Tsumis Arid Zone Agricultural Centre graduates first batch of irrigation farmers
The first eleven Small Scale irrigation farmer trainees from the Tsumis Arid Zone Agricultural Centre (TAZAC) in Hardap Region graduated last week.
The trainees who received their certificates underwent a 6-month foundation course in Horticulture with particular emphasis on date, grape and vegetable production with a rigorous practical training at the Orange River Irrigation Project.
Speaking at the official handover of the certificates, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Percy Misika said he regards the graduates as new commercial farmers, prospective employers and young entrepreneurs, who will make their mark in a highly competitive national and international market for crops and horticultural products, thereby contributing to the attainment of food self-security, and improved livelihoods.
“The objective of this tailor made course was to equip these young people with knowledge and skills that will enable them to embark upon commercial farming with export oriented cash crops such as dates and grapes, among others. This training is prerequisite for the participation in the commercial irrigation farming at any irrigation project under the Green Scheme,” Misika said.
Meanwhile, Petrus Uugwanga, Managing Director of AgriBusDev, encouraged the graduates to reflect on their experiences in the Green Scheme Program and consider the best ways of utilizing their training in the future.
“You have had the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in horticulture production that you would not have been able to acquire in your secondary education and I believe that this knowledge will help you to grow. You are now in the perfect position to give back to the Namibian nation and serve as food production soldiers in Green Scheme Irrigation Projects as we are ‘Filling the Basket’. So we are very keen to welcome you to the Green Scheme portfolios,” Uugwanga said.
Caption: The Graduates together with Percy Misika and Tsumis Arid Zone Agricultural Centre Management.