The Ohangwena Regional Council, in collaboration with the forestry directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, last week started a project to plant fruit-bearing trees throughout the region.
The five-year programme was officially launched at Onepandaulo village in the Ohangwena region's Endola constituency.
The project seeks to provide seedlings to each household in the region as part of a local economic development initiative, and households will be provided with different fruit plants such as guava, mango and lemon, as well as a moringa oleifera tree.
Seedlings will be transported to the respective households in the constituencies. The Directorate of Forestry's Okahandja research station will provide the seeds for the project.
At the launch, the chairperson of the Ohangwena Regional Council, Erickson Ndawanifa, said the planting of trees is a wake-up call for everyone in and around the region to contribute to the fight against hunger.
"Stop waiting for everything to come from the government, and come up with initiatives aimed at curbing poverty in your community," he said.
A total of 2 255 trees will be planted in the first phase of the project. Each beneficiary is expected to grow and return 25 plants to the project for others to benefit.
Ohangwena chief regional officer Fillipus Shilongo said the initiative stands to directly contribute to food security and environmental sustainability.
He added that the project also aims at contributing to a balanced diet, income generation and local development advancement and eventually add value to community produce.
"Each household is expected to produce 10 000 fruit-tree seedlings over the next five years," Shilongo narrated, adding that a once-off training session on how to take care of fruit-trees will be provided to all identified beneficiaries.
Shilongo said, the Ohangwena region has 43 723 households as per the 2011 population and housing census, but the project is going to benefit only those living in the villages.
Endola, Omulonga and Epembe have been chosen to be the project piloting constituencies.