TSUMEB -The Ministry of Land Reform will install 16 boreholes during the current financial year on nine resettlement farms in Oshikoto for the benefit of the resettled farmers.
This comes in handy for farmers as the country experience sporadic rainfall, most of the farmers in the region are faced with water shortage especially those without boreholes.
Resettled farmers will however be responsible for the maintenance and rehabilitation of the infrastructure, as part of the resettlement conditions.
“Due to prevailing economic conditions, the ministry budget has been reduced and as a result the ministry had to re-align its 2018/19 financial year planned activities with the financial resources available. Among the affected activities includes acquisition and infrastructure development,” stressed the Minister of Land Reform Uutoni Nujoma in a speech read by the Governor Henock Kankoshi during a farmers’ Day meeting held in Tsumeb yesterday.
Nujoma thus implored farmers to upgrade from semi to fully-fledged commercial farmers in order increase productivity and enhance the agricultural economy.
“In order for this to happen, resettled farmers are required to go through various stages of agricultural transformations such as from subsistence to commercial, although there are challenges experienced during transition. The situation is further worsened by the persistent drought countrywide, hence we are pleading with our farmers to take resettlement farming seriously by upgrading from current level of semi-commercial to fully commercial farming,” emphasised Nujoma.
The minister is however concerned about persistent cases of illegal occupation and subleasing of resettlement farms leading to overstocking, which results in degradation of farmland.
In addition, he said the monitoring exercise report conducted yearly established that there is low productivity at some resettlement farms.
“Resettled farmers are expected to practice good agricultural farming methods and confine their numbers of animals to prescribed carrying capacity as provided by the land use plan of each farming unit. Non adherence to this is regarded as a violation of resettlement conditions,” warned Nujoma.
On his part, Kankoshi encouraged resettled farmers to be resilient and forge ahead despite all the challenges, which comes with farming. “My advice is to reduce your herds of animal by selling and invest the money for other developments and restocking when the situation improves,” said the governor, adding that agricultural sector presents a lot of opportunities hence can be a way to solve some of the social issue affecting our country, such as reducing high unemployment and hunger.
“The sector can also be a major contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However this can only be achieved when resettlement farmers starts to adopt sustainable farming methods and invest sufficient resources on the farm,” noted Kankoshi. .
The event sought to educating farmers in areas of post-resettlement support services which include mentorship and access to finance, lease agreement which addresses issues of subleasing, drugs, alcohol and permanent improvement as well as inheritance of resettlement farms.
2019-03-27 08:55:27 6 months ago