Market access for small, medium agricultural producers on the cards

21 Sep 2017 16:40pm
WINDHOEK, 21 SEP (NAMPA) - Namibia intents to actively implement the Harambee Comprehensively Coordinated and Integrated Agricultural Development Programme (HACCIADEP) in the next five years to facilitate market access to small and medium agricultural producers.
Speaking during the 18th Bank of Namibia Annual Symposium here on Thursday, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa said this access, also meant for agro-producers, should stimulate sustainable agricultural production.
“The model further integrates agriculture, agro tourism and social safety net programmes to support infrastructure development and asset acquisition by small scale producers,” he explained.
It also creates opportunities for small and medium-scale producers to be organised and have access to affordable credit and loan products on a sustainable basis, thus lessening their dependence on Government subsidies.
“The net effects of increased economic activities in the agricultural and agro-tourism sectors will contribute to increased employment creation and stimulate industrial development in rural areas and to the reduction of income inequalities in Namibia.”
Mutorwa explained that the programme would comprise various schemes, including flood water harvesting and irrigation development, which will expand current irrigation programmes countrywide. The idea is to reduce, and thereby enhance, the resilience of crops and livestock to periodic damage caused by droughts and floods in various parts of the country.
The HACCIADEP further aims to develop value chain schemes for beef, mutton, goat meat, horticulture, maize and mahangu from the Northern Communal Areas for supply to Offices, Ministries and Agencies and ultimately international markets.
Another scheme is de-bushing and bush value chain development scheme that seeks to develop the downstream industries by mobilising resources necessary for infrastructure and increased production and marketing.
The agricultural mechanisation scheme will be focussing on modernisation and transformation of the agricultural sector with a view to increasing production and productivity.
Another scheme will focus on the development of public private partnerships for the sustainable production and supply of certified seeds, especially of staple crops and vegetables.
“These initiatives will ensure that Namibian small holder farmers are brought in the mainstream of the economy.”
The symposium was held to deliberate and interrogate the economic concerns about food security in the country, agricultural productivity and industrialisation.