By Business Reporter
STANDARD Bank’s Chief Executive Vetumbuavi Mungunda has announced an N$450 000 cash injection for the purchase of much needed fodder to benefit 70 local farmers critically affected by the current drought in the areas of Omatjete, Khorixas, Outjo and Otjimbingwe.
In partnership with Standard Bank, KaapAgri will be distributing the fodder to the farmers in the country.
“Turning to our four-year drought, it is very disheartening to hear and see the devastating impact of the drought on the – where most of them lost their hard earned animals – animals that could have made a difference in their farming operations. As an example, in the drought-stricken Omatjete settlement in Daures Constituency it was reported that farmers lost 1 318 cattle due to drought which is worth a combined income of N$10 million since November last year. Standard Bank has seen the plight of our local farmers and therefore saw the pressing need to assist them,” said Mungunda, who was the keynote speaker at the Windhoek Agricultural Show’s prize giving ceremony.
He added that this has been a very challenging year for agriculture in the country and commended the local farmers, breeders and livestock owners for their perseverance and commitment that they have been able to bring such a large number of animals to the show this year.
The agricultural sector continues to sustain an estimated 70 percent of the Namibian population. It is one of the key earners of the major foreign currencies for the local economy through the exportation of amongst others beef and grapes. Furthermore the sector contributed 33 percent to the country’s total maize requirements in 2015, 12 percent of wheat requirement in 2014 and continues to fully meet both beef and mutton local consumptions. In this context, Mungunda noted that this significant contribution to the country’s import substitution and export earnings is not fully recognised and appreciated.
Furthermore, the agriculture and forestry sectors have been projected to contract during 2016 due to the prevailing drought conditions in the country. Livestock is projected to contract by 6.9 percent in 2016, following a 14 percent contraction in the previous year.
In conclusion, Mungunda congratulated the farmers who received awards in the various categories, saying they are instrumental in positioning the agricultural sector to be one of the major contributors towards economic growth in Namibia.
“To the farmers, and all the players in the agricultural sector, don’t underestimate your enormous contribution to the Namibian economy and the basic livelihoods in our country. You earn foreign exchange, you feed the nation, you employ the most Namibians, you feed the workers that propel the other sectors of our economy, and you keep our rural towns and communities alive. You need to be a lot more confident in demanding specific measures and support needed to take this sector to a higher level of production and efficiency,” said Mungunda.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015