Zambezi Green Commercial Farm revives old farming practices and ancestral knowledge
KATIMA MULILO - Delving deep into Namibian traditions and traditional farming, Zambezi Green Commercial Farm, one of the Agribank clients, is reviving centuries’ old farming practices and ancestral knowledge to reclaim agricultural productivity on a sustainable level with lasting benefits to human health.
In the document seen by AB Bulletin recently, the farm was established by Rector Muchimamui Mutelo as a pilot gardening project on a quarter of a hectare land in 2017. According to the document, Mutelo wanted to restore local knowledge in farming to improve food security, nutrition, crops and soils in Namibia, using organic fertilizers and compost made from organic material waste mixed with livestock waste to fertilize the land.
Regan Mwazi, the executive of marketing and customer strategy along with the regional branch manager visited the farm on the August 15 and were quite stunned and impressed at the scale of operation. It’s a magnificent operation that if adopted by farmers in the region could make it the breadbasket of Namibia in a short period of time, said Mwazi.
With financing from Agribank in 2018, the farm has expanded to seven hectares and supplies the local wholesalers such as Pick n Pay and Spar with fresh horticultural products throughout the year. The farm now supplies 700 kg of tomatoes every week to each local wholesaler with a trading agreement with the farm, not to mention other crops such as watermelon, green maize, okra, cabbage and butternuts.
According to Mwazi, the farm has created five permanent and 15 temporary employment positions and has the potential to create more with the envisaged expansion.
Mutelo narrated his immediate need to Mwazi as that of drilling a second borehole to minimize the risk of total failure should the current operating borehole fail. The second need is to obtain further funding for production inputs and drip irrigation infrastructure for the expansion of the farm from the current seven hectares to 30 hectares. He has already debushed the area. He was advised to initiate a loan application with the regional branch in Zambezi immediately in stages to avoid over-indulgence that may lead to indebtedness.
He turned the pilot project and formalized it as Zambezi Green Commercial Farm in 2018 and currently he takes on the challenge of developing the farm and growing the company into a centre of excellence, both in organic farming as well as in agricultural research. “What’s old is new again. Our ecologically-sound agricultural practices stem from traditional knowledge that is holistic in nature,” noted Mutelo.
In addition, working directly with local farmers in Namibia, Zambezi Green is committed to improving their economic state by validating and scaling their organic farming techniques. According to Mutelo, this will empower them to be focused on sustainability rather than just survival.
“Our initiatives include training local farmers on decomposition techniques and scaling their existing sustainable farming methods,” he enthused.
We advocate the use of heritage agricultural know-how for sustainable food production, he concluded.
2019-09-10 07:38:36 | 8 months ago