Technological Evolution in Farming

DRAFT POWER … Some communal tractors used to plough land for rural communities.

The ministry of agriculture has stepped up its campaign to encourage the use of technology in agriculture across the country, in an effort to transform farming methods in the face of the challenges presented by climate change.

These initiatives aim to boost resilience and sustainability in the agriculture industry in addition to raising productivity.

The Public relations officer at the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, spokesperson Jona Musheko told The Namibian that within the framework of initiatives like the Cereal Value Chain Development Programme and the Dry Land Crop Production Programme, the ministry has invested heavily in cutting-edge agricultural technologies and equipment.

Farmers are able to use equipment like tractors, walking tractors, drip irrigation systems, and poultry equipment, among others, to subsidies on inputs and mechanised services.

“Timely plowing, effective harvesting and better animal management are made possible by these interventions, which eventually boost food output and raise farmer profitability,” said Musheko.

The agriculture ministry regularly participates in research projects with the Directorate of Agricultural Research and Development to create livestock and agricultural types that are tailored to regional conditions.

Additionally, collaborations with universities and technology firms make it easier to incorporate state-of-the-art technologies into farming methods, which raises production.

Musheko noted that acknowledging the digital divide that exists in rural regions, the ministry has put communication plans in place to ensure that knowledge about agricultural technologies is shared widely.

By using conventional media outlets like radios and setting up agricultural development centres (ADC) in every community, the agriculture ministry aims to connect farmers who live far away from the city, closing the digital divide and encouraging a diverse range of people to use technology.

In an effort to lessen reliance on fossil fuels and support environmental sustainability, the ministry has started encouraging agricultural operations to use renewable energy sources.

The ministry’s use of solar energy in green initiatives is evidence of its dedication to adopting sustainable energy sources and lowering the carbon footprint of agricultural activities.

“At regional and national level, there is a strict implementation of mechanisms for tracking and assessing the effects of technology adoption on farmer livelihoods, food security and environmental sustainability,” Musheko said.

Benjamin Kondjeni, a 29-year-old farmer, was relocated from Okalongo in the Omusati district to the 3 840-hectare farm Patton in the Kunene region in 2021. The relocation was not at all what he had anticipated.

“I brought a herd of small and large livestock. I have since diversified to include horticulture and charcoal production sold to local factories to meet local energy sector demands,” he said.

The creative young farmer has also benefited from the advancements in agricultural technology, using drones to survey farms from above or to look for lost animals.

“Everything is changing, even though some changes are difficult to accept. Farmers must keep up with the latest technological advancements,” Kondjeni remarked.

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!

Latest News