ONGWEDIVA – Various farmers within Otjozondjupa region have procured and received farm machinery and equipment from the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Land Reform through the Namibia Agriculture Mechanisation and Seed Improvement Project (NAMSIP).
Highlighted in state of the region address, the region received 100 diesel chipper hammer mills, 170 seedling trans-planters, 160 weeding cultivators, 35 walking tractors with matching implements and three tractors of 77kw horsepower.
The region is yet to receive two-row engine-propelled maize combined harvests, boom sprayers, seven tractors of 60-70kw and 14 tractors of 40-50kw by the end of August.
According to Otjozondjupa governor James Uerikua, some of the farm machinery and equipment received are commissioned and awaiting distribution to various Agricultural Development Centres (ADCs), while others wait for the recently finalised implementation modalities for loaning to farmers.
“Fulfilling the objective of employment creation, the agriculture ministry seeks 30 contractual farm machinery operators from the region, who will be undergoing intensive training to operate the above machinery in all constituencies,” said Uerikua.
Uerikua indicated that about 1 806 households benefitted from subsidised agricultural production inputs, tools and equipment provided through the Dry Land Crop Production Programme (DCPP), Horticulture Value Chain Development Scheme, Poultry Value Chain Development Scheme and NAMSIP.
A total of 1.8 tonnes of mahangu, 4.2 tonnes of maize, 1.7 tonnes of cowpeas and one tonne of sorghum seeds were subsidised under DCPP.
“Through the same intervention, 2 514 households benefited from the subsidised mechanised services, such as ploughing, ripping, planting and weeding services during the previous planting season. With the assistance of the government mechanised services, a total of 866 hectares of land was ploughed,” said Uerikua.
Under the horticulture subsidisation programme, 56 horticulture farmers were supported financially to access items such as fertilisers, pesticides, seeds and irrigation equipment in the form of water tanks, drip systems and submersible pumps of a value of N$400 600.
Ninety-four producers under the poultry value chain development were assisted with subsidised feed, production stock, material housing and veterinary supplies to a tune of N$250 000.
“The agricultural ministry has reached about 3 235 farmers through training, information days, farm and exposure visits, and demonstration days. Farmers were informed on various practices and technologies with an emphasis on climate-smart agriculture,” said Uerikua.
Uerikua maintained that an amount of N$2 million was allocated to support farmers with subsidy feed, vaccines, value addition, preservation equipment and cold storage tanks, milking machines, pasteurisers, cream separators, butter processors and capacity buildings.
He further indicated that the region has 105 registered seed producers, and 24 seed growers managed to supply the ministry with certified seeds.