WINDHOEK, 23 NOV (NAMPA) -
Khomas Governor, Laura McLeod-Katjirua has urged resettlement farmers to refrain from illegally subletting their farming units without proper procedures being followed. McLeod-Katjirua, who is also the chairperson of the Khomas Regional Resettlement Committee, said this in a speech read on her behalf during the opening of the Khomas Resettlement Farmers' Day symposium at Krumhuk Agricultural Training Centre on Saturday.
The governor said such illegal activities are detrimental to land as it promotes overstocking and overgrazing. "Let us refrain from such illegal activities for the sustainability of our farming units," she urged.
McLeod-Katjirua noted that at some of the farming units where Government has invested a lot of resources, beneficiaries are not being serious with their farming activities and such units remain unproductive. The chairperson said no farming venture can be successful if there is a lack of basic infrastructure such as water and fencing.
"I do acknowledge that the Ministry of Land Reform did a lot in terms of ensuring that water points are functional at some of the resettled farms," she said. McLeod-Katjirua gave her assurance that the government through the Ministry of Land Reform will continue to support resettled farmers in various ways such as infrastructure development and farmers support programmes, and by bringing together the beneficiaries and agricultural professionals through events such as this symposium.
The symposium was aimed at discussing the best farming models and for farmers and agriculture experts to learn from each other. The governor further noted that the event would empower and equip resettlement farmers with modern farming techniques, knowledge and skills which they will use to implement on their respective farming units to enhance their livelihoods.
Meanwhile Deputy Minister of Land Reform, Bernadus Swartbooi said the event was also aimed at encouraging and motivating farmers to utilise the available farming infrastructure responsibly and practice sustainable farming.
Swartbooi added that the event would also address procedures for the inheritance or transfer of farming units, and procedures and conditions on how farmers can access financial support. "As our key stakeholder, the Agricultural Bank of Namibia (AgriBank) based on their funding mechanism and criteria, is expected to give a presentation on how resettlement farmers can benefit," he said.
The Ministry of Land Reform has provided eight resettlement farms to 34 families in the Khomas Region since 2001. The resettlement farms in the region include Farm Anias Nord; Farm Anias Sud; Farm Corsica; Farm Nuatabis; Farm Ongombo West; Farm Anstatt; Farm Welgemoed; and Farm Klausgrand. More than 20 farmers attended the one-day symposium.