New Era (Windhoek)

29 November 2012

Namibia: Ploughing in Full Swing in North

Rundu — Hozana Muhepa is a mother of five who works tirelessly in the family's mahangu field to cultivate and plant crops, hoping for a harvest big enough to feed everyone and a surplus to sell on the open market.

For this rainy season the 50-year-old hired six oxen-drawn ploughs and 12 oxen to plough the field at a daily cost of N$100. Muhepa is married with five children and her husband works at the Namibian Defence Force military base in Rundu.

With the husband at work most of the day, she has assumed the leading role of managing the crop field. New Era found her in the field, with relatives providing a helping hand, ploughing and planting mahangu, beans and other crops.

The intention is to have a harvest that produces a surplus that can be sold to generate cash. "I never (formally) worked in my life, therefore I have decided to sell my produce to get money. The beans and the mahangu I normally sell at Oshikango, Oshakati and Okongo, because the customers are few in Rundu," she said.

"There is transport for which I pay about N$1000 per trip to take me to the selling points with all my belongings. I also hope we will have good rains this year, therefore I am preparing my field very early," she said. Muhepa said she decided to start ploughing her field after some rain fell in some parts of the Kavango Region last week.

According to the October rainfall bulletin of the Namibia Meteorological Services, only very isolated pockets of light rainfall occurrences were experienced in Namibia during the month of October, all in the north-eastern parts of the country and adjoining areas. The rest of the country remained dry.

The outlook for the next seven days however indicates that more rain can be expected in Rundu over the coming weekend.

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