By Confidente Reporter
LOCAL farmers need to be empowered with resources, knowledge and necessary skills in order to improve on the quality of their production and become economically independent, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Anna Shiweda has said.
Speaking during a handover of goats, Shiweda said the Ministry had responded positively to the request by the Ohangwena Goat Farming Project by providing resources in the form of quality breeding goats. All the animals that are being provided to the farmers under this scheme are born and bred on various Government research stations across the country.
“These particular goats were born and bred at John Alfons Pandeni Research Station,” she said.
Shiweda bemoaned how the effects of global warming which include drought and other natural disasters have not spared the country.
“It is of vital importance to pool our resources together, in order to mitigate these negative effects. It is imperative for farmers to engage in the agricultural enterprises that are less affected by adverse weather patterns. Goat farming is one of the enterprises that fall in that category, because goats are well adapted to various climatic conditions. It is against this background that I applaud the community for having initiated such a project.”
She also added that Government was giving the goats free of charge so as to empower communities.
“Dear farmers, on this occasion you are receiving these breeding stock free of charge from your Government. The main objective of availing these goats is to help the project members to help themselves. This does not end there. After benefitting, it is expected of you to continually help other members in the community in the spirit of Harambee.
As stated in your Constitution, please look after these animals in a good manner; implement good breeding strategies so as to ensure multiplication of top quality animals for the sustainability of the project.
“In addition to this, let me give you this piece of technical advice. Any animal performance in terms of its growth, health or productivity is determined by two major factors, namely, the genetic make-up and the surrounding environment in which it lives. The surrounding environment that entails availability of browsing/grazing and good management practices has the biggest influence on the animal performance.
Therefore, make sure that these animals are well managed in order for you to obtain outstanding results in fulfilling your goals.
The ministerial staff is always available and at your disposal to monitor and assist with any information you may require,” added Shiweda.
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