WINDHOEK – The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry has received agricultural implements and pheromone traps from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to support farmers to increase production.
The donation includes 48 hand planters, 59 animal-drawn Direct seeder planters, 150 Mangoye ripper flat tines and 140 Mangoye ripper square tines with wings, 1308 Lures and 654 kill traps.
The ministry’s executive director Percy Misika, who received the donation on Thursday, said the implements will be used to enhance conservation agriculture in promoting the adaption and adoption of mechanised agriculture as well as increasing small-scale farmers’ production and productivity.
He said Namibia is grateful to FAO for the pheromone traps as it comes at the right time.
According to him, the pheromone traps will be placed strategically in crop growing areas to monitor and improve surveillance of pest occurrence.
“The availing of pheromone traps will strengthen the ministry’s capacity in surveillance mechanism as well as early warning and forecasting systems, which are necessary to alert the ministry and farmers on the likely attack of the fall army worm,” he said.
He said the ministry has adopted the lead farmer approach in line with the Namibia Agricultural Policy which embraces the mentorship farmer-to-farmer approach to implement conservation agriculture. Therefore, he says, these implements will be distributed to lead farmers for demonstration purposes.
The agriculture sector remains central to the livelihood of the majority of the Namibian public.
The sector directly and indirectly supports over 70 percent of the country’s population for sustenance, incomes and livelihoods.
However, Misika said the sector is faced with many challenges, amongst others, changing of climatic patterns, including low and erratic rainfall, poor soil fertility, lack of well-adapted technologies as well as new pests and diseases that are not endemic to the country and the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) region.
The negative impacts of the drought have become more pronounced in Namibia for the past four years.
During the 2016/2017 cropping season Namibia experienced the infestation of fall army worms as a new pest species.
“Therefore, we are very concerned with the emergence, intensity and spread of the pest. Climate-smart agriculture practices, such as conservation agriculture, remain the hope of 70 percent of the Namibian population whose livelihood depends on agriculture,” he noted.
The ministry is implementing the Comprehensive Conservation Agriculture Programme jointly with development partners, among others the FAO and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
The Comprehensive Conservation Agriculture Programme is a framework for coordinating implementation of conservation agriculture by all stakeholders in Namibia.
The aim of the programme is to promote climate adaptation practices to increase food production and enhance household food security.
These programmes are responsive to the long-term strategic development framework Vision 2030, National Development Plans, Harambee Prosperity Plan 2016-2020 and the ministry’s Strategic Plan 2017/2018-2021/2022.
Misika indicated that if implemented their impacts will improve agricultural output, creating resilience to climate change in communal areas, and enhance food security at household and national levels.
These interventions are in line with the 2014 Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods. Through this declaration, Namibia like all African Union member states has a commitment of ending hunger in Africa by 2025.
2019-08-08 07:20:14 11 days ago