Agribank engages farmers in the Omaheke region
Agribank recently spearheaded a stakeholder engagement Gobabis, bringing together all agriculture role players in the region, to consult and engage on how best to serve farmers in the cattle country.
The event, which took place on Wednesday, 19 January saw farmers’ union representatives presenting their challenges, while also proposing solutions. According to Agribank, the farmers, among others, indicated that due to drought, they are now disintegrated as each farmer is now focused on the survival of his/her farm, resulting in fewer peer-to-peer interactions.
Farmers, therefore are proposing for Agribank to champion events for farmers to come together, and share information on addressing various challenges they face.
Agribank was further urged to provide attendance certificates and/or accreditation to farmers, after attending farming training facilitated by Agribank. According to farmers, this will help when applying for resettlement farms at the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform.
Meanwhile, farmers also encouraged synergies between all key stakeholders in the region, to ensure that bottlenecks in the process of serving farmers are addressed from all angles.
Regan Mwazi, Executive Manager Marketing and Customer Strategy at Agribank responded to some of the issues raised and praised the institutions for attending and providing input.
“It is only through stakeholder engagements such as this one where the local solution to challenges can be provided and opportunities identified for exploitation to the benefit of the farming industry,” Mwazi said.
Mwazi also urged farmers to be organised in order to be heard and take seriously the information provided to them through various platforms in order to improve their respective farming techniques.
Commenting on the engaged, Emilie Abraham, Manager: Horticulture Market Development, Namibia Agronomic Board, expressed her satisfaction with the meeting, noting that the event helped in providing context on the responsibilities of individual stakeholders, while also clarifying such functions in the chain of helping farmers, and growing the sector.
Agribank’s newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, Dr Raphael Karuaihe announced that stakeholder engagements will be at the core of his 100 days in office. As such, more events of similar nature will be conducted at the auspices of Agribank.
Institutions represented at the event were; Omaheke Regional Council, Farmers Unions and Associations, Namibia Agronomic Board, Meat Board of Namibia, NAMPOL Stock Theft Unit, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Witvlei Village Council, and the Namibia Biomass Industry Group.