The Agriculture Ministry has spent N$23.8 million on farm infrastructure development for Amarika Farmers Cooperative in the Omusati Region.
Agriculture Minister Calle Schlettwein officially handed over the Amarika Farmer Cooperative infrastructure on Wednesday.
According to him, the fundamental goal of delivering such initiatives to the people is to improve their social and economic position through farm output so as to improve their livelihoods.
He also stated that the provision of agricultural infrastructure development is intended to improve economic retaliations of communal land as part of the development of communal land.
The infrastructure was handed over under the programme for communal land development.
“The provision of farm infrastructure development is meant to increase the commercial utilisation of land in communal areas as the development of communal land was one of the resolutions at both the 1991 and the 2018 National Land Conferences,” the Minister said.
The Ministry, he said, was able to create infrastructure serving about 490,000 hectares of communal land in specified areas of Omusati, Ohangwena, Kavango East, Kavango west, Zambezi, Omaheke and Otjozondjupa regions for a total of N$181.1 million through this programme.
The infrastructure included 74 installed boreholes, 169 kilometres of water pipelines, 877 kilometres of fencing and 20 cattle handling facilities.
During the event, Schlettwein raised alarm about the continuous theft of state borehole water pumps stressing that the water is given to communities that are in desperate need of water.
“We are trying very hard with little limited financial resources to bring water to communities that are desperate for water, just to see a week later solar pumps are stolen, solar panels are stolen and a community that has suffered for years had only a benefit for a week and is back to square one.
“The indicated infrastructure benefits farming households in the designated communal areas and provides them opportunity to contribute to and benefit from the agricultural sector,” said Schlettwein, adding that the development has made significant impacts in the community’s livelihood.
As a result, Amarika Farmers Cooperative Chairperson, Erickson Kamati said there is a reduction in livestock loss due to salty water, reduction in loss of life more especially among residents of Amarika village.
“The project has also brought unity among the farmers,” he said.
Meanwhile, Agriculture Ministry Executive Director, Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata said the project is a collaboration between the Namibian government, the European Unionand the German government through KFW and has been one of the successful stories of development partnership in Namibia.