Former SRC vice president of Unam Ogongo Campus and final year Crop Science student Rabban Nghishidimbwa urges youth to take up opportunities in agriculture to revive the economy.
Nghishidimbwa, who is pursuing an honours degree, says the only hope for young people during these trying times is in agriculture.
“We can no longer continue sleeping day and night; its no longer business as usual. There’s a need for young people to emerge vigorously and take up agribusiness significantly to fill up the market gap and reduce the shortfall of local products,” he said.
According to Nghishidimba, 70% of the total population of Namibia depends on agricultural activities for their livelihood, mostly in the subsistence sector.
“The sector in Namibia contributes around 5.1% to (GDP). However, the country’s agricultural sector is affected and confronted with various factors such as low productivity, which is characterised by low rainfall, and lack of inputs and mechanisation,” he further explained.
Nghishidimbwa added the Covid-19 pandemic has taught a lesson that the country needs to become self-sufficient in food production.
“This presents a great opportunity to encourage the youth to tap into the sector as a way of mitigating the economic crisis brought by the pandemic,” Nghishidimbwa said, adding that agriculture is undoubtedly one of the pathways in resolving these economic problems.
“This country needs committed youth to take up this challenge, using modern technology to produce food for the nation. Young people need to come out of their comfort zone and change their perception that Agriculture is only for people in rural areas; the youth need to play around with the soil which we are abundantly blessed with and put it in good use to improve our livelihood,” he emphasised.
Another potential industry Nghishidimbwa encourages youth to venture into is the poultry industry, as it requires minimal startup capital.
He requested, Agri bank to avail resources and support aspiring young agripreneurs to take up opportunities in the agriculture sector.
“Support can be given in a form of income grants and free entry restrictions into the market for small scale farmers around the country. Agriculture will, therefore, remain the mainstream activities in the country and our best hope in mitigating the harsh effects of Covid 19,” he concluded.