President Hifikepunye Pohamba has called upon farmers to compliment government efforts of promoting food security in the country.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Ongwediva fresh produce hub this morning, Pohamba reiterated the need for farmers and relevant stakeholders to drive the wheel to economic growth by spearheading the government’s objectives of achieving food security and food self-sufficiency.
“I encourage our farmers in both the commercial and subsistence sectors to redouble their efforts in order to improve food security in the country. Food producers in this part of the country now have a ready market for their fresh produce. I am informed that space has also been made to accommodate the storage of fish and meat products at this facility for marketing. The facility has, therefore, created a convenient place for business persons to procure these goods for sale to the public,” Pohamba said.
Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry constructed the fresh produce centre where producers can market their produce as the design and fittings of the hub make provision for grading, branding, haulage, transportation and sorting activities.
A similar market hub was opened two days ago in Rundu.
The facilities will serve as a cold storage for fresh produce such as horticultural produce, fish, fresh meat, and dairy and meat products. Increased business opportunities through value addition are envisaged once the facility is fully operational.
The multi-million-dollar Fresh Produce Business Hub (FPBH) facilities are designed to boost the profitability of the Green Scheme projects in both the northern and eastern parts of the country.
Besides bemoaning the delayed rainfall, Pohamba reiterated the need to reduced the importation of vegetables and fruit from other countries.
“There is no reason why we should continue to important these basic items, which we can and should produce ourselves, at places such as Etunda and other agricultural and aqua culture projects, in Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Ohangwena and parts of Kunene Region,” he said.
Pohamba also added that plans were underway to construct a similar market hub in Windhoek as the Government continues with its endevours aimed at the socio-economic development of the country and the improvement of the living conditions of all Namibians.
“Gone are the days when farmers had to struggle to find cooling facilites to store their produce. Our Government has invested substantial resources of more than N$200 million in order to bring these services to our food producers. Government will make another investment in the construction of a similar facility in Windhoek,” said the president.