Crop farmers receive seeds from Govt. at Otjiwarongo

16 Dec 2015 09:50am
OTJIWARONGO, 16 DEC (NAMPA) – Crop farmers in and around Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa Region on Tuesday expressed happiness with Government’s seed distribution exercise underway in their region.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry’s Directorate of Extension Services in the Otjozondjupa Region on Monday started distributing seeds for maize, Mahangu and beans to communal and farmers resettled by government.
Some farmers told Nampa on Tuesday that the 2014 and 2015 drought affected them negatively.
“I am happy to receive the seeds for free, because I don’t have any grains in my house which I can plant now during this rainy season,” said Johannes Samuel, who cultivates a piece of land in the Otjiwarongo district.
Samuel said the 2015 drought situation forced his family members to consume all maize and Mahangu grains he had stored as seeds.
Another farmer, Matthew Nghidishange, said seeds are expensive in local shops.
“I am happy to receive them for free. Our government is doing the right thing for its farmers. It must continue to support us in this way; we all need seeds,” he said.
Nghidishange said a 12, 5 kilogramme (kg) bag of maize grains in local shops cost over N.dollars 300, which is unaffordable for him as a communal farmer who tills the land for subsistence purposes.
On his part, the Otjozondjupa Regional Chief Agricultural Scientific Officer, Frans Hango said the seeds are being distributed to the beneficiaries under the government’s seed distribution supply subsidy programme.
Hango said the programme is aimed at supporting communal farmers, resettled farmers on government farms and beneficiaries for the Agribank Affirmative Loan Schemes.
He said the commercial farmers are not part of the programme as the distribution is limited to those farming on three hectares of farmland, which translates into each receiving three tons of seeds each for maize, Mahangu and beans.
The distribution of seeds in the Otjozondjupa Region is targeting farmers in areas of Gam, Tsumkwe East and Tsumkwe West, Otjituuo, Grootfontein, Otavi, Otjiwarongo, Okahandja and Ovitoto and some crop communal farmers in Okakarara, Okondjatu and Okamatapati areas.
Hango said his team of agricultural extension officers will make close inspections on their farming activities.
He said the distribution programme in the Otjozondjupa Region will come to an end once the seeds are finished, adding that so far more than 300 farmers have collected their seeds in the Otjiwarongo district and nearby Government resettlement farms.
The distribution of seeds is also expected take place in the Omaheke, Kavango East and Kavango West, Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Oshana, Omusati and Zambezi regions, including the northern part of the Kunene Region.