AGRA PROVISION FARMERS’ DAYS IN THE NCA, A HUGE SUCCESS

August 12, 2014, 2:07pm

AGRA PROVISION FARMERS’ DAYS IN THE NCA, A HUGE SUCCESS

WINDHOEK – Agra ProVision embarked on a trip to inform producers in the Northern Communal Areas (NCAs) about feed supplementation for the winter season, last week. The events were hosted under the theme “Winter in the NCA, no problem!” The producers, mainly livestock farmers attended the farmers’ days in large numbers. The days addressed important topics, with the introduction being, “Why do we feed animals?” followed by “the Feedmaster supplementation programme,” explaining the lick products, and concluded with “the nutritional deficiencies of that lead to animal health risks.” Agra ProVision partnered with Feedmaster to host the events.

The farmers’ days where hosted in three regions respectively; from Kavango East to Oshikoto and Omusati Region. In Kavango East, the farmers’ day was hosted in Rundu on the 05th of August 2014, and was officiated by Hon. Dr Samuel Mbambo, Governor of Kavango East Region. In his opening remarks, he applauded Agra ProVision and its partners for bringing vital information, i.e. to educate livestock producers, to the region. He also encouraged the participants to start supplementing with nutrients, as he said, “Some farmers are reluctant to use the licks as prescribed due to the high initial costs. However, farmers should note that although an immediate response is not always visible with licks, advantages are only recognized later. Farmers who invest in lick supplements get re-paid by higher production and fertility of their livestock.”

On Thursday, 07 August 2014, the farmers’ day was hosted in Onghumbula, Okankolo Constituency in Oshikoto region. On Friday, 08 August 2014, the farmers’ day was hosted in Okahao, in Omusati region. At these events, the topic of supplementation was new to most of the livestock producers. “It is good to note that licks are only used to supplement the most limiting nutrients. It is thus important to keep the animals on the pasture and not to substitute pasture with the lick. Licks directly supplement minerals, protein and energy to animals, to improve digestibility, and thus increase the ability of the animal to convert food to energy,” said Erastus Ngaruka, Junior Technical Advisor for Animal Production. The clear messages from the Technical Advisors were translated in Oshiwambo, which the participants found easy to reflect on their situations. The headmen of Onghumbula and Okahao respectively welcomed this innovative approach in which relevant information was delivered to the communities.

Twaku Kayofa, Communication and Public Relations officer of Agra ProVision was pleased with the attendance and participation of the farmers in the NCA. “All the farmers’ days attracted more than 300 participants in total, which is a clear indication that producers in the NCA are eager to learn about sustainable production methods.” He added, “The information was well received by the participants, and they are also ready to turn their farm into enterprises, as opposed to keeping livestock for status.”

Agra ProVision will continue to impart knowledge to different stakeholders in the Agricultural sector. The next farmers’ day will be hosted on Friday, August 22, in Grootfontein at Pondoki Rest Camp under the theme “Don’t loose your heads.” The event will discuss and advice the participants on Diplodia Headrot predominately found in maize. Participants will also learn about sustainable agricultural practices. Interested participants need to confirm their attendance by 19 August 2014, with Twaku Kayofa at 061 – 290 9364 or twakuk@agra.com.na.

By Staff Reporter New Era newspaper