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Schlettwein calls for urgent action to achieve food security and tackle income inequality

Schlettwein calls for urgent action to achieve food security and tackle income inequality

The Minister of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform, Calle Schlettwein, this week highlighted the urgent need for the nation to achieve self-sufficiency in basic food staples.

Speaking at a meeting with the new board members of the country’s Agronomic Board, Schlettwein emphasized the economic potential of agriculture, particularly the agronomic sector.

“We are still characterized as an economy that consumes what it does not produce and produces what it does not consume. This situation makes Namibia very vulnerable in terms of food security, and hence our need to become self-sufficient in basic foods such as grains and other staple foods,” he said.

With a focus on reducing income inequality and creating economic opportunities, Schlettwein emphasized the need to support small-scale horticultural and agronomic producers, enhancing their productivity and connecting them to lucrative markets.

Crucially, the minister underscored the importance of maintaining affordable food prices and ensuring food security for all citizens as well as recognizing the vulnerability of the country’s food supply, efforts to achieve self-sufficiency in staple crops like grains were emphasized.

Schlettwein also highlighted the role of the agricultural sector in creating jobs, improving livelihoods, and facilitating youth employment.

“Over 70% of the population depends on agriculture for their livelihood, while at the same time, Namibia is ranked as the second most skewed economy with great inequality in income distribution. Agriculture, and specifically the agronomic sector, offer the best economic opportunities for job creation, improved livelihoods, and youth employment,” he said.

To successfully reduce inequality and enhance living standards, Schlettwein emphasized the importance of supporting numerous small-scale horticultural and agronomic producers.

“By improving their productivity and facilitating their access to well-paying markets, we can effectively achieve this goal,” he said.

Meanwhile, the newly named 2023 NAB board that will run for 3 years includes Mr. Hubertus Hamm-Chairperson (retained); Dr. Marina Muller-Vice-Chairperson (retained); Mr. Gerhard P. Engelbrecht; Mr. Peter Kawana; Mr. Salomo Mbai; Mr. Jacob Hamutenya; Ms. Sonja Molebugi; Mrs. Maria Pogisho; Mrs. Ruthy N Masake and Violet Simataa. (Xinhua).


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