Fransfontein community receives garden, stoves, goats and boreholes
The Fransfontein Community officially received a community garden, energy-efficient stoves, goats, and rehabilitated boreholes from the Minister of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta late lost month.
The handover was done under the improving range-land and ecosystem management (IREMA) practices of smallholder farmers under conditions of climate change in the Sesfontein, Fransfontein, and Warmquelle areas of the country.
Shifeta said inevitably, young people account for a large percentage of the population, therefore the youth are faced with many hurdles in trying to earn a living, but, unfortunately, the youth do not perceive agriculture as a remunerative or prestigious profession.
“Investing in rural youth is, therefore, key to enhancing agricultural productivity, boosting rural economies, and ensuring food security and I urge the youth of Fransfontein to safeguard the investment and take ownership of the opportunity to transform their livelihoods and grab the opportunity to proudly safeguard this investment that youth should be re-engaged so that the youth can meaningfully transform the participation of youth from subsistence farming to commercial enterprise,” added Shifeta.
The Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) said that through the IREMA project they have invested more than $12 million to upgrade the Fransfontein Community Garden and the project has changed the food production landscape in Fransfontein with a total of 10 community members employed and more than 1 700 people as direct and indirect beneficiaries in the Fransfontein area.
“The Fransfontein Community Garden covers an area of 16 hectares and is focused on both horticultural and dry land crop production and it has been upgraded in terms of solar powered electric fence, water infrastructure which includes the construction of a four hundred cubic meters reservoir, rehabilitation of two boreholes to augment the fountain, installation of a solar plant, installation of drip irrigation system and an Automated Weather Station,” added the Fund.
The EIF explained that the project further rehabilitated nine boreholes in the Fransfontein area, which cost them more than N$2.4 million, which is expected to promote community health and ease access to water for both human and livestock consumption. “As such about 1 500 people and 10 000 livestock are expected to have access to reliable water supply infrastructure and community members have established home-based gardens that can improve their livelihood as well as strengthen household food security,” they added.
The Fund further said that the project has further procured 1 055 goats of which 420 were distributed to 20 vulnerable farmers in 2020 and another 630 goats were handed over to 29 identified farmers in the Kunene Region.
“The project envisaged a bumper harvest towards the end of November and financial projections for the garden’s proceedings is estimated to be more than N$200,000,” they concluded.