Albertus Shalongo Jason (35) grabbed an opportunity by using a piece of land he attained from his parents in Omuulukila village in Outapi and decided to set up an horticulture establishment.
“When my employment contract ended, I had two thoughts in mind – either to buy a car or invest my money on a farming idea that has been lying dormant for years. I was fortunate to have a piece of land closer to the water point, so I decided to buy a pumping machine, pipelines, fertilisers and seeds,” shared Jason. Although he has been passionate about agriculture, Jason needed some expert advice to get his agribusiness off the ground, utilising interventions of Agribank through its mentorship and coaching programme, as it provided guidance and support to successfully grow his crops.
“The intervention of Agribank was really helpful. I’m new in the farming industry and I didn’t know who to talk to. So, I invited Agribank’s mentor for the northern region Mr Pendukeni Hamunyela to my farm, who guided me with other community members on growing vegetables and watering methods,” he explained.
He urged Agribank to continue with its mentorship programme and training, as they serve as farmers’ advisor in their day-to-day farming operations. Asked about his future plans, Jason said once his farm grows, he will consider diversification of his farming practices by venturing into other farming areas, namely poultry, piggery and aquaculture.
Jason holds a diploma in Community Development from vocational training (VTC) and worked on a short-term contract as a Community Service Consultant at GIZ Namibia.
Jason currently farms on a one-hectare piece of land with butternuts, carrots, watermelons, cabbage, tomatoes, and spinach, among other vegetables.