RUNDJARA – A programme by the German Agency for International Cooperation, Farmers Business School, recently awarded certificates to about 80 communal farmers in the Rundjara village in the Masharere Constituency of the Kavango East region.
This follows their completion of a five-day training on farming for resilience and entrepreneurship.
FBS was developed in 2010 as an innovative agricultural extension and training approach to promoting entrepreneurship and business skills among small-scale farmers in Africa.
Communal farmers in the Rundjara village were the first recipients to benefit from this initiative in Namibia, which is also being offered in 24 African countries.
Speaking at the farmers’ graduation ceremony, Berry Manda, the GIZ technical advisor at the Farmers Business School (FBS), said the programme has already started yielding positive results in the countries where the programme is being implemented.
He believes there will be a mindset shift among small-scale framers in Namibia, particularly those in communal areas who go through this training.
“The advantages of this programme has seen countries who implement it increase their production in the agricultural sector. The programme has also seen a change in the mindset of farmers, who change as they now start to realise that framing is a business,” Manda said. One of the trainees Muronga Mukuve expressed his gratitude to FBS and the trainers for training them in becoming entrepreneurs in the farming sector.
“I would like to thank the Famers Business School team for equipping us with skills that will enable us to run our small farming businesses. It was never my expectation to be trained as a farmer; therefore, I am grateful for this programme,” Mukuve noted.
Another beneficiary of the programme David Maseka also expressed his gratitude, and encouraged his fellow farmers to maximise on the skills they received to generate an income for themselves and increase their production.
“We, the farmers of Rundjara village, are grateful for this opportunity granted to us. As you may be aware of our situation, we only used to farm for a living but never saw it as a business venture. Our minds have changed; we will now start thinking like entrepreneurs,” Maseka said.
The programme is also envisaged to train value chain farmers in Kavango West, Kunene, Zambezi, Oshana, Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Omusati, Omaheke and Otjozondjupa regions.
The other partners involved in the programme are the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Namibia Agronomic Board, Namibia Training Authority, Red Cross Namibia, Agribank and AMTA.