By: Nghiinomenwa Erastus
There are 202 tractors for the 91 constituencies in the 10 crop-growing regions to assist farmers with tillage and weeding services for the current cropping season.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land updated The Villager this week on their rain-fed crop production programmes.
The statement indicated that they have assessed their available tractors in the various crop-producing constituencies and verified that 202 tractors are ready to be deployed at a subsidized price.
The farmers are expected to pay a subsidized price of N$250 per hectare to a maximum of 5ha for government (GRN) tractors.
Since tractors per constituency are not enough, the ministry has also made funds available to subsidize those who have tractors to avail them to the farmers.
Private tractors are subsidized with N$350 per hectare to a maximum of 5ha through a voucher system.
The private tractors who want to participate can register their tractors to their respective regional councillors.
The ministry updated that the subsidized tractor services for tillage/ploughing commenced in September for river fields and the upper land on 1 November 2021.
Furthermore, the ministry will provide subsidized weeding services through women and youth groups where farmers are subsidized at N$250 per hectare to a maximum of 5ha.
Ploughing for river fields has commenced in Zambezi Region. A total of 8 tractors are deployed for the river fields in Zambezi Region.
“Tractors in Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshikoto, Oshana, Otjozondjupa, and Omaheke are serviced and ready for ploughing,” the ministry said.
Procurement for the servicing and repairing tractors and implements in Kavango West, Kavango East, Zambezi and Kunene Regions was initiated and ongoing.
Additionally, the ministry has made available 458 tons of mahangu, 20 tons of maize, 20 tons of sorghum and 20 tons of cowpeas seeds to be sold at a subsidized level for the 2021/2022 cropping season.
Beyond what government can provide in terms of seeds, there is also a budget provision for the private sector seed sellers.
The ministry is ready to pay for 35 tons of maize seeds through a voucher system to enable farmers to access the seeds from private retailers.
A total of 2 tons of maize seeds was sold on subsidy to 200 river field farmers already in September 2021.
To improve soil fertility, the ministry will avail 378 tons of various fertilizers in the regions for the 2021/22 cropping season.
A total of 178 tons is currently available at the Agricultural Development Centres, while 200 tons are being procured.
The available fertilizers include basal and top dressing such as Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P) and Potassium (K) (NPK), Monoammonium phosphate (MAP), Urea, Ammonium Sulphate (SO4), limestone ammonium nitrate (LAN) and Ammonium Nitrate NH4NO3.
Farmers are subsidized at 60% to a maximum of 5ha, meaning that those buying fertilizers will only pay 40% of the price.
The ministry invites all interested Namibian farmers to visit Agricultural Development Centres in their farming areas to register for the subsidized services of their choice.
Since the subsidy programme is demand-driven, farmers will benefit on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The programmes are implemented with the support from the Regional Councils and Traditional Authorities and other stakeholders to ensure participation by all farmers.
The most welcomed participants are all cereal producers in the 10 crop growing Regions of Kunene, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Kavango West, Kavango East, Zambezi, Otjozondjupa and Omaheke can participate in these programmes.
A total of N$30 million is budgeted for the implementation of the rain-fed crop production programmes.
These projects are part of agronomic programmes such as the Dry Land Crop Production Programme (DCPP), complemented by the Cereal Value Chain Development Programme (CVCDP).
The agriculture ministry implements them in the 10 crop-growing regions (Kunene, Omusati, Oshana, Oshakati, Ohangwena, Kavango West, Kavango East, Zambezi, Otjozondjupa and Omaheke).
Comprehensive Conservation Agriculture Programme is complementary to the DCPP through subsidy to ripping, seeds and fertilizers are implemented in the 14 Regions of Namibia.
The overall objective of DCPP is to ensure and accelerate the provision of subsidized agricultural production inputs (improved seeds and fertilizers) and mechanized services (tillage and planting), thereby increasing crop yield, food, and nutrition security, creation of employment opportunities.
The programmes benefit the farmers through ploughing, ripping, and planting services, seeds and fertilizers, weeding services, and capacity building.
Statistically, 30 772 with 13 744 male and 15 938 female farmers benefited from the services and input supply during the 2020/2021 cropping season.
In terms of funding, DCPP was allocated a total of N$20,7 million.
The Comprehensive Conservation Agriculture Programme has N$5 million and N$4,8 million for the Cereal Value Chain Development Programme during the 2021/2022 cropping season.
The programme is implemented for five months, from 1 to 30 September 2021, for the river field ploughing in Zambezi Region and from 1 November to 28 February 2022 for upper land ploughing in all the 10 targeted Regions. Emai: email@example.com