19 Mar 2017 18:40pm
OSHIKUKU, 19 MAR (NAMPA) The Deputy Minister of Economic and National Planning, Lucia Iipumbu has urged local farmers to sell their produce to the Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA) to help secure food security countrywide.
She said farmers who produce excess fresh produce such as tomatoes, onions, potatoes and maize have the ability to help the country avert the importation of these items.
Iipumbu was speaking during the official opening of the Parest Agricultural Retail Shop (PARS) at Oshikuku on Saturday.
She said the stores initiative is indeed a response to Governments plight for food security, adding the preliminary report of the Fourth National Development Plan (NDP4) indicates that the most employment opportunities were created in the agricultural sector.
Producing our own food while creating employment through entrepreneurship is one of the best ways to respond to the critical food security issues, therefore, more farmers and entrepreneurs are urged to follow suit.
The PARS in Oshikuku means farmers from surrounding areas do not have to drive to Oshakati or Tsumeb for products regarding livestock and crop health, and have access to fodder and agricultural advisory services.
Iipumbu however expressed concern in meeting challenges of diseases and pests such as the recent outbreak of worms in the northern regions.
She said such occurrences make successful farming difficult and Government needs assistance from the private sector and communities.
As Government, these are the types of challenges that we seek to address in the NDPs, but we need strategies on how best we can mitigate and ensure that industries grow, with the assistance of farmers.
The Oshikuku community has also expressed gratitude towards the PARS initiative, with most noting their plight for an agricultural retailer.