Agriculture ministry hands over 42 tractors to Omusati Region

OSHAKATI: The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform on Wednesday handed over 42 tractors procured through the Namibia Agricultural Mechanisation and Seed Improvement Project (NAMSIP) to the Omusati Region, which will benefit crop farmers and other crop producing in general.

Speaking during the handover and launch of the ‘Tulongeni Project’ on Wednesday, the agriculture ministry’s executive director Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata, stated that the ministry, through NAMSIP has procured 350 tractors with matching implements, 42 of which have been allocated to the Omusati Region. The ministry also procured 380 walking tractors with matching implements, 26 of which have also been allocated to the Omusati Region.

Nghituwamata added that hand-operated jab seed drillers, hand-operated weeding cultivators are among the other production inputs procured.

‘One of the key challenges affecting food security in Namibia is the inability of rural producers to timely access agricultural inputs such as seeds, farm machinery
and equipment that are required for effective land preparation, planting, weeding and harvesting,’ she said.

She added that this challenge negatively affects agricultural production, post-harvest handling and marketing.

Furthermore, Nghituwamata stated that the agricultural mechanisation component of the project will therefore enable farmers to complete farming operations in a timely manner, especially in the crop production regions where rain-fed farming systems are practiced.

Nghituwamata explained that all these interventions are aimed at enabling their farmers to complete their farm operations in an efficient and timely manner through provision of mechanized services thereby improving agricultural production and productivity and improve food security and food self-sufficiency household, regional and national levels.

In order to ensure sustained and continuous provision of subsidised mechanised services to farmers, Nghituwamata noted that the ministry has recruited 438 Farm Machinery Operators (FMOs),
152 of whom have completed their one-month mandatory training on farm machinery operation and management to ensure that the machinery is put to good use and properly maintained.

For the Omusati Region, 18 of the 53 FMOs have completed their training and are ready for the deployment once all the logistical arrangements have been finalised.

Nghituwamata urged farmers to go and register at the nearest Agricultural Development Centre and benefit from the services provided by the ministry.

During the same occasion, Omusati Governor, Erginus Endjala re-launched the Tulongeni Project, with the aim of encouraging farmers to work hard to ensure food security in the region.
Source: The Namibia Press Agency