Venaani asks Govt to subsidise communal farmers

19 Dec 2015 15:00pm
WINDHOEK, 19 DEC (NAMPA) – DTA of Namibia president McHenry Venaani has urged Government to expand the scope of drought relief by subsidising some of the farming expenses of drought-affected communal farmers.
Speaking at a media conference here on Thursday during the presentation of an open letter to President Hage Geingob on issues affecting the country, Venaani said 2015 has been a challenging year for the country’s agriculture sector.
He said this year saw the drought that plagued 2014 tightening its grip on Namibia with extreme adverse effects on farmers and those living in the rural areas.
“I urge our Government in 2016 to expand the scope of drought relief to include subsidising or writing off debts owed to NamWater by those in communal farming areas,” said Venaani.
He also called on Government to consider modernising the agriculture sector in a bid to realise the country’s objective of improving food security.
“Mr President, by your own admission, you are a farmer, and judging by the fact that agriculture is the biggest sector in terms of employment in our country, one would have thought that under your administration the modernisation of the agricultural sector would have seen significant impetus,” Venaani noted.
He said it is high time that Government extends services to the rural areas to ensure that those living in those areas are able to introduce modernised farming techniques in order to improve their yields.
Additionally, the DTA's leader noted that Government must make funds available to rural farmers to buy equipment that will allow them to encamp their fields to ensure higher yields.