The ministry of agriculture has over the last three months provided assistance to nearly 1 000 farmers, including supplying them with fertilisers as well as seeds and crop field preparation services at a subsidised rate.
Of 9 921 farmers assisted, the majority of beneficiaries are women, making up at least 58%. The government allocated over N$22 million to support the Dry Land Crop Production Programme (DCPP) and the Cereal Value Chain Development Programme with the aim of increasing food production, programme coordinator James Nzehengwa said.
“The programmes are aimed at increasing food production and productivity along cereal value chains and thereby enhancing food security and creating resilience to climate change,” said Nzehengwa.
Nzehengwa said the programme is available in all 10 crop producing regions and urged those who have not benefited from the programme yet to visit the agriculture extension officers in their area.
The programme is implemented in the four O northern regions, Kunene, the two Kavango regions as well as Zambezi, Omaheke and Otjozondjupa. The ploughing services are expected to run until the beginning of March. Since the commencement of the rain season in November last year, 2 245 crop farmers were assisted with ploughing and planting through government and private subsidised tractors.
On average, farmers spend N$250 for a government tractor and 150 for a private tractor. The N$350 of the N$500 charged by private tractors is paid off by government. When using the traditional methods to prepare the land, farmers also receive N$250 subsidy from the same ministry.
Equally, 6 791 crop farmers also received seeds on a subsidised rate across the country while 891 received fertilisers to improve soil fertility and productivity of the land, Nzehengwa informed.
The ministry is also subsidising weeding services and procurement of storage provision facilities. According to Nzehengwa, weed control remains a challenge that contributes to low crop yields among communal farmers.
Each farming household qualifies for N$250 per hectare to a maximum of five hectare per farming household.
“Maximum of five ton grain storage facilities will be subsidised at 65% to a maximus of N$2 500 per farming household,” said Nzehengwa.