Demand for information prompts Agribank to resume training sessions for farmers
Face to face instruction and training by the lecturers in Agribank’s Agri-Advisory Services division have resumed, allowing larger groups but still with strict adherence top health protocols.
Livestock and Rangeland Management Technical Advisor Erastus Ngaruka said they are following all the health protocols and the number of participants is limited to 100 people, while more audiences are encouraged to follow the sessions on the bank’s social media platforms.
Ngaruka said they have experienced a drastic increase in the demand for training as more people have considered moving away from cities to pursue farming as a profession.
“The Covid-19 restrictions have hugely affected information dissemination to most of our farming communities, especially in the remote rural areas. [But even] some farmers with access to digital platforms have been asking for face to face training, claiming that it is more interactive and more effective,” he said.
The first four training sessions to resume normal training were held in Windhoek recently covering a wide range of topics including the basic aspects of farm management, planning and records keeping. Further training focussed on seasonal livestock health and nutritional needs, the importance of succession planning in farming as well as understanding soils for successful crop production.
“We are a small team and try to reach out to as many farmers as possible all over the country with minimal resources at our disposal. Therefore, we are exploring and taking advantage of our digital platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter, to reach out to our farmers,” he noted.
Though the annual calendar is usually developed at the beginning of each year, Ngaruka said it has not been executed smoothly this year due to the pandemic, however, the division is identifying those farming areas that received less of the bank’s interventions. A more structured training schedule will be released as soon as it has been finalised.
“Agribank is committed to capacitate farmers by reaching out to as many as we can. Farmers can keep in touch with our mentors in the regions, and they are also welcome to contact the technical advisors, myself and Hanks Saisai, for their farming issues as usual,” said Ngaruka.
Erastus Ngaruka, a technical advisor at Agribank, conducted the first of a series of face to face training sessions in Windhoek recently.