Zambezi horticulture association aims to boost crop output

WINDHOEK: The Zambezi Horticulture Producers Association (ZAHOPA) looks forward to establishing training facilities for farmers in Zambezi in order to develop programmes to expand the output of primary producing horticulture crops.

This was stated in an online presentation made by ZAHOPA executive chairperson Castrow Muunda at the 1st Spain-Namibia Climate Forum, which tackled climate change issues and solutions for both nations, on Monday.

The forum hosted from Windhoek by the Spanish Embassy provided a platform to various initiatives to take centre stage and present the various innovative ways they actively combat the effects of climate change in their respective environments.

Muunda explained that ZAHOPA was established in response to the decline in production of foods such as spinach, grapes and onions due to a lack of market access.

‘ZAHOPA established Zambezi’s first farmers market in 2021 in support of primary production output and in hopes of diversifying regional food trends,’ stated Muunda, adding that the region’s overreliance of certain crops leaves the soil in poor condition.

According to Muunda they have started training their farmers on soil analysis and how monocrop farming strips the soil of various nutrients.

‘We emphasised to our farmers that before they plant any type of crop they must take it for testing and based on the recommendations given after the testing, then they will know which seeds to plant,’ said Muunda.

Despite their efforts, ZAHOPA faces challenges such as funding constraints and the engagement of youth in agriculture, hindering their mandate for food sufficiency in the Zambezi Region. However, Muunda noted ongoing initiatives to establish mentorship programmes and forge partnerships with stakeholders to overcome these hurdles.

ZAHOPA’s endeavours underscore a concerted effort to promote sustainable agriculture practices and enhance food security in Zambezi, aligning with broader global efforts to combat climate change.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency