RUNDU – Kavango East governor Bonifatius Wakudumo says the delayed agriculture infrastructure projects namely the Rundu Abattoir and the Uvhungu-vhungu dairy farm, under construction for more than eight years, should be completed urgently.
“I want to see speedy implementation of all delayed capital projects in this region such as the Uvhungu-vhungu Dairy Farm and Rundu Abattoir. These projects have been delayed for more than nine years and therefore, I call upon the responsible ministries and agencies to put their hands to the plough in realising the completion of the projects,” Wakudumo said.
He made the remarks in a statement read on his behalf by his personal assistant during the opening of a two-day Kavango East Farmers Union stakeholder engagement in Rundu slated for Tuesday and Wednesday.
The farmers union is preparing to host a leadership workshop and strategic formulations for the next five years, the stakeholders present have thus the responsibility to share and assist the union with vital information to help the farmers come up with the best strategy in achieving food security in the region.
The governor said for the region to address the issues of unemployment and poverty, challenges faced by the projects and the green schemes need to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
“I hope that through this engagement, we’ll come up with some proposals. Another issue of concern which needs to be discussed by this stakeholder engagement is the effect of the red line,” he noted.
The governor said he hope the stakeholder engagement would also come up with workable recommendations in assisting the government to find lasting solutions.
He said farmers need to also deliberate on the lack of feeder roads and telecommunication in the inland to facilitate the movement of agricultural products from the farms to the market as well as lack of market for their agricultural products. “As we may know, there is a proposed new Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) free zone in the Northern Communal Areas, for which the feasibility study and environmental impact assessment (EIA) was done,” he said.
Wakudumo, in his statement, noted that platforms of this nature are important as they bring together all role players in the food industry to engage and discuss the importance of food security in the region and the country at large.
“As you are all aware Kavango East region is regarded as one of the food baskets of Namibia, therefore, as farmers of this region, you have a huge responsibility on your shoulders to feed this nation.
“The roles that the farmers play in this region are commendable, therefore, I wish to encourage the farmers to participate with enthusiasm during this two-day engagement,” he said.
During the engagement, stakeholders in government and private sector, as well as developmental agencies, will help answer questions and challenges affecting the agricultural sector in the region.
Kavango East is blessed with abundant natural resources which can benefit the inhabitants of this region but the region ranks among the country’s poorest.
Wakudumo also wished the farmers union and stakeholders would also deliberate on the issues of policies that are hindering the development of the agriculture sector and come up with workable recommendations to change those policies in favour of farmers.