Namibia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform has recently announced the delivery of a staggering 298 tractors to supplement the existing fleet of 194, strategically distributed across various crop-producing regions. This transformative initiative seeks to alleviate the challenges faced by farmers nationwide, still reliant on traditional ploughing methods involving donkeys and oxen.
Addressing Farmer Woes
As reported by The Villager earlier this month, farmers, especially in the Northern Communal Areas (NCA), have grappled with the daunting task of preparing their fields for the current crop season. The prohibitive costs of private tractors, coupled with health concerns and fatalities among oxens and donkeys, primarily attributed to drought conditions, have created a pressing need for intervention.
A Bold Commitment to Agricultural Progress
In response to the urgent call for support during the ongoing ploughing season, the Ministry of Agriculture has not only introduced these state-of-the-art tractors but is also set to deploy additional skilled operators and drivers to efficiently manage the expanded fleet. Jona Musheko, the ministry’s spokesperson, revealed that the government, under the NAMSIP program, aims to deploy a total of 350 tractors.
Swift Deployment and Regional Impact
Out of the earmarked 350 tractors, a commendable 298 have already been successfully delivered to various regions. The remaining tractors are undergoing final preparations and will soon be dispatched. Musheko highlighted that the tractors’ parts were meticulously assembled in the country by vocational trainees and graduates, showcasing a commitment to local capacity building.
In a bid to bolster regional capabilities, Ohangwena Region has received 40 tractors, Omusati Region 42, and Oshikoto Region 36, fortifying their existing fleets. Following closely, the Zambezi Region and Oshana Region have welcomed 36 and 31 tractors, respectively. Kavango West, experiencing a significant boost with 29 tractors, showcases the program’s inclusive nature.
Empowering Communities Through Training
Recognizing the shortage of tractor operators in certain constituencies, the ministry has taken proactive steps by initiating a comprehensive training program for 153 new operators. These trainees are poised to graduate on Saturday, December 17, 2023, and will be promptly deployed to their respective constituencies the following day.
Even regions with comparatively lower agricultural activity, such as Hardap, Karas, Erongo, and Khomas, have not been overlooked. They have received 13, 12, 10, and 4 tractors, respectively, ensuring that every corner of the nation benefits from this agricultural revolution.
Timely Operations for Optimal Results
Musheko emphasized that regions with sufficient operators have already commenced field operations, contributing to timely and efficient ploughing. This concerted effort by the government signifies a resolute commitment to fostering agricultural prosperity, transforming the landscape of farming in the country.
In conclusion, the deployment of nearly 300 tractors marks a pivotal moment in Namibia’s agricultural history, signaling a brighter and more productive future for farmers across regions. This bold initiative not only addresses immediate challenges but lays the foundation for sustained growth, innovation, and resilience in the agricultural sector.
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