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Namsip project seeks to increase food production and productivity at household level, Ministry

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The Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform has initiated the Namibia Agriculture Mechanisation and Seed Improvement Project (Namsip), which aims to hire 438 contract farm tractor operators across the country.

The project, according to ministry spokesperson Jona Musheko, seeks to increase food production and productivity at household level, with a focus on contributing to food security and job creation.

“In line with the Namsip implementation modalities, the ministry will provide subsidised agricultural services to targeted beneficiaries, like communal, resettled farmers, and emerging commercial farmers,” he said.

The project is co-funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) through a loan.

Its objectives include enhancing agricultural productivity to reduce the annual importation of staple crops such as cereals and grains, facilitating job creation, and improving household incomes, as well as the well-being of the rural population.

Musheko said Namsip comprises two main components – value chain improvement and institutional support.

Under the value chain improvement component, agricultural mechanisation and certified seed system improvement serve as sub-components. The institutional support component includes capacity building and project management as sub-components.

Planned activities for the project’s implementation include the procurement of various crop production, harvesting, processing, and storage machinery and equipment.

Additionally, the project aims to supply and instal 169 standard drip/sprinkler irrigation systems each covering one hectare, for crop production.

The procurement of diverse machinery and equipment for animal health and livestock fodder production is also planned.

Musheko said the contract-based employment of individuals is due to the seasonal nature of the services required.

The regional distribution of required tractor operators is: Zambezi – 40, Erongo – 13, Hardap – 15, //Kharas – 15, Kavango West – 36, Kavango East – 35, Khomas – 5, Kunene – 31, Ohangwena – 41, Omaheke – 46, Omusati – 53, Oshana – 33, Oshikoto – 49, and Otjozondjupa – 30.

The closing date for applications is 23 July.