Mashare Irrigation Project sponsored Asteria Katakula with an amount of N$201 000 for the completion of her tertiary education at the University of Namibia.
During the year 2014, the project decided to extend its prime business into corporate social responsibility (CSR) through sponsoring academic students. An invitation was made to eligible Namibian students to apply for a scholarship in crop science.
Asteria Katakula, a second year Bachelor of Science student at the University of Namibia, applied for the scholarship and was subsequently awarded a scholarship by Mashare Irrigation project two weeks ago.
“The sponsorship targeted persons from disadvantaged backgrounds. A total of 25 applications were received whereby Asteria was granted the sponsorship due to her outstanding grades in year one at the University of Namibia,” said Lourens le Grange, director of Mashare (Pty) Ltd.
Mashare is a green scheme farm under the management of Agricultural Business Development Agency (AGRIBUSDEV).
Petrus Uugwanga, the Managing Director of AGRIBUSDEV, along with Le Grange, handed over the cheque of N$210 000 to Katakula. The total amount is divided into three circles of N$67 000.00 for each academic year. The fund is covering tuition fees, accommodation and travelling expenses.
A laptop was also given to the recipient to facilitate her academic endeavour in terms of ICT related needs. The funding came with terms and condition that the student will be expected to spend at least four weeks per annum at the project to observe practical irrigation farming to expand her knowledge.
The Mashare Irrigation project indicated that it should not be interpreted by the public as if this is an ongoing scholarship program. The sustenance of the program will only be determined by the financial sustainability of the project. Meanwhile the farm is also about to undertake a construction of one class room at Muroro Primary School in Kavango east region.
Uugwanga commended Mashare in taking a lead in CSR on the scheme. “I am optimistic that other projects will also recognise it as an instrumental function in advancing the socio-economic focus of the agro food industry in the country,” Uugwanga said. He further assured the student that AGRIBUSDEV is ready at all times to link her with relevant networks that appreciate the value of the green scheme in Namibia.
Asteria informed the team that it has always been her biggest dream to add value to the Agro-food industry. Hence she sees this opportunity as a milestone to foster her passion even much wider. The student thanked AGRIBUSDEV and Mashare team for responding to her financial struggle to achieve her academic goal.
“I happy to be awarded with this bursary and I would like express my sincere gratitude since I am the first student to be awarded with a bursary by Mashare Irrigation Project,” she said. She also encouraged learners in grade 12 to study hard and get good grades, for them to be able to stand good chances of getting scholarship in future.
The Green Scheme has been one the contributor to the need of maize and wheat to the National Strategic Food Reserves during drought periods.