Innovative approaches needed to fight hunger in the country

Sebastian Ndeitunga

Ohangwena governor Sebastian Ndeitunga says innovative approaches to food production and the fight against hunger in the region should be encouraged.

Ndeitunga, who was speaking during the handover of gardening tools and small-scale irrigation systems in the Ohangwena region yesterday, said people in the region should be prepared to break traditional barriers in order to produce adequate and quality food for people at regional and national level.

“Nowadays, ensuring the production of adequate and quality food is a very difficult task due to environmental problems including climate change.

“When rains started in November to January 2024, we were very optimistic that if the trend continues as it started, we would have expected a good harvest in the region, but suddenly a dry spell, characterised by high temperatures, occurred and until now we can all see that the crops in the field are drying up in most of the region. We are, therefore, challenged once again when it comes to producing quality food depending on rain,” Ndeitunga said.

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) sub-regional coordinator Patrice Talla highlighted that one of the most significant challenges the SADC region is currently facing is the recurring impact of El Niño, a phenomenon that severely affects the food security landscape.

“El Niño disrupts weather patterns leading to extreme conditions such as prolonged drought and intense heatwaves. Namibia, with vast areas characterised by arid and semi-arid regions, is particularly vulnerable to these disruptions,” said Talla.

He said the FAO and its partners are actively engaged in addressing these challenges through transformative approaches to agri-food systems.

“We recognise that the traditional methods are no longer sufficient to ensure food security in the face of a changing climate. We are, therefore, advocating a holistic transformation of agri-food systems, incorporating smart approaches that are essential for resilient and sustainable outcomes.”

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