Agribank chief tells Meatco night schoolers to move beyond subsistence
Warning against development silos, Agribank Chief Executive Sakaria Nghikembua said development partnerships between various organisations involved in development financing is essential to create synergies and deliver a combined value, greater than the sum of the individual organisations’ contributions.
Speaking at the opening of Meatco’s night school for livestock farmers earlier this week, Nghikembua pointed to the unique challenges in agriculture but also to the unexploited opportunities. “If accurately exploited, [these] can lead to securing livelihoods, fuelling economic growth and fostering human development,” he said.
Nghikembua highlighted the fact that Namibia’s production levels are not optimal, despite having the required resources such as the people, land, water, markets and funding. “This leads to a consumption gap resulting in the country importing its basic food stuff from other countries, mostly from South Africa, and in far too large quantities,” he said.
Motivating emerging farmers to move beyond subsistence, the bank’s head said “We need to contribute to the prosperity of our country, and we need skills to make this happen. We need to put money and time into skilling, upskilling and re-skilling our producers. They need practical, real-life skills to up their game.”
Nghikembua noted that Agribank spends over N$8 million annually to support the delivery of training and mentorship to producers.
The Meatco night classes and producers forum offer farmers extension services, advising and teaching producers to align the quality of animals with their livestock production systems to revive the sector.