Agricultural project defies drought with bumper harvest

26 Jun 2013 07:40
KAISOSI, 26 JUN (NAMPA) - A group of Rundu residents has managed to harvest a bumper crop of mahangu despite the serious drought which has also affected the Kavango Region.
While serious food shortages are being experienced in the majority of the country, the group of 10 women and one man from the Kaisosi informal settlement on the outskirts of Rundu have had a bumper crop of mahangu.
The group, locally known as ?Kavagara Agricultural Project?, was formed in 2008 to grow mahangu and vegetables for their own consumption, while the surplus is sold to local communities.
The project is being widely regarded as a rare success story in subsistence farming in the Kavango Region this year after its bumper harvest of mahangu, which filled 125 50 kilogramme (kg) bags.
The secretary of the Kavagara project, Michael Linyando told Nampa on Wednesday the group had its first harvest last year only, when 47 bags (also 50kg) of mahangu were harvested, but he said the harvest ?increased drastically? this year.
This is despite the fact that most subsistence farmers in the region harvested, little, if anything at all, while some 'threw in the towel' early on due to lack of rain.
Linyando said the group now intends to venture into horticulture farming to grow vegetables for their own consumption, and to generate some income for themselves.
The project grows crops on a 20 hectare piece of land.
Linyando said the project also contributes towards employment creation as 10 permanent workers and 25 casual labourers work for the project to assist in harvesting the mahangu.
?The project will alleviate poverty in the region, more specifically the local communities surrounding the project,? he noted.
The group in December last year received a N.dollars 5 000 sponsorship from Windhoek-based company ?Inchingo? to assist them with their ploughing activities.