Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro Windhoek-The concept of Harambee, coined in the Namibian context by President Dr Hage Geingob when he assumed the reins of governance to encourage each and every one to join the struggle for economic reconstruction and development, seems to increasingly find reverberation in many socio-economic edifices of the country. The latest to embrace the concept, derived from a Kiswahili word meaning ‘all pulling together with purpose in one direction’, is the Harambee 2030 Vision, an initiative of long-time farmer, Albert Tjihero and others. The initiative stems from a series of meetings last year at the Namibia Primary School. It is meant to encourage and help beginner farmers to deal with the challenges of farming, especially cattle herding, which is the economic mainstay of many communal farmers and the backbone of their livelihood on which the farming communal communities have been relying mostly, if not solely, for subsistence and substance, against the backdrop of changing climatic conditions of late which have not been farming-friendly. The idea has been to encourage especially beginner farmers to lessen the burden of cattle farming by instilling in them better and optimal farming methods and skills. The initiative has been looking at the various challenges facing especially beginner farmers, such as whether communal farming from one kraal is sustainable and workable and whether taking early retirement to embark on farming is advisable in view of the changing climatic conditions which have posed farmers with various challenges. Opinions on the feasibility and practicality of communal farming from the same kraal have been as varied as the challenges that farming has been posing farmers, with some farmers testifying that it has been practicable while others testified to the challenges, albeit not insurmountable that they have been facing in such farming relations. As a result of the Harambee Vision 2030 farming initiative, farming saving clubs have been established, notable among them the Oututa Ondjamo (Farming is helpful) and Ovaute Farmers Initiative. While these savings clubs have a long way to go as yet in terms of their structures, some progress has been made with one having saved close to N$200,000 since its establishment. Some of its members are Namibian citizens eking out a living in foreign countries like the United States of America (USA) and Canada. Another has already bought livestock with its savings that have been distributed among members.
2018-01-30 09:47:57 7 months ago