Shighuru women harvest rice for second time

21 Sep 2015 17:20pm
SHIGHURU, 21 SEP (NAMPA) - The Shighuru Women’s Rice Project has harvested 50 bags of rice during its second trial into cultivating rice at the Shighuru village.
Each bag weighs 25 kilogrammes.
The project is run by 40 women of the said village, situated some 70 kilometres east of Rundu, in collaboration with the University of Namibia (UNAM).
Speaking at the official handing over of the rice to the project participants on Sunday, UNAM Pro-Vice Chancellor, Professor Osmund Mwandemele said more rice can be produced to address the issue of food security as well as to contribute to poverty reduction, which is a major issue with the present Government.
“We believe that with the involvement of Government, the project can be sustainable. UNAM will continue to provide the know-how and skills and to help the community become more self-reliant, however Government must take the lead in this,” he said.
Mwandemele called on the regional authority to also see what it can contribute towards this project.
This rice project will become a flagship that could be emulated by other villagers along the Kavango River, he said, adding that they can make use of the huge reservoir of water which just flows into the Indian Ocean without being used.
The rice project was initiated by UNAM’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Lazarus Hangula in 2013, and had its first harvest in April this year.
The project, which produces rice on a 3 000 square metre piece of land, harvested seven 25kg bags of rice in April.
On his part, the Governor of Kavango East, Dr Samuel Mbambo said UNAM found that it is viable to grow rice, however it is not their mandate - the mandate to produce food en masse lies with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry.
“So let’s stand together as a nation to work together to produce food for all of us to enjoy food together,” the governor urged.