John Muyamba RUNDU – The Kavango East Regional Farmers Union (KERFU) has raised concern over peanuts being paid to farmers in the region in exchange for harvesting timbers. Those harvesting timber go on to sell this product for astronomical fees, the union noted. “[KERFU] is calling upon all farmers who have obtained harvesting permits to approach the union so that it can bargain better prices for their timber,” it said. “Our union is also calling upon the directorate of forestry to carry out a feasibility study for a timber processing plant in either Kavango East or West regions.” “With the unemployment rate of 42.8 percent, a timber processing factory will surely contribute towards reducing the unemployment rate,” KERFU chairperson Adolf Muremi said. He said the union was grateful that the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry has granted permission to small scale commercial farmers to utilise forest products. This, he says, will go a long way in assisting farmers to benefit from the resources (trees) they are protecting and use the proceeds to develop their farms. Muremi says that farmers who have thus far harvested and marketed timber have used the proceeds to put up water infrastructures, farm infrastructures and stocked their farms. “However, our union is concerned with the fact that timber is leaving the country unprocessed or semi-processed. This is contrary to Namibia’s Growth at Home Strategy that targets three key intervention areas, namely supporting value addition, upgrading and diversification for sustained growth, securing market access at home and abroad and local employment creation,” he said.
2018-07-26 09:43:54 1 months ago