• July 10th, 2020

Self-made farmer shares her success story



Debbie Maxuilili Ankama, aged 62, has urged fellow Namibian pensioners to invest wisely into livestock and crop farming so that they become enablers for self-sustainability and, on the other hand, so that they meet government halfway in terms in food production and security for the entire country.

The former fleet manager at Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) was always in suspense about the economic activities that she would venture in once she had retired.
“I never thought I would be doing this one day because I am not a farming person. I was wondering what to do since the only thing I know is my work with the resort,” said the sexagenarian.

The retiree says it is unwise for pensioners to unreasonably spend their hard-earned money on luxuries and on worldly goods that would not boost their post-retirement savings.
“Don’t rush to spend your money when you retire. Wait for the right time to spend it wisely and the only way to do that is to come up with ways of generating more money for the amount you already have,” she highlighted.
“We must now look at how the world is working and start producing and supporting what is ours.”
Ankama and her life-time pillar of strength, husband, operates from a small a plot in Omakange, producing tomatoes, spinach, spring onions, okra, mealies, chicken and quails.

“I retired and decided to venture into this. We initially gave the vegetables away as they were becoming too many because it was only for the family. Finally, I opted to plant more and start selling to keep myself pre-occupied,” stated Ankama.
Having initially started with a seed capital of N$50 000, she says she is still on the learning curve.
“I only got to realise now the logistics of managing and navigating through such a venture.”
She took note of some instances that seem to hinder people from doing such businesses and it all has to do with society and Namibians not supporting their own. 

“I have sold my produce at areas where I was chased away until I decided to sell it from the boot of my car. We (Namibians) are not polite to one another – they will look and laugh at you for selling tomatoes,” she reminisced.
“Me selling my tomatoes and you having a fulltime job is the same, we all earn an income, just different revenue streams but we are making money. I am not ashamed of selling vegetables.”

Ankama employs eight workers at the plot, who are responsible for making sure the right quality of vegetables, poultry and eggs are produced despite the challenge posed by the novel coronavirus. 
“We never laid them off; they are human beings and they have families – they have mouths to feed and they are assets to this company. The measures we have taken include constant hand washing, sanitising, face masks and maintaining cleanliness before working with the vegetables,” said Ankama. 

“If I knew more about farming, I would have ventured into it a long time ago. One doesn’t need any experience when it comes to farming – just the basics and you learn your way along the way.”
Ankama said: “Most people would opt to travel the world after retiring but I have travelled while young. Nothing fascinates me about travelling, so I would rather spend my money in the country and contribute to the greater good and assist where I can. Right now, food security is something which Namibians should join forces. I am not producing for myself; I am producing for the nation.”
She urged the youth to take part and contribute where they can.
 “The youth is more energetic and they should take charge. They should be productive. This is your beautiful country; try getting into farming,” she advised the youth.
– psiririka@nepc.com.na 
 


Paheja Siririka
2020-06-10 10:01:39 | 1 months ago

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