Subsistence farmers in the Oshikoto region are hard at work ploughing their crop fields following good rains in the northern part of the country.
Benjamin Petrus from Oshalongo village in Omuntele constituency said he is optimistic about this year’s harvest.
Petrus further highlighted that some villages are unable to plough their fields simply because they cannot afford to pay for the services of a tractor.
“There is definitely rain this year. If someone did not plough it must be because they are lazy or maybe they did not have the tools,” said Petrus.
He pleaded with government through the department of agriculture to make the subsidised tractor for communal ploughing more accessible to those who cannot afford to hire a tractor from private individuals.
“Some people have the will but do not have the money to pay for the tractor.
The tractors from the government do not reach everyone and on time,” he concluded.
At the same village, 80-year-old Ndapandula Fatima continues to wake up early in the morning to work in the field. She lives with her sister, her brother-in-law and their children.
The elderly woman jokingly said in Oshiwambo, edimo ola endifa eyoka, loosely translated, “the stomach made the snake walk”.
This essentially means there is a need to feed themselves, hence the importance to work the field even at her age in order to capitalise on the rain.
Another villager who prefers to go by the name Tatekulu, said he only started ploughing late January because his field was submerged with rainwater.
“The field is waterlogged and looks like a dam. Maybe in mid-February is when I can really start ploughing and planting the whole field. Even the tractor is ploughing with difficulty,” he said.