05 Dec 2017 19:10pm
WINDHOEK, 05 DEC (NAMPA) A strategy aimed at building capacity for resettled and Affirmative Action Loan Scheme (AALS) farmers in Namibia was launched here today.
The strategy is executed under the Farmers Support Programme (FSP) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF).
In a speech delivered on his behalf, agriculture minister John Mutorwa said the formulation of the strategy was triggered by Governments realisation that the mentioned farmers were generally not yielding the desired outcomes.
The poor performance of these initiatives, according to Mutorwa, is mainly attributed to a lack of farming capacity of the beneficiaries and the inadequate and unstructured support services offered by various stakeholders as was reported by Agribank and the Ministry of Land Reform.
The strategy aims to provide targeted intervention to resettlement and AALS farmers, providing an opportunity to all stakeholders to deliver coordinated activities to the farmers and to improve service delivery of the MAWF towards the farmers in question.
It is important to highlight that the objectives are in line with the ministrys mandate which is to promote, develop, manage and utilise agricultural, water and forest resources, Mutorwa explained.
The strategy is further expected to address some of the challenges experienced by these farmers during their transition from communal to commercial setup.
Some of the strategic interventions outlined in the capacity building strategy document are stakeholder coordination platforms established in line with existing coordination platforms, the identification of incentives to support resettlement and AALS farmers, development of systematic farm visits and the delivery of capacity building courses before and after resettlement.
The improved results from all stakeholders are expected to be achieved over a five year period between 2017 and 2022.
Speaking at the same occasion, deputy minister of the MAWF, Anna Shiweda explained that the FSP has since inception been under the Ministry of Land Reform, but was recently transferred to the MAWF by a Cabinet decision as the MAWF is the institution with the mandate to oversee agricultural activities in the country.
Although she could not say how much has been budgeted for the FSP, Shiweda stated that it will be funded by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).