gave 15 dead Kiaat timber trees for free to the youth in the Oshikunde constituency for training and skills development to boost regional development. 

The Regional Youth Empowerment Strategy guides efforts in providing young people with the necessary tools, resources and opportunities to reach their full potential and contribute to the socio-economic development of the region. 

The strategy is expected to empower young people with the necessary tools, resources and opportunities to lead fulfilling lives and become active and engaged citizens. 

“The programme will be realised through the efforts between the office of the governor, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Programme as well as UNFPA. The expected outcome of developing a youth empowerment strategy in the region aims at propelling prosperous, inclusive, tangible activities with tangible goals,” said Ndevashiya. 

2023-06-27  Max Heinrich

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