Erongo farmers learn modern Swakara husbandry

Agra in partnership with the Centre of Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA) trained a total of 24 farmers on small stock farming from 1 – 4 March 2016 at the Agra Pelt Centre in Windhoek and at the Neudamm Agriculture campus of the University of Namibia.
The training focussed on applied animal health, livestock handling and market dynamics. Jaco van Zyl, Agra’s Swakara expert said, “Swakara production is one of the most ideal farming practises in harsh and dry climatic conditions. The main aim is to develop and empower the farming community by strengthening their knowledge and skills on Swakara production.”
He said there is a need for more pelts at the international auctions, to satisfy the growing demand. “Swakara has established itself as a sought-after fur, and has over the years become designers’ favourite choice of material for garment and accessories. Therefore we need to continue imparting skills and knowledge to both new and existing producers for the industry to grow sustainably. These interventions are not only geared to up-skilling the farmers, but also to complement the government’s efforts to eradicate poverty and create wealth.”
The training was presented over four days covering both theory and practical sessions. Calvin Sambo, Programme Officer from CCARDESA said that capacity building and mentorship is the basis of their founding.
Sambo noted that the programme was started in 2004 to find a solution to the low contribution of the agricultural sector to national economic and social growth. “It was established that the agricultural sector is faced with a range of constraints which together contribute in a unique way to the under-performance of the sector.”
To counter these challenges, the training course enabled farmers to join the swakara value chain and
Agra then issued a certificate to each farmer who completed the training.

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