20 Sep 2013 08:00
OTJIWARONGO, 20 SEP (NAMPA) The Ministry of Lands and Resettlement on Thursday entered into a five-year oral agreement with a group of commercial farmers in the Outjo District to develop the Queen Sofia government resettlement farms infrastructure.
A group of 10 local pastors, who are also successful commercial farmers in the district, founded the Kunene for Christ fellowship in the Kunene Region in 1996.
The Kunene for Christ pastors are from the Dutch Reformed Church, and own farms near the Queen Sofia government resettlement farm, which is named after Queen Sofia Margarita Victoria Federica of Spain.
The farm got its name from its previous owners before Namibia gained its independence in 1990.
The farm is made up of 25 000 hectares of land, with five farming units named Michael, Dwight, Nimitz, Tsumis and Elf.
Fifty families have been resettled on the farm by Government since March 1999 after the then-Ministry of Lands and Rehabilitation purchased it.
Due to a lack of productivity on the farming units, the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement now agreed to enter into an oral agreement with the Kunene for Christ commercial farmers to assist them to improve their production in livestock and horticultural farming over a period of five years.
The agreement focuses on assisting the resettled farmers to rebuild the water infrastructure (boreholes and water pipes), coaching them to do productive livestock and vegetable farming, upgrading the 11- kilometre (km) private road leading to the farm from the main gravel road, and also renovating several houses there.
Some members of this group on Thursday volunteered their graders and other equipment for the upgrading of the private road leading to the farm to commence forthwith.
Piet Prinsloo, a member of the group and owner of the equipment, said his machines are ready and available to start with the upgrading of the road in October this year.
The Minister of Lands and Resettlement, Alpheus !Naruseb, promised the resettled farmers here that his ministry will put aside funds for the next five years to support the project.
My ministry will also conduct overall monitoring and evaluation on the progress of the activities, processes and impact of the services from the Kunene for Christ group of commercial farmers, who will be working with you in the next five years, he stated.
!Naruseb also urged community members of the Queen Sofia farm to utilise the opportunity, and to physically do the needed handiwork themselves.
Kunene Regional Governor Joshua /Hoebeb and Outjo Constituency Councillor Abraham Job also witnessed the event.
/Hoebeb and Job applauded Government and the group for the agreement, saying more must be done to assist other resettled, unproductive farmers in the country to become commercial farmers.
Those present at the event also took a tour around the Queen Sofia Primary School, vegetable gardens and cattle kraals.