RUNDU – The German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) is planning to introduce a farmers’ business school to equip farmers with business skills in their different farming activities.
This programme will be incorporated into the Communal Land Development Projects (CLDP)’s major activities. It will be offered for free to farmers. “This is a programme that we are going to start implementing in Namibia, its new and it will soon be rolled out. I just completed the second phase of my training last month in Malawi and then we went to Ghana with the partners for an exposure trip, we will be having a meeting on 16 November to see how we will strategise the implementation of this programme but in the meantime, I have started working on the training materials,” says Barry Manda, Technical Advisor at Agricultural Business and Capacity Development (ABCD), a project run by GIZ under the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry. Manda is one of the officials in charge of the farmers business school implementation.
“During the training in Malawi, we thought we should have started with the training of trainers by November but then it looks that the programme itself is not as simple as we thought, so by now we are working on the materials that we hope by the end of November they will be complete and handed to the facility in Ghana for approval,” Manda continues. This programme has been rolled out in 19 countries and over a million farmers have been trained already. “The programme is standardised in such a way that as a master trainer, I can train in any country because the modules are standardised, so after we develop our materials as per our value chain, then they have to be looked into by the facility just to make sure that they conform with this standards.”
The GIZ is planning to start the programme in three different products or value chains, mahangu, chicken and maize, and eventually it will be rollout into livestock and citrus or fruit tree plantations. “For now it’s a new programme we have to start somewhere, so livestock will be next as there is a high demand for that and I believe its because Namibia is one of the livestock countries,” notes Manda.
The programme will be preceded by a strategic meeting in November 16 and it is envisaged to start in the regions of Omusati and Kavango West and East. “Because this is where the three value chains are more practiced, that’s where we have mahangu, maize and in Omusati we have more of chickens,” Manda notes.
“We have diverse institutions that we are going to work with and in the implementation phase, I think the government is going to play a major role. We are targeting each and every ABCD, which is lead by an extension officer, so as GIZ we will be training trainers, some of them will be government extension officers, private institutions like the NNFU and Agribank that have extension staff all around the country, those trainers will be trained by GIZ and the particular institutions will then deploy them to their areas of operations,” he informs.