Guest Contributor | Feb 21, 2024 | 0
Otjozondjupa Governor urges farmers to take advantage of agricultural subsidies
By Adolf Kaure.
In his 2023 State of the Region Address, the Otjozondjupa Governor, Hon James Uerikua urged the region’s inhabitants to take full advantage of agricultural subsidies availed by the government. The address was broadcast from Otjiwarongo.
“An amount of N$2 million was allocated to the region to support farmers with subsidy for feed, vaccines, value addition, preservation equipment, cold storage tanks, milking machines, pasteurizers, cream separators, butter processors and capacity building.”
“I call upon farmers to stand up and tap this lucrative opportunity,” he said as he outlined one of the region’s economic strength’s under the Harambee Prosperity Plan II (HPPII) pillar of economic advancement.
Seventy percent of the inhabitants of the Otjozondjupa Region are directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture primarily in livestock, horticulture and crop production.
During the 2022/2023 financial year, 1806 households benefitted from subsidized agricultural production inputs. These covered tools and equipment through the Dry Land Crop Production Programme, Horticulture Value Chain Development Scheme, Poultry Value Chain Development Scheme and the Namibia Agriculture Mechanization and Seed Improvement Project.
A total of 1.8 tonnes of pearl millet commonly known as Mahangu, 4.2 tonnes of maize, 1.7 tonnes of cow peas and one tonne of sorghum seeds, were subsidized under the Dry Land Crop Production Programme.
“Through the same intervention, 2514 households benefitted from the subsidized mechanized services such as ploughing, ripping, planting and weeding services through the Dry Land Crop Production Programme during the previous planting season,” Uerikua said.
With the assistance of the government mechanized services, a total of 866 ha of land was ploughed. Under the horticulture subsidization programme, 56 horticultural farmers were subsidized to access items such as fertilizers, pesticides, seeds and irrigation equipment and material in the form of water tanks, drip-systems and submersible pumps at an amount of just over N$440,000.
“To date, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform has managed to reach 3235 farmers through training programmes, information days, farm and exposure visits and demonstration days, where farmers are informed on various practices and technologies with emphasis on climate-smart agriculture,” said the governor.
Under the Poultry Value Chain Development Scheme, 94 producers were assisted with subsidized feed, production stock, material for housing and veterinary supplies for almost N$250,000.
The Otjozondjupa Region measures 105,460 km2 and has a population of about 164,000 people with a population density of 1.4 person per square kilometre. The region has seven districts namely Okahandja, Omatako, Okakarara, Otjiwarongo, Otavi, Grootfontein and Tsumkwe, with nine settlements.