Farmers encouraged to consider irrigation… as drought looms

Kavango West Governor Sirkka Ausiku emphasized the necessity for farmers to adopt innovative farming methods to counter the impacts of climate change and drought gripping the country. She urged a shift away from reliance solely on rain-fed agriculture towards irrigation farming, particularly for those with access to consistent water sources.

“Given the challenges posed by climate change and drought, it is imperative for us and all relevant stakeholders to prioritize agriculture,” Ausiku stated, as conveyed by Mpunfu constituency councillor Titus Shiudifonya during the inauguration of the expanded Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA) milling facility at Katwitwi settlement on the Namibia-Angola border in Kavango West.

She called upon small-scale farmers along riverbanks to embrace irrigation farming for maize, mahangu, and other crops. Ausiku also urged AMTA and the Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) to facilitate market access for farmers. She commended AMTA for its dedication to supporting the region’s agricultural goals.

Ausiku highlighted the significance of the Katwitwi Milling Plant in addressing food security, praising its role in supplying locally-sourced grain products. She encouraged further collaboration between AMTA, NAB, and regional stakeholders to promote agro-processing facilities, envisioning the region as a vital food supplier for Namibia and beyond.

The governor emphasized AMTA’s role in empowering local communities through employment and its transition into a commercial entity since 2019. She noted AMTA’s expansion into milling operations, catering not only to Namibians but also to neighboring markets like Angola.

Rosemary Shippiki, the vice-chairperson of the AMTA board, echoed Ausiku’s sentiments, emphasizing the expansion’s benefits for grain farmers and the effective management of grain products. Shippiki underscored AMTA’s commitment to fulfilling governmental goals of addressing food insecurity and promoting economic growth.

In conclusion, Ausiku and Shippiki emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts to realize agricultural development, food security, and economic prosperity for all Namibians.

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