Erongo Region to become agriculture region

The Erongo Region is to step away from the image of being an arid region and evolve into a region for agriculture.

Governor of the Erongo Region, Cleophas Mutjavikua said this during the opening ceremony of the Valencia-Usakos Community Garden Project here on Thursday.

The garden was established on four hectares of land adjacent to the Khan River at Usakos, thereby booting out the notion that the town and region are too arid for agricultural purposes.

It is done through a joint venture between the Usakos Town Council and the Valencia Uranium mine, the main sponsor.

“We are focused on making Usakos a green town and I urge all the other towns such as Karibib and Omaruru to participate in agriculture activities,” said Mutjavikua.

He indicated that they want to establish an olive plantation in Okambahe, adding that the date fruit plantation in Otjimbinge shows that agriculture can indeed be practiced here like in other regions.

The governor said the wheat programme in Okambahe should be revitalised, noting that it is still on a small scale, but they are working on expanding it into the riverbed.

Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa said in a speech read on his behalf by Mutjavikua that his ministry is spearheading the National Horticulture Project.

The project is aimed at promoting production and the marketing of local goods, by supporting the establishment of collection points or centres for agricultural produce such as vegetables and fruit.

“The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) is also committed to increasing food production in the country, and will continue to create and promote an enabling environment for the implementation of projects of this nature to achieve national objectives,” said the minister.

In order to ensure sustainability, Mutorwa urged the people of the town to involve the MAWF extension staff in the implementation of this project.

He also encouraged other private institutions to follow the example of Valencia and invest in their surrounding communities.