WINDHOEK, (Xinhua) --
Lusius Nghimbwasha of Onghalulu Farmers’
Cooperative from Namibia’s Kavango East region had a
circumscribed understanding of fruit tree farming.
For a long time,
traditional techniques of planting have been a persistent
practice and feature, as modern approaches of cultivating fruit
trees and marketing were inconceivable to the farmer.
methods were, however, unsustainable and detrimental to the
“We were susceptible
to climate change and faced challenges of market
diversification. In recent years, from the production, expansion
of farming venture has been a challenge,” said Nghimbwasha on
As luck would have
it for him, farmers in the north-eastern region were trained on
sustainable fruit tree production by Communal Land Development
Project under the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale
Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in October this year.
training program fuses traditional and modern techniques to
equip farmers in rural communities with fruit farming skills,
said Communal Land Development Project’s field advisor Oliver
“Our worry has been
the magnitude of local fruit production and output which has
been low and, sustainability thereof,” he said.
According to Manungo,
skills imparted include hands-on agricultural planting skills
such as grafting, plant-budding technology and contemporary
and other 90 local participants gained new skills in diversified
agricultural production methods related to fruit tree farming.
The training has
since shifted the approaches around sustainable practices of
fruit tree farming utilized by the once-struggling farmers.
On Monday, as the
dawn of light arrived over a far-flung village in Namibia’s
Kavango region, Nghimbwasha and other members of Onghalulu
Farmers’ Cooperative had already arrived at the fruit farming
weeks, the discussion on Monday was different. Members were
caucusing on how to intensify fruit farming efforts and
planting, drawing on skills gained at a recent workshop held in
“I learned a lot
about the planting of fruit trees, especially plant-budding
technology, which is new for me. We are now re-strategizing to
adopt best practices learned, to shift our planting and
marketing techniques to boost production,” Nghimbwasha said.
The training also
aims to improve food availability, nutrition and drive
industrialization at the household level in the communal areas.
“Our target is to
get people to plant a sizeable number of fruit trees to leap way
the country into industrialization. To the extent that farmers
and the agricultural sector can build juice factories,” Manungo
Records by Namibia
Statistics Agency shows that Namibia imports more than 80
percent of its fruits for consumption, a trend farmers wish to
Another fruit tree
farmer who participated in the training from Mutango village in
Kavango East region, Naas Coetzee, said that training presented
an opportunity for him to reflect on his venture, which he
described as small-scale.
“We don’t have a big
set-up regarding hectares to produce fruits in excess to export
to an international market. With the skills gained, we shall
venture into value addition,” Coetzee said.
Meanwhile, there is
growing interest and potential into fruit farming in rural
areas, according to Manungo.
“For this to happen,
there is a need to produce large quantities to sustain
factories,” he said.
In the interim, for
Nghimbwasha and cooperative members, they are dreading on
expansion, sustainability, processing as well as value addition
by applying newly acquired skills and adopting techniques
“We can produce
guava juice, mango, jam and marmalade. Moreover, most of these
fruit trees do not require much water, which gives us the
competitive edge,” said Nghimbwasha.