Rikus Grobler | Jun 20, 2017 | 0
5th National Development Plan’s base for agricultural sector
The 8th National Congress of the Namibian National Farmers Union ( NNFU) held on 9-10 June, in Opuwo, Kunene Region saw the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF), John Mutorwa, unveil the 5th National Development Plan on Agriculture.
“The government’s message to NNFU particularly to those in the NCA’s is loud and crystal clear: Do not despair,” Mutorwa said.
He added that the government and both international and local donors and partners are reliable in providing the funding and stakeholder support to the new Harambee Comprehensively Coordinated And Integrated Agricultural Development Programme (HACCIADEP).
The programme mode of operation and intent is to serve market access to small and medium scale agricultural producers and ago-processors, as a means of stimulating sustainable agricultural production and activity, that in turn enhances national and household food security.
The MAWF, through the programme is proposing that maximum support be provided, for the supply of locally produced high quality crop and livestock products, mainly from small and medium scale agricultural producers and processors to government offices, ministries and agencies, using mainly, the Public Procurement System.
The programme includes an assessment on Small stock value chain development scheme for small and medium scale Agricultural producers and agro-processors in the Southern Region. Flood water irrigation and infrastructure development schemes as-well as developing the Northern Communal Area Beef value chain.
“We are also arguing, without any fear of contradiction that government, is the largest single market, for crop and livestock products in Namibia,” Mutorwa said, adding that the combined daily demand, for crop and animal products; is certainly much larger, than any single buyer ability to stock up on.
Mutorwa said that meaningful contribution to employment creation, in rural areas and to the reduction of income inequalities; which in turn, brings vigour to economic activities in rural communities and spurs on industrialisation in rural area is a realistic and practical programme, that must be supported, first of all by all government entities.
“It is neither an exaggeration, nor an overstatement to argue that communal farming is directly supporting the livelihoods of over more than half, of Namibia’s total population. The irony of
the situation,” Mutorwa said.
Mutorwa conveyed to NNFU’s Leadership the that the 5th National Development Plan’s goals on agricultural development. The Agriculture Ministry said it is in the final stages of completing the drafting of the very important programme document.
Mutorwa said that he is in agreement with the theme of the congress, “Non-title deed agriculture transformation,” as a key to wealth creation and prosperity.”
Strategies that the Agriculture ministry plans to implement include increasing smallholder or communal farmers’ productivity and provide information on modern farming practises, especially critical information on how communal farmers can organize cooperatives, access credit and acquire agriculture equipment.