Oshipe – Thank You
Oshipe, the Mahangu Harvest Thanksgiving, will be held in Eenhana on Saturday, 1 September. The Oshipe Festival honours the top mahangu growers of the season in the seven crop growing regions of Caprivi, Kavango, Otjozonjupa, Oshikoto, Oshana, Ohangwena and Omusati. Two categories are recognised with one winner per category per region receiving a certificate and each winner receiving a trophy for their achievements.
In total, 16 prizes will be awarded. Seven in the category for farmers cultivating between 5ha and 10ha and nine awards to farmers growing mahangu on 10ha or bigger. The winner of the five to 10 hectare category is awarded the National Champion Trophy while the overall winner in the above 10 hectare category is named National Grand Champion.
“The aim of Oshipe is to reach farmers and to encourage them to produce more mahangu for food security for their household consumption and surplus for the market”, says Mr Lungameni Lucas, National Mahangu Manager at the Namibia Agronomic Board. “We have government encouraging this because they have built silos and we want to fill those silos with grain,” he concluded. Since 2005, the Namibian Agronomic Board in association with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry has actively promoted mahangu as a commercially viable crop because of its importance as a highly nutritious staple food for over half the Namibian population.
Traditionally, Oshipe means giving thanks to God for the rains that have brought a successful mahangu harvest.