Irimari urges farmers to utilise available agricultural subsidies

OSHAKATI: Oshana Governor, Elia Irimari, has urged people to make use of various government subsidies availed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform to maximise on their harvest outcomes, including the use of tractors. In an interview with Nampa on Thursday, Irimari stated that the region has 30 operational tractors that can be used by the farmers in its 11 constituencies. According to Irimari, three of the constituencies have been given three tractors each for use, with the rest of the tractors having been shared among the remaining eight constituencies. Meanwhile, he indicated that a total of 18 people were trained on how to operate the tractors. 'I therefore invite our community members to approach the agriculture ministry and find out about the available assistance [subsidies],' he said. The Ministry of Agriculture had acquired a total of 350 tractors with different capacities that were distributed across the country to benefit communal farmers during the ploughing season. Currently, ploughing by government tractors costs N.dollars 250 per hectare, the required fee to be paid by farmers that make use of the tractors, while private tractors will be subsided by 60 per cent. Meanwhile animal-drawn ploughing is N.dollars 350 per hectare and is also subsided by government. Additionally, Irimari encouraged farmers to venture into the establishment of backyard gardens, especially during the rainy season, as this offers good potential for small scale production of vegetables for household consumption and resale. Source: The Namibia Press Agency