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Producing food for the community

A young man from Okatale village in the Uukwiyuushona constituency of the Oshana region is producing vegetables, shade trees and herbs.

He also trains individual farmers and young people who have dropped out of school on how to set up their own small-scale backyard gardens.

Martin Amunda (26) says his project also contributes to food security in Namibia.

Ambunda was one of the 40 young people who attended a two-day leadership and climate change youth camp at the Okatyali Biodiversity Campsite and Multipurpose Centre last month.

He said his company, Ambunda Trading Association CC, runs the ‘Evergreen Project’, which involves a vegetable garden, nursery, orchard and poultry section at Okatale.

He says when Covid-19 hit Namibia, he saw how Namibians were hugely dependent on South Africa for many agricultural products which can be produced at home.

“Vegetables became very expensive and scarce, because the supply chain was interrupted by the closing of the borders. Therefore, I decided to produce vegetables in an effort to contribute to government efforts in making Namibia self-sufficient regarding food,” he says.

Ambunda says the major challenges he is facing is excessive heat, which kills his vegetables and plants, and therefore the project is in need of strong shade nets.

“The project is also in need of a water pump and a water tank to harvest rainwater. This would help the project cut on electricity costs,” he says.

He says the project currently employs four people, while he coordinates activities.

Some of the seedlings they produce in the nursery include mangoes, white guavas, pawpaws, avocados, aloe vera, lemons, grapes, pink guavas, sausage trees, fresh mint, green tea, granadillas, mulberries, berchemia and strawberries.

During the leadership and climate change youth camp, participants were urged to get involved in organic food protection, as this would contribute to environmental production and the fight against climate change.

A participant at the leadership camp Maria Kadhikwa (33) from Okatyali village said she learnt a lot from the event. She said she now knows in what types of soil to plant vegetables such onions and others.

“I also learnt a lot from Mr Sebulon’s presentation on how the youth can come up with businessses through the digital transformation. It was really nice,” she said.

The event was initiated by alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowships (MWF), who had the opportunity to present their work and were awarded a small grant of US$3 000 to work in partnership with each other and to host an event in their community of interest.

Their proposal was to host a leadership and climate change youth camp at Okatyali.