Omaheke farmers face a plethora of challenges: Katjiuanjo

10 May 2018 19:50pm
WINDHEOK, 10 MAY (NAMPA) – From poor road and mobile phone networks to inept service delivery, rural parts of the Omaheke Region have a host of problems and virtually nothing is going right, Epukiro Constituency Councillor Vejama Kanguatjivi has said.
Making his contribution to the 2018/19 national budget in the National Council on Wednesday, Kanguatjivi aired numerous challenges facing his region from his observation.
Chiefly, he pointed to road infrastructure that are in an unfit state in most communal areas which hinder farming activities.
“Road infrastructure within communal areas is either in scanty state or in condition that is unfit for even small trucks to reach the farming communities,” Kanguatjivi bemoaned.
Another predicament for Omaheke is bad mobile phone reception, which Kanguatjivi also described as insufficient and only found at selected growth points in rural areas.
“The bulk of farmers have no cellphone connection,” he said, adding that even in areas with network coverage, it fluctuates.
This has made it difficult for those living in these areas to make or receive phone calls “let alone network data and access to social media,” he said.
In addition to this, the unavailability of relevant animal health offices is another headache for farmers.
“It is uncalled for in our country, 28 years after independence, for a farmer to travel 100 kilometres just to collect a movement permit and then return to transport the animal over the same distance [route] to the auction point.”
To mitigate this dilemma, he recommended that the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry avail temporary facilities to minimise the burden on farmers.
“Scanty” police offices and lack of competent policing programmes, which perpetuates livestock theft, is also of concern.
“Thieves are getting away easily and sometimes appear to be protected by our law enforcement and judicial systems,” stated Kanguatjivi, without providing proof to support his argument.
Kanguatjivi further called on the government to redirect drought subsidies into livestock feed and replace marketing, grazing lease and transportation of livestock incentives.
“The drought in the Aminuis Constituency is a reality and the intervention of the government, as a matter of urgency, is needed.”