By: Annakleta Haikera
The Mashare Green Schemes farm, situated in the Kavango East, is in the midst of the maize harvest and has given maize cobs to the Mashare residents.
On Monday, 30 May, and Tuesday, 31 May, the farms’ owners allowed the villagers from Mashare Constituency and surrounding areas to flock to the farm and collect fallen maize cobs left behind by the harvesters.
The villagers were excited to go to the farm and collect maize cobs, with some carrying 50kg bags of maize. Others went with cars and others with Shitengi sheets to carry their maize cobs.
Some said they are excited about the year’s harvest, while others expressed disappointment in the year’s yield compared to last year.
Many farmers do not have sufficient access to ploughing tools, such as tractors and oxen. Still, they said being given a chance to collect cobs from the Green Schemes was a fantastic feeling for some residents at Muroro and the nearby villages.
Lourens Le Grange, the Green Scheme’s managing director, told The Villager that fallen cobs are usually caused when maize plants fall over due to strong winds, termites, or accidental spillage during the harvesting process.
“We then invite our communities to pick up the cobs, which are then split 50/50 between the company and the individual pickers. So it is a win-win situation for all”.
The maize fields are then sometimes burned, mainly to break the disease cycle and in preparation to plant the next crop, which is wheat. If burnt cobs are found, they can also be picked up for chicken or animal feed, but all cobs then go to the picker.
“There have been a lot of conflicts between the farm and some community members, in which many complain that I am a bad manager or I don’t give back to the community members, but I do a lot of good deeds at the village. It’s only that people never appreciate what we do. I am so happy to see that a lot of people came to the farm to pick the cobs, and I hope they will also use some of the maize cobs for next year’s harvest. It seems this year there is little harvest in the communal farming.”
Kavara Annastasia, a resident at Mupapama in the Kavango East, was very excited by the gesture, stating that it was a pleasant surprise to be told to go and pick maize corn.
“I came with five bags, and they are all filled with corn. I am now going to eat and pound for maize meal, and I will be able to feed myself and my family at home. My harvest of corn this year didn’t turn out satisfactory, but with this, I will make sure to save one bag for my field in December for ploughing in my small fields. The management of Mashare Green Schemes farm always gives to the community. Last year they called us to harvest potatoes.”
Early this year, agriculture minister Calle Schlettwein announced at the Dubai World Expo that he presented the Government’s intention to lease Namibia’s Green Schemes through a request for proposal (RFP) to foreign investors by June/July this year.
But the newly-established Namibia Local Business Association requested Government to stop the intention to lease 11 Green Schemes through the Ministry of Agriculture to potential foreign investors.
Naloba’s Vice-President Peter Amadhila announced this during a media briefing in Ongwediva on 30 March 2022.