THE president of the Namibia National Farmers Union, Jason Emvula has urged the farming community to turn challenges affecting the agricultural sector into opportunities
He also touched on other challenges the agricultural sector is faced with.
“We are aware that we are living in a century full of challenges, but we do believe that as partners in the agricultural sector, we can turn these challenges into opportunities,” Emvula said.
At a national level, he said the union is trying to provide an enabling environment for the agricultural sector, especially the communal sub-sector, which is marginalised and complex.
In addition to policy lobbying and advocacy, he said the union acknowledges the importance of capacity building in regional farmers’ unions because without capacity they are unable to work effectively.
Augustinus Poroto Jr, a young farmer, said: “This type of stakeholder engagements are of the utmost importance if we are to involve the youth in agriculture and enable them to be vocal and contribute to the strategic planning of the future of the region.”
Poroto said the major issues hindering young people remain access to finance, land, capacity building in production, business management skills and access to markets.
Emvula also called on the youth to engage in farming and agricultural activities.
He says farming is like any other business involving taking risks to succeed.
Emvula said this at a recent two-day stakeholders’ engagement meeting organised and hosted by the Kavango East Regional Farmers Union (Kerfu) to seek input and recommendations to include in its five-year strategic plan.
Emvula first applauded Kerfu for organising the meeting by addressing the delegates in attendance.
He said he was happy to see that regional farmers’ unions were considering possible solutions in the agricultural sector.
Emvula said farmers should change the face of agriculture to attract young people.
“There is nothing wrong for the youth to come on board, and I hope it would also assist them to succeed in those things that are dragging them down, like alcohol.
“If you’re idling, things will come to you, but if you are busy, there is no time to get involved in the wrong things,” Emvula said.