Windhoek — 'Stimulating Sustainable Agricultural Production' is the theme of an open farmers day scheduled for December 2 in the village of Ongongoro in the Okakarara Constituency in Otjozondjupa Region.
The day hosted by the Orutumbo Farmers Association is the first of its kind this year and is meant to wind up the agricultural calendar of the association on a high note.
But the association envisages the day to be a highlight on its calendar every year rotating from one village to another in the area. Deputy chairperson of the association Stanley Njembo says unlike in the golden old days when communities used to be self-sustaining and hunger unknown because of good rains, it is not the case today when due to climatic changes putting food on the table is a major challenge.
Njembo says it is not that there's no way that people can adopt to certain climatic changes but if they can avoid some of the self-induced trappings of the era, like laziness, and work hard on their land and with their amimals, a return to self-sustainability as in the old days is possible; as opposed to relying on subsidies from the tÞgovernment.
Njembo lamented the prevailing dependency syndrome, where communities and farmers in the area alike no longer produce what they consume as much as they are capable, but rely even for fat and milk on retail shops in Grootfontein, about 60 kilometres away.
This is a situation that the association, starting with the envisaged open day, wishes to arrest, and in the long-term reverse, by encouraging farmers to engage in the production of food.
It is in this regard that many companies and instances engaged and relevant to agricultural production have been invited to the day and are expected to make an input to this all important day as part of the government's clarion call for all to become part of the national efforts to achieve food security.
Among the companies and instances expected at the day are the German governmental organisation, GIZ, which has been instrumental in debushing efforts, as well as the Namibia Rangeland Forum.
Agra, one of the country's foremost non-governmental leaders in the agricultural and farming sector, is also expected to have valuable input at the open day as far as debushing is concerned.
Farmers can expect to gain important information on poultry farming, as well as backyard gardening, considered important these days to domestic food security. Expected to be instrumental in this regard is none other than Darius Tjombonde, a leader of the crop producers in the area.
Also expected to make their presence felt are two key government ministries: agriculture and land reform, not to mention leading corporations in the agricultural and farming sector, like the Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco), the Meat Board of Namibia (MBN), Old Mutual Namibia, as well as the agricultural/farming divisions of most commercial banks in the country.
Most importantly, farmers and others who have come up with novel ways of dealing with one or the other aspect of agriculture and/or faming, in terms of one or the other patent, are invited to come and showcase their patents in a patent competition as part of the farmers open day, with three prizes up for grabs.
Those interested in registering their patents for the competition may register with Njembo at mobile number 0817602739. Likewise, there will also be auction at 17H00 on the day and those who have goods and sundries they wish to get rid of are free to take them to this auction.
Following the keynote address, farmers will have time to network among themselves, as well as with the agents of the institutions represented. The day will wind up with a social event in the form of a barbeque.