Namibia: Female Pig Farmer Challenges Male-Dominated Industry

Witvlei — A real African woman who knows who she is, and what she can achieve, Tjitjara Mbuere (45) has embarked on farming with pigs for commercial purposes in Witvlei, Omaheke region. Growing up in a farming environment, Mbuere dreamed of farming with pigs and said her goal is slowly and surely being achieved. She currently farms with about 20 sows, two hogs and 13 piglets, with two employees who monitor them full time.

In a country that has been affected by recurring droughts, especially devastating for cattle farming, she saw this as an opportunity to diversify farming in the region and has urged other farmers to consider the same. Also, she noted that the Covid-19 pandemic came as an opportunity to make people think out of the box in making sure Namibia moves to attain food security to reduce dependence on imports.

Mbuere currently targets international and local markets and said that in the coming months, this will be made easier with the completion of a local abattoir in the region. According to Mbuere, the new abattoir will improve food security, create employment, and also attract tourists to the region. She is eager to learn, as this is a new path in her life and a rare industry in Namibia. She further plans to expand gardens on her site to start producing her own pig food.

She described herself as a go-getter, trendsetter, and trailblazer: "It cannot be done and I quit are words that do not exist in my vocabulary. It can always be done, it is not impossible and I did not come this far to come just this far. At the end of my life, I want to be proud of what I have achieved and the risks that I took to thrive in life, with no regrets."

Mbuere also encouraged women to follow their dreams, saying they can achieve anything if they put their minds to it.

"As women, we are regarded as the weaker vessel by society, the second option to men. However, I have seen many women emerge out of the norm and what is expected from a woman. One thing all women have in common is their ability to achieve greatness. We can do it! So, get up, dress up, and show up! Be consistent and passionate," she urged.

She stated in the pig farming industry, one can enjoy income generated from the sale of carcasses to butcheries, schools, weaned piglets sold to other farmers as breeding stock, and from the sale of pork products such as bacon, ham, and sausage.

She added that she received business capital from the Sustainable Development Goals Impact Facility (SDGIF) which funded 32 local micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with grants to the tune of N$2.5 million in December last year.

SDGIF is a multi-stakeholder financial and capacity-building platform that bridges entrepreneurship, social innovation, and blended capital to create sustainable economic and social returns.

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