Tuulikki Abraham Keetmanshoop – The Klein-Karas Cooperative established in 2004 is experiencing challenges with livestock farming. Some of the challenges facing the co-op with 15 founding members, and 43 shareholders in the Keetmanshoop Rural Constituency, are that the farm is not demarcated in manageable camps and the livestock are exposed to predators like jackals. Water for the livestock is also a problem with the livestock having to walk long distances for grazing and water with only one water point available. “The availability of water is our highest concern, because our livestock suffer a lot by walking long distances in search of water that is very far from our farm. We also face a challenge of income, as the money we generate from the sales of livestock are used to maintain farm equipment, mainly the windmill and also to buy toiletries for scholars [and we] are left with nothing for ourselves,” cooperative member Josef Swartbooi states The cooperative received a donation from the German initiative which gave every household six goats and a ram. They also fortunately received a watchdog and two milk goats from the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF). The animals were however hit by the drought and most of their goats died due to drought. “We were lucky enough that some stakeholders came on board. A non-governmental organisation, Nature Foundation, donated N$40,000 and we bought 80 Dorper sheep from one of our neighbouring farmer,” Swartbooi states. The //Kharas Regional Council also went on board, through the Rural Development Programme with N$89,000, with which the farmers bought 50 ewes, renovated the dam and also divided the camp in two parts. To date they have four rams, 161 ewes and 82 Dorper lambs which are stud breed. They applaud the Nature Foundation and the //Kharas Regional Council for their donations which made a difference to their cooperative. As part of their social responsibility, the members of the cooperative have a vision of setting up a scholarship programme for the young generation to further their studies at institutions of higher learning in and outside the country. They also aim at developing the water points, border fencing, gardening project, needlework project as well as improving productive livestock. However, for such they need financial assistance to make their vision a reality for the success of their temporary, middle and long-term projects in future.
New Era Reporter
2018-07-24 09:52:26 11 months ago