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Agri workshop tackles looming food crisis: Schlettwein urges urgent action

Agri workshop tackles looming food crisis: Schlettwein urges urgent action

The Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform commenced with a pivotal five-day planning workshop on Monday to confront agricultural challenges head-on.

Bringing together stakeholders from across the nation, the event, held in Windhoek, sought to devise strategies to combat the escalating crisis exacerbated by adverse climate conditions.

Minister, Carl Schlettwein emphasized the gravity of the situation in his address, highlighting the critical role agriculture plays in sustaining livelihoods for approximately 70% of the population. He urged a concerted effort to implement sectoral programmes effectively, stressing the imperative of transparency and accountability.

Of paramount concern was the looming threat of food insecurity stemming from anticipated crop failures due to unfavorable weather patterns. The latest Crop Prospects, Food Security, and Drought Situation Report for 2024 projects widespread agricultural setbacks, prompting discussions on the need for innovative, climate-resilient approaches to mitigate these challenges.

Schlettwein noted the interconnectedness of regional dynamics, acknowledging reduced cereal production in neighboring countries, necessitating reliance on imports from outside the SADC region. This underscored the urgency for adaptive strategies to safeguard Namibia’s food security in the face of regional climatic fluctuations.

Budgetary considerations loomed large in workshop deliberations, with a delicate balance sought between capital expenditure and operational constraints. While investment in key projects such as agricultural production, infrastructure, and land reform was prioritized, concerns were raised regarding potential impacts on service delivery to farmers.

Critical to the ministry’s agenda was the expansion of water resource management and infrastructure, aimed at ensuring water security for all Namibians.

Schlettwein stressed the importance of timely execution and seamless coordination to maximize the efficacy of government initiatives.

As Namibia navigates these challenging times, Schlettwein called for international solidarity and collaboration to bolster the nation’s resilience and fortify its agricultural sector against future shocks.


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