Omusati governor Erginus Endjala has encouraged the youth in his region to treat agriculture as a lucrative business opportunity rather than just a hobby.
Late and low rainfall this year resulted in low harvest for communities in the southern part of the region.
In addition to the low rainfall, the farmers in the region also did not receive planting seeds on time leading to a further low yield.
As a result, food security in the region has drastically dropped, leaving many communities food insecure.
Despite the drop in food security, food prices have also drastically increased, calling for a finer approach to food security in the region.
“By treating agriculture as a business, we shall improve in food self-sustenance,” said Endjala during his recent state of the regions address.
He said the region needs to shift from just being consumers to becoming producers so that they stop relying on imported food.
He stressed that it remains the region’s wish to formalise the informal agriculture market to enable produce from the region into the national procurement system.
Although a directive was already issued by government for public institutions to source produce from the local market, Endjala, in an interview with New Era yesterday, said much still needs to be done for the successful implementation of the directive.
At present, Endjala said although there is political will for the successful implementation of the directive, he stressed that the policy directive and the condition of the workers do not speak to one another.
As a result, local producers suffer and continue to not have access to the market.
Another issue that concerns the governor is that some businesses, that are expected to benefit from the policy are fronted by Namibians but are actually foreign owned.
The governor said it is possible for Namibians to supply for the local market.
“During last year’s total lockdown when the borders were closed, we survived on buying local produce which demonstrates that it is doable,” said Endjala.