The Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) has added its voice to those calling on farmers to make optimal use of the current rainy season by planting more crops amid forecasts for a rain-friendly weather pattern that could deliver growth.
The triple-digit rainfall figures have seen the country`s prominent dams exceed 90% levels. Namibia’s largest dam, the Neckartal Dam has reached full capacity resulting in an overflow.
The Naute Dam and Hardap Dam are also at full capacity, which the SPYL says offer the southern part of Namibia ample agricultural opportunities.
“Investments such as the Neckartal Dam speaks to the rightful, intentional planning nature of the Namibian government, agricultural infrastructure and activities remain key in unearthing the potential job creation and economic growth and diversification,” the SPYL said in a statement on Sunday.
The political youth organisation wants the intended 5 000 hectares that the dam aims to irrigate to immediately commence. “The planned irrigation schemes will further aid the country`s ambitions in soliciting a food secure Namibia. It will further aid the diversification and special purpose economic growth plans the Harambee Prosperity Plan II has.” The SPYL said government’s latest initiative, Namibia Agricultural Mechanization and Seed Improvement Project (NAMSIP) under the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, should now begin availing tractors to farmers in the various constituencies to assist with ploughing, tilling, disking, harrowing and planting. “SPYL further proposes the excavation of earth dams to harvest runoff water as the nation is expected to receive more rainfall. With changing seasons we believe that earth dams in communal areas and resettlement farms protect farmers against potential devastating dry spells,” the statement said.
The organisation said Covid-19 has laid bare the underlying risks, fragilities, and inequities in global food systems, and pushed them close to breaking point.
The lockdowns and disruptions triggered by Covid-19 have shown the fragility of people’s access to essential goods and services, it said.
President Hage Geingob has declared 2021 as the “Year of Resilience” and called upon all Namibians to join hands and help defeat the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the Cabinet has identified agriculture, health and education as priority areas for 2021.