24 Feb 2014 18:20pm
WINDHOEK, 24 FEB (NAMPA) - The Agriculture Ministry will seek accreditation from the National Training Authority (NTA) for agricultural training at the Mashare Irrigation Training Centre; Mashare Agricultural Development Institute; and the Tsumis Arid Zone Agricultural Centre.
This is according to the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for the period 2014/15 to 2016/17 tabled by the Minister of Finance, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila along with the National Budget in the National Assembly last Wednesday.
An amount of N.dollars 2,6 billion was allocated to the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF), of which N.dollars 1,13 billion is for running costs, whilst the development budget is N.dollars 1,48 billion.
Information contained in the MTEF says the ministry has recognised the lack of competence-based skills in the sector, thus these institutions will play a pivotal role in addressing the gaps through the development of appropriate/targeted training programmes.
Activities include, among others, develop training materials for different training components for use by trainers such as engine maintenance, welding, vegetable production, financial management etcetera; the developing, reviewing and upgrading of curricula; implementing of training programme and seeking NTA accreditation, it noted.
To achieve this, the budget allocations are as follows: for agricultural research - N.dollars 130,5 million for 2014/15; N.dollars 114,6 million for 2015/16 and N.dollars 128,2 million for the 2016/17 financial years.
Agricultural development and extension will receive N.dollars 176,1 million for 2014/15, while a total of N.dollars 236,7 million and N.dollars 322,5 million were allocated for 2015/16 and 2016/17 respectively.
Agriculture engineering services received N.dollars 278 million for 2014/15; N.dollars 256.8 million for 2015/16; and N.dollars 448,2 million for 2016/17.
The MTEF document indicated that the ministry has finalised the development of a turnaround strategy and restructured the two training institutions at the Mashare Agricultural Development Institute and the Tsumis Arid Zone Agricultural Centre in order to ensure continuous staff development and skills upgrading.
Under this component activities among others include developing training manuals; training of farmers in fields of forestry, crop, livestock and horticultural production; training of small-scale farmers in farm management; training of small-scale irrigation farmers in financial management; and the introduction of trainees to the Labour Act, as well as the Green Scheme concept.
It is estimated that approximately 170 000 people are actively engaged in the primary agricultural sector - approximately 40 000 in the commercial farming sector; an estimated 30 000 in the small-scale emerging farming sector (producing for the market); and an estimated 100 000 or more in so-called subsistence agriculture, according to November 2013 NTA statistics.