In its drive to improve the livelihood of the rural communities and to contribute to food and nutrition security, the government handed over 20 does and one buck each to 20 selected beneficiaries in Daweb West of the Erongo region.
The beneficiaries will also be supported with the construction of kraals, small stock equipment as well as vaccines. A revolving agreement will be signed between the Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Forestry and the beneficiaries to ensure that the goats are used for the intended purpose. As per the revolving agreement, the beneficiaries are expected to revolve the first 10 does during the third year, the next five does during the fourth year and the last five does during the fifth year.
The initiative is in line with the Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5), Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP), and the ministry’s strategic plan of empowering the least privileged communities to reduce income disparity. Handing over the animals, agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb said the beneficiaries that received small stock for breeding purposes on Wednesday were selected by constituency committees in collaboration with traditional authorities.
“Thus, the ministry believes that this consultative approach will create a sense of ownership of the project by the region’s political and traditional leaders and by the respective beneficiaries of these goats,” he said.
The “Small Stock Development and Distribution to Communal Areas” (SSDDCAs) is a capital project initiated by the ministry as a follow-up phase of a similar project that was successfully implemented by the ministry known as the “Small Stock Support Project” (SSSP) which was piloted and implemented in the Hardap, //Kharas and Omaheke regions.
The project was rolled out to the communal areas in all 14 regions. Kavango West, Oshana and Kunene regions benefited between 2015- 2016.
Erongo region is one of the six benefiting regions for the 2019/2020 financial year. However, !Naruseb noted the distribution could not be done earlier due to prolonged droughts and the delayed onset of the rainfall for the 2019/2020 rain season. He stated the region confirmed that the rangeland conditions have improved to sustain the breeding materials handed over to beneficiaries.
The minister explained the project is aimed at providing a quality core breeding flock of suitable goats to selected vulnerable households to gain a sustainable means of income generation and enhanced food and nutrition security while improving their social and economic wellbeing.
“It is a well known fact that Namibia is one of the countries that is negatively affected by climate change. The vulnerable households that own either a few livestock or none are severely affected by such effects of drought, pests and disease outbreaks,” he said. Therefore, he believes the project strives to build the resilience of these farming households to the effects of climate change. He made it clear that the beneficiaries will be enlightened with the project by-laws and protocol that stipulates the terms and conditions as well as the parties’ responsibilities during the implementation of the project. The ministry will also empower the beneficiaries and neighbouring communities with training in small stock management. Beneficiaries received an intensive training offered by the ministry’s staff members to complement their skills in small stock husbandry.
He reminded beneficiaries to make use of the services offered specifically to them by the ministry with the sole purpose of improving their households’ livelihoods.
Equally, he urged all beneficiaries of this intervention to take good care of the goats and abide by the conditions of the by-laws, protocol, and the signed revolving agreement.
“I desire that these goats will have the intended impact on your livelihoods and that they will multiply so that their offspring can be revolved to benefit other community members in the same region,” he hoped.