30 Jan 2019 12:10pm
KATIMA MULILO, 30 JAN (NAMPA) The Namibia Agricultural Mechanisation and Seed System Improvement Project (NAMSIP) was launched at a workshop on the programme in the Zambezi Region on Tuesday.
In his opening remarks, Zambezi Governor Lawrence Sampofu appealed to farmers unions, associations and the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry to make the region the breadbasket it is supposed to be, given the rain patterns and fertile soil here.
No one else can change the situation other than the regions residents, Sampofu emphasised.
He said he was not happy that residents of the region continue to import crops, fruits and horticulture products from neighbouring Zambia that has the same rain patterns and rich soil.
Agriculture organisations and associations must change their mindsets and focus on food production to feed the whole country as the region has the capability, he stressed.
In a speech read on his behalf, Agriculture Ministry Permanent Secretary Percy Misika said the objective of the workshop is to create awareness and to share information about NAMSIP.
It also serves as a platform to solicit inputs and comments regarding the selection criteria and implementation modalities before the project is finalised and implemented.
Misika observed that targeted farmers will be informed in order to prepare themselves to participate in this important project.
He reminded those in attendance that the Fifth National Development Plan, Harambee Prosperity Plan and Growth at Home Strategy for Industrialisation identify agriculture as a priority area, which has the potential to contribute to economic progression, social transformation and environmental sustainability.
Misika said the total budget requirement of NAMSIP amounts to N.dollars 1 418 268 400, that Government through the Ministry of Finance negotiated and secured a loan of N.dollars 1 billion from the African Development Bank (AfDB), representing 70,5 per cent of the total project cost.
Government further committed to contribute an amount of N.dollars 361 640 700 which represent 25,5 per cent of the project amount, meaning that beneficiaries will have to contribute N.dollars 56 627 700 representing 4 per cent of the project cost.
The sub-component of Agricultural Mechanisation will be implemented in all 14 regions in order to ensure that the project benefits all intended beneficiaries countrywide. The sub-component of Seed System Improvement will be implemented across seven crop growing regions of the country; Zambezi, Kavango East, Kavango West, Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Oshana and Omusati.
Misika emphasised that organised agriculture give farmers greater control over the supply chain, help them cut costs on key inputs through economies of scale and allow them to share innovations that can boost output and productivity.