Small stock beneficiaries to give back

By Rosalia David

FARMERS who recently benefited from the Small Stock Development and Distribution to Communal Areas (SSDDCAs) project under the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform (MAWLR) are expected to give back at least 20 goats over five years. This was announced at a handover ceremony in Khomas Rural Constituency recently.

“I should further highlight that 20 female goat and one buck are given to each beneficiary. After five years, the beneficiaries are expected to give back at least 20 goats that will revolve to other community members in the same category. This will be done by closely monitoring the beneficiaries, including provision of fencing materials and training in small stock husbandry,” said chief agricultural technician at MAWLR, Eugene Simwanza.

He said the project aims to provide quality core breeding flock of suitable goats to selected vulnerable households to gain sustainable means of income generation and enhanced food and nutrition security while improving social and economic well-being of targeted beneficiaries.

At the handover, MAWLR delivered 420 goats to 20 vulnerable farmers through the SSDDCA project.

SSDDCA is a capital project initiated by the ministry, which is rolled out to all communal areas of the 14 regions. The beneficiaries that received small stock for breeding purposes were selected by constituency committees in collaboration with the traditional authorities.

At the same event, /Khomanin traditional authority councilor and special advisor to the chief Walter Haseb said “We have to applaud the government of the Republic of Namibia for initiating a program such as this to benefit vulnerable subsistence farmers. The government did this despite the hard times, such as persistent drought and Covid-19 pandemic.”

Expressing gratitude, one of the beneficiaries, Ernstina Gaës, said “All of us that benefited must work together as a team and meet the government half-way.”

Franklin Chilinda, acting director of planning at Khomas Regional Council, expressed similar sentiments, saying “This program is not new in Khomas region and we had beneficiaries in the past. However, this time we want to do it better by closely monitoring through the established structures.”

In March, the SSDDCA handed over goats to 20 beneficiaries in the Erongo Region, one of the regions six regions that benefited during the 2019/20 financial year.

Twenty does and one buck were handed over to each beneficiary household, who were also promised support with the construction of kraals, small stock equipment, as well as vaccines. A revolving agreement was signed by MAWLR and beneficiaries to ensure that goats are used for the intended purpose.

According to the ministry, the Erongo beneficiaries are expected to return the first 10 does during the third year, the next five does during the fourth year and the last five does during the fifth year.