Agriculture ministry gets 600 tractors to boost food security

The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform has managed to procure more than 600 tractors to address food insecurity.

This was made possible with the financial support of the African Development Bank.

The ministry is also implementing the Namibia Agricultural Mechanisation and Seed Improvement Project (Namsip).

The executive director of agriculture, water and land reform, Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata, announced this at the official handover of the tractors at Outapi in the Omusati region on 27 December.

“One of the key challenges affecting food security in Namibia is the inability of rural producers to access agricultural inputs such as seeds, farm machinery and equipment . . . in time.

“This challenge negatively affects agricultural production, post-harvest
handling, and marketing.

“The agricultural mechanisation component of the project would enable farmers to complete farming operations in a timely manner, especially in the crop-producing regions where a rainfed farming system is practised,” she said.

Nghituwamata said to address these challenges the ministry, through Namsip, has procured 350 tractors with matching implements, of which 42 have been allocated to the Omusati region.

The ministry has also procured 380 walking tractors with matching implements, of which 26 have been allocated to this region.

“All these interventions are aimed at enabling our farmers to complete their operations in an efficient and timely manner . . . thereby improving agricultural production and productivity, and food security and food self-sufficiency at household, regional and national level,” she said.

The executive director said to ensure the sustained and continuous provision of subsidised mechanised services to farmers, the ministry has recruited 438 farm machinery operators, of which 152 have completed a one-month mandatory training programme to ensure the machinery is put to good use while being maintained.

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