WINDHOEK - Namibia’s Social Security Commission (SSC) on Tuesday handed over a donation of R$400 000 towards the Dare to Care initiative meant to subsidise costs of livestock feeds to farmers.
The Dare to Care Initiative is a project born out of combined efforts by the Namibian Agriculture Union (NAU), Namibian Emerging Commercial Farmers Union (NECFU) and the private sector to relieve farmers from the high costs of livestock feeds.
SSC’s donation comes a week after Namibian President and current SADC Chairperson Hage Geingob declared the drought in his country a national disaster.
In a speech read by Deputy Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Tommy Nambahu, on behalf of Minister Erkki Nghimtina during the handover ceremony at SSC offices in Khomasdal, Nghimtina said he was confident that the Dare to Care initiative would bring relief to farmers.
“I understand that the agriculture family ensures that farmers are assisted with buying feeds at subsidised prices. I am confident that this will provide an immense relief to the farmers throughout the country. Farmers will get their livestock in good shape to beat the drought and eventually fetch better prices in the market,” said Nghimtina.
He said the donation was an expression of the government’s concern over the drought which had hit the country.
“This year’s drought is regarded as the worst in the history of the country as only a few areas in some regions have received below average rainfall. There are areas that did not receive a single drop of rain. That is how serious the situation is. This means workers in the agriculture sector, which is the primary industry of the domestic economy with a large number of workers are consequently at risk of losing their jobs,” he said.
“This obviously will have a negative effect on the country’s already worsened unemployment rate. It is bound to shoot up resulting in an undesirable situation. The government can therefore not turn a blind eye to the plight of the people, hence this response in the form of the donation you are witnessing today,” he said.