Tuesday, February 13 2018 | NEW ERA FARMERS FORUM 16 FAs have till April 30 to enter AgriBraai Staff Reporter Windhoek The deadline for this year’s Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) annual AgriBraai is April 30 and all farmers’ associations (FAs) are encouraged to enter. This year’s popular braai will be hosted by the Kalahari Oos FA on May 25-26 at the Gobabis Showgrounds. Residents of Gobabis and the Omaheke region, the hosts, have been gearing up for what is expected to be the best and biggest AgriBraai in almost 50 years. The theme is ‘Cattle Country Cowboy’ and on the evening of May 26, the Campbells will perform. The hugely popular event dates back to 1981 and is a tough competition as all dishes must be prepared over coals; from the starter to the dessert as no webers and electrical equipment may be used. In the beginning, the menu was given to the teams before the day of the competition to enable them to prepare for the contest, but later it was decided not to announce the menu before time. The competition is one of the opportunities where farmers come together to not only braai, but also network. Social teams can also participate in the braai and these are mostly from local companies involved in agriculture. The winning prize is N,000, which should be used to host the competition next year. More details on this year’s AgriBraai will be given in due course, and can be obtained from Kalahari Oos FA, on telephone number 081 2612838, or via email at email@example.com. Farming saving club Kae MaÞunÿu- Tjiparuro Windhoek At the end of last month, Farmers Forum ran an article concerning the concept of Harambee rubbing off on some communal farmers in the country who have now established an organisation named Harambee 2030 Vision. The initiative of longtime farmer, Albert Tjihero and others is meant to encourage and help beginner farmers to deal with the challenges of farming, especially cattle herding, which is the economic mainstay of many communal farmers and the backbone of their livelihood that on which communal farming communities have been relying mostly if not solely for subsistence and substance. However, the changing climatic conditions of late have not been farming friendly. FARM ASSURED NAMIBIAN MEAT Harambee Vision 2030 is the Ovatuta Ovaute Project, a farming saving club. More than being a byproduct of Harambee Vision 2030, OvaÞuta Ovaute Project is rather its forerunner with its existence dating back to 2015. From a membership of only six, the project now boasts 256 members. But this is far from satisfactory for this farming stokvel that has already embarked on its membership drive for this year by availing its membership application forms, for N0 per member per year. Among its objectives this year is to host workshops for its members where they are going to receive training from experts in farming be it animal husbandry or crop production. Indeed given the limited grazing space in Namibia, the focus of the group is to encourage members optimise their farming practices, Organiser of the OvaÞuta a beginner farmer, who is also an eatery owner - including diversifying into other farming practices like crop production. Not only that, the focus is also very much on making farming a business venture by helping farmers not only concentrate on the breeding of animals but that they also optimise on animal husbandry by making business out of byproducts coming from rearing animals such as selling milk and processing it into other dairy products. The group started as a WhatsApp group of a few friends that would share farming practices among one another. However they realised that they would mies of scale if the group expanded. Today the group has members from all over the country even north of the Veterinary Cordon Fence, the south and overseas in countries like Canada and the United Kingdom. It has three categories of monthly savers, of N0, N,000 and N,000 per month. The savings of each member are then used for buying livestock, whether big or small as well as setting up the necessary farming infrastructure at the end of each year. “As beginner farmers aspiring to buy quality or farm with stud animals, we also value good farming infrastructure,” explains the organiser of the group, Florence Uapakua Handura, describing such an approach as progressive farming. She hastens to add that 40-50 percent of the group members are women, which she hails as positive development in view of the fact that traditionally farming has been dominated by men. But Handura excitedly welcomes their increasing involvement with the group, noting this as an advantage to their male partners. She is also happy about the active positive contribution and involvement of the women in the group. Last year the Canadian members of the group saved close to N million while the Namibian group saved N1,000. For members of the group, the saving club is indeed very much a welcome initiative. Stories abound of Namibians working overseas repatriating their hard-earned cash home in the care of their rela- having been squandered. But in this saving club, Handura assures that their cash is not only safe but even the animals they buy with the cash are quality animals, adding it is one of her duties as an organiser to ensure that the animals members buy are quality stock. Black empowerment is also uppermost on the agenda of the saving club to break the monopoly of white farmers over quality or stud breeds, as well as the perception that white farmers are the only ones farming with quality animals. Meanwhile, Harambee Vision 2030, of which Handura is also an organiser, is having year tonight at Namibia Primary School in Katutura. SUPPORTS ANIMAL WELFARE NO GROWTH HORMONES MEAT BOARD OF NAMIBIA WHOLESOME NATURALLY PRODUCED MEAT safe NO ANTIBIOTIC RESIDUES www.nammic.com.na +264 61 275 844 Tough times awaiting agriculture this year Staff Reporter Windhoek The Namibian meat industry, as is with the Namibian economy in general, remains under severe pressure and will do so for the remainder of 2018, given world economic indicators. Challenges and efforts by the Meat Board of Namibia (MBN) will dressing ways to drastically limit expenditure and grow income of the value chain. “The most important aspect to deal with is, to assist with the facilitation of processes to establish markets for Northern Communal Areas (NCAs) cattle producers,” says MBN general manager, Paul Strydom. Another aspect to receive attention will be sheep exports through the Sheep Marketing Scheme. Industry presentations were made to the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF). MBN together with the sheep industry is in the process of developing proposals to address price differentials between Namibian and South African export abattoirs, the availability of quotas to producers, and perhaps other marketing channels to ensure a fair dispensation, amongst others. Over the long term, cal functions of the Directorate: Veterinary Services for the export of livestock and meat needs to be addressed and solved. Also important is the improvement of the competitiveness of cattle slaughter prices and/or containment of cattle production costs. MBN and its industry committees recommend the commissioning of research into the competiveness of the different value chain components. tions recommended. It is important that all stakeholders contribute in the successful solution to a competitive cattle and sheep slaughter industry.
Tuesday, February 13 2018 | NEW ERA AFRICA 17 US envoy Tillerson in Egypt at start of Mideast tour US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson CAIRO US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was expected to meet President Abdel diplomatic sources said, as he started a tour of the Middle East. T i l l e r s o n l a n d e d i n Cairo late Sunday and had dinner with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry. The envoy was set to talk with Sisi in the early afternoon, after seeing staff of the US embassy in Cairo and a second meeting with Shoukry. said Tillerson’s talks in Egypt would focus on “regional issues of mutual concern such as Libya and Syria, our shared commitment to “Concerns about human rights and civil society are a topic of continuing conversation with the Egyptians,” topic to be addressed during talks. Tillerson’s visit comes as Sisi, who polls in which he will face a single opponent. “On the elections, we support a genuine and a credible electoral process, and we believe should guarantee the right for all citizens to participate freely and fairly,” the “We have noted our concerns about the reports that Egypt’s prosecutor general has launched an ahead of the” March 26 elections, he added. Tillerson’s trip to Cairo comes after Vice President Mike Pence visited last month to discuss security in the region and the future of US aid to Egypt. After Cairo, Tillerson is to head to Kuwait to take part in a military coalition that has been battling the Islamic State jihadist group in Iraq and neighbouring Syria. He is also set to visit Jordan to meet King Abdullah II and Lebanon to meet President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri. He is then set to head to Turkey for discussions with Washington’s in Syria. – Nampa/AFP Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Former Liberian president wins million award JOHANNESBURG udan’s Bashir replaces intelligence chief: state media KHARTOUM on Sunday replaced powerful intelligence chief Mohammed Atta, amid a security crackdown on opposition protests against rising food prices. Bashir issued a presidential decree announcing Salah Abdallah Mohammed Salih as the new head of the country’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), SUNA said, without providing further details. Salih, widely known as Salih Ghosh, previously headed NISS and was replaced by his then Atta’s removal came after he returned this week from Cairo where he was part of a Sudanese delegation that on several issues including security. In recent weeks NISS has been leading a crackdown on sporadic opposition protests that have erupted since early January against rising food prices. Protesters have taken to the streets after bread prices increased on the back of a government decision to leave wheat imports to the private sector that triggered swiftly broken up these rallies held in Khartoum and some other parts of BAMAKO A mayor in northern Mali known for serving as a mediator for Western hostages said Sunday he has been freed after being held captive for around three weeks. “All I can say for now is that I am free,” Tarkint mayor Baba Ould Cheikh told AFP by telephone. “I’m at home now.” the country. The agency has also arrested several senior leaders of opposition groups since January in a bid to prevent the protests from spreading. The authorities have detained several journalists covering the protests. M o s t o f t h e m h a v e now been released. “The NISS seems to be arresting just about any journalist it can Reporters Without Borders said in a statement this week. of newspapers since the start of the year is unprecedented.” Under Atta, NISS stepped telling AFP he had seen Cheikh earlier in the day, adding that his abduction by six gunmen sometime between “a private matter”. A security source said at the time that the abduction was carried out either “by people he had a disagreement with, or Islamists”. Mali’s government signed a peace up its overall crackdown on government media coverage. runs of newspapers that criticised government policies or reported on Salih, until Sunday a lawmaker for the ruling National Congress Party, worked on and off for NISS since power, according to Sudanese media. As its chief, he was credited with building NISS into one of the most powerful security agencies of Bashir’s He was later jailed on accusations that he had planned a coup to jihadist armed groups in the north remain active, and large tracts of the former French colony are lawless. The mayor had been named in after unloading the cargo in the northern Gao region, according to topple Bashir, but no evidence was found against him and the president pardoned him. Salih is still seen as a powerful accusations that were made against him, Magnus Taylor, Sudan analyst at International Crisis Group told AFP. “He may be seen (by the president) as a strong guy who could handle the recent protests,” Taylor said. “It may suggest that President Bashir is shoring up the leadership of NISS behind him by appointing a very chief.” - Nampa/AFP Change… President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan has replaced his chief of intelligence. Kidnapped mayor of northern Mali town freed the UN drugs agency. He was arrested for cocaine months later due to lack of evidence. Qaeda took control of Mali’s desert led military operation launched in - Nampa/AFP Former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a Nobel Peace elected female head of state, has won a million Mo Ibrahim award, designed to improve the quality of African political leadership, Reuters reported on Monday. Johnson Sirleaf, who is the old award, stepped down from leadership of the West African country to former international football star George Weah. The prestigious award, founded by Sudanese telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim, has not been awarded on several occasions due to what was perceived by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation as no suitable candidate. However, the foundation leader for her exceptional and transformative leadership in helping steer Liberia’s recovery from many years of civil war. “During her twelve years in the foundations on which Liberia can now build,” the foundation said. However, she has been accused by critics of not doing enough to solve crippling unemployment and poverty and new incumbent Weah was partially voted in on campaign promises to resolve these issues. Liberia, which was founded by freed American slaves, has survived two civil wars marked by brutality and the use of child soldiers, as well as years of bloodshed and civil unrest Candidates for the award have to be democratically elected African heads of state or during the previous three years at the end of their mandated terms. The prize is million paid out over ten years, with another the winner’s lifetime. Former Pohamba counts among the African presidents that have won this prestigious award. – Nampa/ANA