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Okongo hydroponic project provides proof of concept for intensive farming at community level

Okongo hydroponic project provides proof of concept for intensive farming at community level

The Minister of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, this week handed over hydroponic farming systems to the Okongo Community.

Shifeta urged the community of the Okongo area, especially the youth to safeguard the investment and transform their livelihood to reduce the number of young people who are migrating to urban areas in the hope of a better life. “In reality, rural economic transformation is the better life,” he stressed.

“We remain steadfast and resolute in the pursuit of our ultimate objectives of economic emancipation and concomitant prosperity. This is realized through rural development investment, diversification of livelihood and creating employment for the rural youth,” added Shifeta.

The system was funded by the Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) to the tune of N$3 million and is being implemented by the Okongo Community Forest in the Ohangwena Region.

The forest covers 55,918 hectares in the Okongo district which must contribute to improve resilience at community level through collective capacity building and promotion of climate-smart technologies and climate-resilient livelihoods.

The Fund further explained that the focus of the project is to improve crop productivity, introduce climate-smart agriculture techniques and boost water conservation through hydroponic systems. Its further goal is to improve the social economic status of the Okongo Community Forest and to develop the forestry sector.

“To date, three completed greenhouses, a hydroponic unit for fodder production, a nursery, one borehole retrofitted with a solar pump as well as a 10,000 litre water tank, and cold storage facility have been completed and the project has employed two permanent and 65 temporary workers. The project recorded a decent harvest earlier this year and generated an income of N$30,000 demonstrating its capacity as a business venture,” concluded the Fund.


About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.