ERONGO FARMERS EQUIPPED WITH MODERN SWAKARA FARMING TECHNIQUES 

 

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ERONGO FARMERS EQUIPPED WITH MODERN SWAKARA FARMING TECHNIQUES 
Published: 08 Mar 2016

Livestock farming plays an important role in the agricultural sector and contributes significantly to the economic and social lives of people in Namibia and Southern Africa as a whole. For this reason, Agra in partnership with the Centre of Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA) trained a total of 24 farmers on small stock farming from 1 – 4 March 2016 at the Agra Pelt Centre in Windhoek and Neudamm Agriculture Campus respectively.

The training focussed on applied animal health, livestock handling and market dynamics. Reflecting on the Namibian context, Jaco van Zyl, Agra’s Swakara Specialist said: “Swakara production is one of the most ideal farming practises in Namibia’s harsh and dry climatic conditions. The main aim is to develop and empower the farming community by strengthening their knowledge and skills on swakara production.”

Van Zyl continued by saying that there is a need for more pelts at the international auctions, to satisfy the growing demand. “Swakara has established itself as a sought-after fur, and has over the years become designers’ favourite choice of material for garment and accessories. Therefore we need to continue imparting skills and knowledge to both new and existing producers for the industry to grow sustainably.” He concluded by saying “these interventions are not only geared towards up-skilling the farmers, but also to complement government’s efforts to eradicate poverty and create wealth.”

The training was presented over four days in both theory and practical sessions. Calvin Sambo, Programme Officer from CCARDESA said that capacity building and mentorship is the basis of their founding. CCARDESA is a not-for-profit Sub-regional Research and Development Organisation (SRO) that strives to reduce the food insecurity and poverty in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. Sambo noted that the program was started in 2004 with the aim of finding a solution to the observed low contribution of the agricultural sector to national economic and social growth. “It was established that the agricultural sector is faced with a range of constraints which together contribute in a unique way to the underperformance of the sector. The constraints revolve around the lack of skills and knowledge on various aspects such as animal health and handling, and lack of access to profitable markets and market information. To counter these challenges, this training course was realised to enable the farmers to join the swakara value chain,” he explained.

The participants were full of praise after the conclusion on 4 March 2016. Upon receiving their certificates of attendance, they thanked Agra and all stakeholders involved for broadening their horizons by opening a new window of opportunities.

SwakaraModern08032016 Background:

The Navachab Gold Mine in partnership with the Erongo Regional Council, traditional authorities and Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) last year handed over 20 swakara ewes (female sheep) and 1 Swakara ram (male sheep) to 24 farmers/households in the Erongo region. The small stock farming training is funded by CCARDESA and presented by Agra. This training follows the initial training conducted after the handover, to up-skill the farmers on swakara production systems.

contact agra

AGRA CORPORATE OFFICE

TEL | +264 61 290 9111
8 Bessemer street, Southern Industria, Windhoek

contact agra

AGRA CORPORATE OFFICE

TEL | +264 61 290 9111
8 Bessemer street, Southern Industria, Windhoek

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