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Ode to Hardworking Farmers Who Feed Namibia

Farmers are the backbone of Africa; they are the men and women who work in the searing heat and bitter cold to put food on our tables and clothes on our backs. They rise with the sun to tend to crops and stay up late to review accounts. They fight off invasive insects and battle unpredictable weather.

Without our farmers and ranchers, where would we be? At AgriToday, we understand the importance of farmers, and we are proud to salute our nation’s farmers for all of the reasons they make our lives better.

Many Namibians enjoy an abundant food supply – thanks to farmers’ hard work. Farmers do more than provide food. Bacon and sausage are breakfast
mainstays, but they would not be so readily available without dedicated pork producers in parts of the
country and beyond.

Farmers take care of the soil, they conserve water resources and wildlife and they are the caretakers of mother nature. 

Farmers also play a significant role in community life. I have travelled widely and have met many farmers. One thing that has made a lasting impression on me is how amazing it is that most farmers are involved in their local community in one way or another, giving back, uplifting, helping – and generally making a difference in the lives and well-being of others.

No man is an island – and no one must tell me that farmers are in business for themselves alone. Our farmers’ community contributions have ranged from building churches and schools to maintaining community cattle kraals and watering points, and supporting soccer clubs. Farmers play an important civic role in their communities.

Farmers make a difference on the land. They have a responsibility to use the natural resources at their disposal, sustainably and wisely. To use anything in a sustainable manner implies that the activity on the land will be able to be continued from one generation to the next. 

For example, it would be short-sighted, greedy and unreasonable to suck the lifeblood out of the soil without putting it back. This means caring for the soil so they will be able to keep producing food for many years to come.

No good farmer will plant crop after crop without doing soil sampling and applying fertilisers, planting cover crops or practising crop rotation to improve the health of the soils. True farmers care about the land for today and tomorrow. 

They are not only businessmen today, but they are the visionaries of tomorrow. As farmers, we are stewards of the land and we should be finding ways to make other members of the community, in particular the youth, who will be the stewards in future, more environmentally aware.

Farmers provide food, fibre and fuel to the marketplace, but they also provide jobs for farm and seasonal workers who in turn spend their money and stimulate local economies. We need to see even more local farming activities become viable again. 

Everyone who has access to land can become productive and grow food for their families and sell their excess profitably. 

We should definitely all be growing seasonal vegetables for our households. Sadly, profit margins have been squeezed so tight in some agricultural value chains that many farmers say it is not worth their while.

Some say they buy a litre of milk more cheaply than it costs them to keep a cow healthy, feed her and then milk her every day. 

It is also hard to believe that for too long, it has been more cost-effective to buy imported chicken more cheaply than it could be raised here at home. 

Source : neweralive