FARMERS AT OTJINENE GET BASIC PRINCIPLES OF FARMING JUST RIGHT

article header imagesFARMERS AT OTJINENE GET BASIC PRINCIPLES OF FARMING JUST RIGHT
Published: 03 Nov 2014 

 
A large group of farmers’ and other stakeholders in the agriculture sector gathered last week Thursday, 30 October 2014 at the Agra ProVision farmers’ information day in Otjinene, to learn about the basic principles of farming. The event was addressed by Namibian experts who understand the local conditions and environment.

In her introductory remarks, Dagmar Honsbein, General Manager of Agra ProVision applauded the community for coming out to learn about the basic principles which are mostly forgotten. “The event aims at ensuring that you’re reminded on how to improve on your productivity in a sustainable manner. Agra as a responsible corporate citizen will remain committed to develop and improve the agriculture sector. Farmers’ days form part of Agra’s social responsibility programme and this also goes hand in hand with ProVision’s role; to reach out and empower stakeholders in the Agricultural Industry,” she said. She continued by saying, “I also urge women to join in agriculture production to assist in ensuring food security for Namibians.”

The event was hosted as a collaboration between Agra, Feedmaster, Norbrook and the Otjinene office of the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry – Directorate of Engineering and Extension Services (DEES).

The presentations for the day focused on: rangeland management, animal nutrition, animal health and maintenance of infrastructure. Rangeland management was introduced to the participants by Erastus Ngaruka, Junior Technical Advisor of Livestock Production. He began by answering the question, “Why are our rangelands under pressure?” He emphasised that all livelihoods depend on rangeland resources, such as: livestock derive most of their nutritional needs cheaply from the rangeland; and humans derive basic foods from the rangeland. During his presentation, he stressed on how farmers are supposed to sustain their rangeland and the consequences of poor rangeland management. He concluded by saying, “the aim is to achieve sustainable production for both rangeland, livestock and sustained livelihoods.”

The animal nutrition lecture was addressed by Frank Kanguatjivi from Feedmaster. Frank informed the participants about the importance of phosphate especially in sandy rangelands of Namibia, as one of the most important minerals in animal nutrition.

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Dr Fonnie Bruwer, Agra ProVision’s Technical Advisor for Animal Health gave a lecture on basic animal health for livestock, with a focus on vaccination. Dr Bruwer advised the attendees on the importance of vaccination, especially to important diseases to watch out for, such as; Anthrax, Botulism, Black Quarter, Lumpy Skin Disease, Brucella (Contagious abortion), Bovine virus diarrhea (BVD), Rabies and Vibriosis. His presentation was complemented by the State Vet for Omaheke region, Dr Bernie Chiwome who gave a presentation on the common diseases in the region.

The lectures where concluded by Frank Wittneben, Agra ProVision’s Technical Advisor for Livestock Production, who gave a presentation on basic maintenance of infrastructure. The items discussed in his presentation are; water supply, water points, water pumps, pipelines, water catchment structures, fences, kraals and home-made droppers and poles. “When obtaining a functional farm it is of utmost importance to perform regular maintenance on the whole infrastructure,” he cautioned.

The event ended with some lucky participants walking away with great prizes. The participants appreciated Agra’s initiative for empowering them by sharing relevant information. They found the presentations enlightening and many of them are motivated to go back to the drawing board and plan accordingly. Furthermore, they requested Agra’s ongoing support to enable them to turn their farms into sustainable businesses.

Agra ProVision offers interactive information sessions countrywide every 2 months to facilitate networking and brainstorming among individuals from various sectors in government and private industry on topics relevant to the agriculture industry. These interactive information sessions are open to members of the public, and those interested are requested to confirm their attendance in advance.

 

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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