Ondera community likely to face food shortage

ONDERA Over 531 households at Ondera farm who solely depend on agricultural produce are likely to face starvation this year due to minimal cultivation because of lack of seeds.

One of the farm's management personnel, Jan Honeb, said their only way to survive is by getting drought relief food, which they receive here and there. Despite this, they will still be deprived of much-needed nutrients, he added.

Vast tracts of this fertile land lie idle because there was no seeding during the planting season, and only beans and mahangu were planted, as opposed to when the farm would be stocked with tomatoes, onions, potatoes, cabbage, butternuts, just to mention a few.

The crisis came as a result of a company in Tsumeb that was supplying the farms with seeds closing down. Another effect was the longevity of sourcing another supplier, as well as too much rainwater as the soil became waterlogged and stimulated the growth of weeds, explained Honeb. Thus, according to Honeb, the farm has lost over N$60,000 in revenue.

The 7,000-hectare farm was bought for N$12 million in 2013 through the government's resettlement programme to resettle the marginalised who were squatting at Oshivelo. The farm is administered by the community through the Namsov Community Trust.

This is a painful experience for us � we really do not know what to do, said Honeb, adding that they have now sourced another supplier in Grootfontein and are expecting to receive seeds soon.

We informed Namsov about our situation and they once sent a technical adviser to come and assess the situation, and promised to get us a supplier from South Africa. Since then, we have never seen or heard from him, but we are however thankful to Namsov that they responded to our call and agreed to pay for the new supplier we got, said Honeb.

Apart from horticulture production they also raise cattle and goats.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia