BORN in Okahao in the Omusati region, Elia Amutenya Asino grew up surrounded by cattle farmers and vast mahangu fields.
Producing mahangu, sorghum, watermelons and beans is of compelling importance in the northern regions.
“At a very young age, my father used to take me to the Etunda Green Scheme in Ruacana to buy livestock food; this is the background that attracted me to the agricultural field. Agriculture has become a huge challenge in our country, with very little rainfall and constant climate change; the Namibian agricultural fields rely solely on the agricultural trained professionals, land, water, irrigation, seeds and capital,” Elia said.
He applied for a scholarship from the Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho Foundation of the Bolivarian Latino American countries, to pursue his Bachelor of Honours Degree in Agrofood Engineering, with co-sponsorship from the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF).
“NSFAF played an unforgettable role in financing part of my education. I never had to experience economic difficulties under a funded scholarship. I completed my academic programs quite well,” he said.
Asked about his experience in Venezuela, Elia was quick to emphasise the country’s rich tradition, humanity and its extensive languages. Venezuela lies within the Neotropic realm and large portions of the country were originally covered by moist broadleaf forests. As one of the most diverse countries, Venezuela’s habitats range from the Andes Mountains in the west to the Amazon Basin rainforest in the south.
“Their powerful socialist complimentary scheme of transferring resources to the population, through the system of the socialist missions, played a key role in the protection and welfare of its people. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations gave special recognition to Venezuela for its excellent policy on the education of hunger,” Elia said.
He said the education system in Namibia, within the agricultural fields, is faced by various challenges, such as resources and scientific material. “Under extreme global climate change, agriculture will always be the backbone of our nation. We should not implement monopoly and neoliberalism within the agricultural sector. Processing of the food products should be implemented in our country for job opportunities, which will in turn add value to our own food products,” he said. Elia aspires to accelerate the democratisation of the access of subsistence farmers and rural producers to different collective forms and companies. He believes in the expansion of the agricultural frontier and consolidating rural development in areas with great agricultural and water potential, including making the Namib Desert green by means of technological transfer and investment in the sanitation of soil drainage structure, irrigation, rainwater harvesting, processing and food storage industries.
“Implementing alternative techniques in the conservation of the independent fauna and flora of the Namibian biodiversity will truly promote sovereignty and food security,” said.
Elia urged Namibian youth to study agriculture as one of the competitive global careers, so that they can take advantage of its diverse opportunities for entrepreneurship, and so that they can acquire the skills to performs operationally at all stages of the agricultural food chain.
Elia wants to pursue a PhD in Agricultural Biotechnology and be part of the national agricultural sector, where he wishes to implement his skills and experience to design new productive agricultural investment projects. -NSFAF
*Were you funded by NSFAF? Do you have a compelling Namibian success story you would like us to cover? Get in touch with us and email us your story and how NSFAF assisted and contributed to your education: Josefina.Oskar@nsfaf.fund or call us on 061 420 627
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