Windhoek — Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) representative to Namibia Farayi Zimudzi has urged youth in the country to invest in agriculture, saying agripreneurship is key to unlocking opportunities and growth in the agricultural sector.
Zimudzi gave this advice while speaking at the Youth in Agriculture Value Chains and Agribusiness Development (YIA) stakeholder engagement in the capital yesterday.
The two-day stakeholder engagement aims at offering insight into the development of the youth in the agricultural value chains and agribusiness programme.
The programme development also aims to upscaling youth employment through agribusiness development and capacity building for agripreneurs to establish viable agriculture enterprises across the entire value chain.
"Over the next two days, we will first hand recognise the critical role that Namibian youth can play by having equitable roles in agriculture, leveraging technology, becoming skilled, gaining knowledge to propel production across the entire value chain, establishing networks, and setting their own trajectory to becoming successful agripreneurs," she said.
"I would like to underscore the involvement and engagement of key stakeholders and role players as a critical first step to ensuring a coordinated approach to realising the sector's potential in terms of resources, personnel, capacity development and, ultimately, the implementation," she added.
She said there is a growing understanding that enhancing agribusiness performance and agripreneurship is key to unlocking opportunities and growth in the agricultural sector, which in turn can lead to increased employment opportunities for the youth.
Zimudzi said, together with all the eleven ministries represented at the meeting, FAO perceive this consultation an important element that will allow the gathering to build a strong case for investment in the suitable and viable sector such as livestock, aquaculture, agro-processing, and others.
"It is through working together with you and getting your inputs in these participatory consultations that existing structure in place can be identified and leveraged to upscale the sector's performance," she said.
"This is a journey we must walk together, and that is why this joint consultative approach is endorsed at all levels," she added.
She said, as they tackle the issue of food security in Namibia and commit investments to boosting the agri-food sector, they need to be strategic.
"There is a need for evidence-based information to inform the development of the most suitable value chains for Namibia by defining and justifying why certain commodities are being selected and what they will contribute towards. This event is clearly part of the process," she said.