By Staff Reporter
Agribank’s Emerging Farmers Retail Financing (ERFP) loan beneficially Elifas Nuujoma said his life was changed to good after he started farming in Olushandja (Etaka) area, between Epalela and Onesi in Omusati region.
Nuujoma who was jobless at the time, had been struggling to earn income to sustain his family. However, in 2005, he took a decision to capitalize on his land near the water source to venture into horticulture.
“When I was unemployed, I had always been thinking of ways to sustain my family. I have a house, and I have kids to take care of, so I landed on this idea of horticulture farming. I started just on a small piece of land, working with my own hands, with confidence that my farming business would grow as I sell my produce,” Nuujoma said.
In 2018 Nuujoma extended his farm after he bought a tractor together with other soil preparation equipment through the ERFP loan from Agribank.
“With this support from Agribank, I can now produce many different vegetables on a larger scale such as green peppers, onions, watermelons, cabbages, tomatoes, butternuts just to mention a few,” he said.
“Just out of this vegetable farming I have managed to make enough money to send my children to further their studies at institutions of higher learning like UNAM, I bought a brand-new car, I built a house and I became a proud bread winner for my family,” he said.
“In addition, I have 5 people on my farm who are employed permanently and during the harvest time I employ over 20 casuals. In future, if God permits, I want to become a big and self-established horticulture farmer at the northern regions and I would love to create at least over 100 employment opportunities for our people,” he said.
Currently Nuujoma is facing the outbreak of tomato worms on his farm which have destroyed a portion of his tomato plantation. He also highlighted lack of access to the market as another challenge, a situation that has left them with no place to sell their produce as farmers.
“I therefore plead to our government to at least try and find a market for us, where we can sell our produce in order to grow our business because this is the only source of income we have,” Nuujoma said.
In the photo: Mr Elifas Nuujoma standing in front of his horticulture farmland.