The executive director of Namibia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Agrarian Reform, Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata, said on Thursday that it was crucial for the country to invest in women to accelerate agricultural growth while ensuring the food security and food self-sufficiency.
Speaking at the Women and Agriculture Summit in Namibia’s capital, Windhoek, Nghituwamata said frequent outbreaks of invasive species of plant pests and diseases negatively impact national food security, food self-sufficiency and nutrition.
She said severe outbreaks of Fall Armyworms and African Migratory Locusts and outbreaks of livestock diseases such as Foot and Mouth Disease have had a huge devastating impact on food and nutrition security as well as a devastating effect on the economy of the northern communal areas.
“Women in Namibia are central to all aspects of agriculture and non-farm activities in their communities. They contribute significantly to household investment, community resilience, national economic growth and the dynamism of regional economies. However, their efforts are constrained by the lack of access to productive resources, technologies, services and market access,” she said.
Food security is currently a core issue in Namibia as the country faces serious challenges in meeting the food needs of the growing population, Nghituwamata said, noting that the challenge of food insecurity, especially in rural areas , given the increased rural-urban migration of the country, has a negative impact on agricultural production.
“Today’s debate on women in agriculture explicitly recognizes the central role of women in the sustainability of rural households and communities, improving rural livelihoods and general well-being in a context where often their role and importance is overlooked and undervalued The role of women in agriculture is very important to the mandate of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Agrarian Reform to reduce poverty and ensuring food security at the national and household level,” she said.
It is expected that 60% of Namibia’s population will live in urban areas by 2030.
Although Namibia has launched projects in agriculture that aim to empower women to increase their incomes, develop stable rural livelihoods and contribute to food and nutrition security, Nghituwamata says There is still a lot to do.
“These projects enable women to go beyond livelihoods to wealth creation and business leadership in agriculture. Their goal is to provide women with appropriate technologies to increase food production and reduce post-harvest losses, which in turn will improve incomes,” she said. Final article