The Agricultural Bank of Namibia (Agribank)’s chief executive officer said that there is need for cattle producers to move away from the traditional and cultural ways of raising livestock and get into the modern agricultural sector.

Mr Sakaria Nghikembua said this at the launch of the Meatco night school for livestock farmers in Windhoek yesterday.

“We need to contribute to the prosperity of our country, and we need skills to make this happen.

“We need to put money and time into skilling, up-skilling and re-skilling our producers. They need practical, real-life skills to up their game,” Nghikembua noted.

Nghikembua said that Agribank spends over N$8 million annually to support the delivery of training and mentorship interventions to producers.

“The agriculture sector faces unique challenges and opportunities that if accurately exploited, can lead to securing of livelihoods, fueling economic growth and fostering human development in the country.”

Nghikembua further highlighted the fact that Namibia’s production levels are low, despite the country having the needed resources such as the people, land, water, markets and funding.

This according to him, leads to a consumption gap resulting in the country importing the basic food stuff from other countries, most notably from South Africa in far too much quantities.

The Meatco night classes and producers forum will offer farmers extension services, advising and teaching producers to align the quality of animals with their livestock production systems to revive the sector.

The chief of the agricultural bank also stated that there is a need for the establishment of development partnerships between organisations and institutions, both public and private as well as producers.

“If such partnerships are effectively implemented, it can create synergies and deliver combined value that is greater than the sum of the values of individuals’ efforts,” he said.

 In the photo: Mr Sakaria Nghikembua speaking at the launch of Meatco’s night school for livestock farmers in Windhoek.