Loide Jason Epalela-About 25 farmers of Olushandja Horticultural Producers Association on Monday donated about five tons of freshly produced vegetables and some cash to Onesi Senior Secondary School. Omusati Regional Governor Erginus Endjala received the food on behalf of the school and handed it to the school hostel representatives at Olushandja in Onesi Constituency. The food consisted of bread, tomatoes, onions, cabbage, carrots, beetroot, green pepper, butternut, maize, spinach and potatoes. Endjala said all the donated food was locally produced. “I am very much thankful that the farmers responded positively, our children are busy writing examinations and we cannot disturb them because of [lack of] food,” Endjala said. Some schools in the Omusati Region last week sent learners home, because there was no food at school hostels. Endjala said the food donated by the farmers was fresh produce. “We have produce that is getting rotten in the farmers’ warehouse, while our learners are starving at school because we are importing food from a neighbouring country. This is bad,” Endjala said. He further said he was going to draft a letter to the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture and Ministry of Finance, stipulating that 40 percent of food procured to be supplied to schools should be locally produced, so that it creates a secure market for local farmers. “Our people are determined to produce more quality fresh food. However, because there is no secure market, so they cannot produce more food. If a secure market is created I am sure we can minimise on importing food,” the governor said. He further opined it would be cheaper to use locally produced food than to import food, which would save the country money. He also pointed out that Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA) should buy more goods from local farmers than from outside farmers, as well as provide training to the farmers on crop rotation. Speaking on behalf of the farmers, Sylvanus Naunyango said they responded to the call of the management of Onesi School, who refused to send the learners home while they are preparing for their national examinations. “The farmers responded positively with good products that catered for the imbalance, because our hearts have been bleeding to read in papers that some schools in the region have sent learners home because there is no food,” Naunyango said. Wilbard Kaenandunge of Onesi School said the school would use the cash they received to buy mahangu grains that will be crushed at Etunda Irrigation Scheme. He said the school intends to buy a silo since the parents have expressed willingness to donate grain and other crops.
2017-10-26 10:14:10 10 months ago