In efforts to improve productivity and prepare farmers for the upcoming agricultural competitions in the region, the Aminuis Agriculture Extension Office, in collaboration with Agribank, held a small stock selection session recently in the Omaheke region.
Speaking to AgriToday, Carlos Tjiho, the Agriculture Technician for Aminuis constituency, said the purpose of the day was to equip small stock farmers with selection knowledge of potential breeding stock. “We have targeted beginners; whether they are taking their animals to the expos or agricultural shows or just for keeping them home. Some farmers buy these sheep and goats from others but do not notice faults,” Tjiho elaborated.
According to the extension officer, the workshop was also aimed at educating the farmers on the best characteristics of their animals.
Tjiho also said the session will enable farmers to pick the best animal to the agricultural show competitions.
“Sometimes farmers end up selling or slaughter the best ones and leave the ones with faults in their kraals. We have even noticed this practice at weddings and funerals when families are assisting each other,” Tjiho noted. Despite the selection process, the workshop also focused on milk production, and it enlightened farmers on the features of goats and sheep that can give birth to two lamps. To this, Tjiho said the best remedy for good features on your animals is a good quality ram with good physical appearance. Zelda Ngarizemo, a farmer from Otjeue village, said she learned a lot and she will improve her small stock production. “It was a very informative session. Despite learning the physical appearances of my goats and sheep, I managed to acquire skills on how to keep records of my animals,” she said. Ngarizemo added that through the workshop enlightenment, she can now purchase a ram of quality in their kraal. Sharing the same sentiment was Absalom Katenge from Otjombungu, who said the workshop of this magnitude should repeat quarterly. “This is a very important session, as it helps us breed with best products. I now know how the features like feet and back on my stock should look like.” Katenge further said they are in rural areas, and some of the information requires more attention; they will need ample time to memorise it. “Luckily, our extension officer prepared some copies for reference sake, and that is very commendable,” emphasised Otjombungu farmer. On her part, Naomi Kahuure from Omitivine added she gained a lot from the training and will share with family at home. “Keeping records of our stock was one of the key points I took from this session. The characteristics and features of good rams also attracted my attention,” Kahuure explained.
Agibank’s John Venter, who facilitated the workshop, said farmers showed eagerness to learn, as farming has become business.
The facilitator also called on farmers to regularly pay attention to production records and all records of their products. The Aminuis Agricultural Show is slated for August this year.