Agronomic Board rewards top Mahangu producers
The Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) in collaboration with the agriculture ministry hosted the annual Mahangu Harvest Festival competition awards at the Kavango East Regional Council Auditorium, in Rundu.
The competition gives recognition to farmers who have implemented improved farming and cultivation methods to maximize their yield of Mahangu, by planting good quality seed and at the same time using the available arable land efficiently.
This year, Petrus Kudumo, from Mashare constituency in the Kavango-East region was crowned the National Mahangu Grand Champion, while the National Mahangu Champion (small-scale producer category winner) was Robert Makota from Kavango West region.
According to the organisers, the competition recognises Mahangu producers in two categories. Category 1: National Grand Championship, which is for producers that planted on more than 10 hectares(large-scale) and Category 2: National Championship, which is for producers that planted on 5 to 10 hectares (small scale).
Regional winners in Category 1 include; Fabian Sisamu (Zambezi region), Petrus Kudumo (Kavango East region), Markus Muhongi (Kavango West region), Benedicta Hausiku (Otjozondjupa region), Fillipus Daniel (Ohangwena region), Michael Shelungu (Oshikoto region), Maria Stefanus (Oshana region) and Josafat Aipinge (Omusati region).
Regional winners in Category 2 include; Robert Kamwayamunzi (Zambezi region), Elias Ndumba (Kavango-East region), Robert Makota (Kavango-West region), Hellene Mukuve (Otjozondjupa region), Elia Linoovene (Ohangwena region), Paulus Kashikola (Oshikoto region), Werner Shiinda (Oshana region) and Cecilia Amutenya (Omusati region).
Speaking at the event, NAB Board Chair, Michael Iyambo encouraged Mahangu producers to increase production, assimilate into producing Mahangu for business and move away from subsistence farming in order to encourage potential investors into milling facilities, as well as to improve access to formal markets for their grains.
“Formal markets need consistency and volumes to allow their institutions to continue with the processing of grain without being subject to seasonal production only,’’ he said.
The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Anna Shiweda said the Mahangu Harvest Festival creates a platform for Mahangu producers to learn from one another, motivate each other and to engage in healthy competition and thus signifying the importance of Mahangu to the Namibian nation at large.
Caption: Albertyne Kauluma (Deputy Director: Rural Services at Kavango East Regional Council), Dr Fidelis Mwazi (NAB CEO), Dr Samuel Mbambo (Governor: Kavango East region), Anna Shiweda (Deputy Minister: Agriculture, Water and Forestry) and Michael Iyambo (NAB Chairperson). Standing: Regional Grand Champion (large-scale) category winners).