FAO in Namibia

Capacitating southern-based farmers to improve food security and build resilience

Some of the 22 smallholder farmers from Hardap and //Karas who participated in the training pictured during a hydroponics fodder production training session.

Mariental, Namibia – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) partnered with the Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform (MAWLR) to deliver a comprehensive agricultural training program for farmers in Mariental, Hardap region.

Held from March 11-15, 2024, the training equipped 22 smallholder farmers from the southern regions of Hardap and //Karas with the knowledge and skills needed to build resilience and achieve food security.

The training program offered a unique blend of theoretical and practical sessions, focusing on critical areas for livestock value chain development and climate change adaptation. Participants gained valuable insights into hydroponic fodder production, poultry production, rangeland management, bush to feed initiatives, and Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards (LEGS).

This collaborative initiative between FAO, NNFU, and MAWLR demonstrates a strong commitment by these respective institutions to supporting Namibian farmers. By equipping participants with practical skills and knowledge, the training program aims to empower them to improve their livelihoods, contribute to food security in their communities, and become more resilient to the challenges posed by climate change.

“FAO is proud to be part of this important training program,” said Gift Kamupingene, FAO National Project Coordinator. “By working together with our partners, we can empower farmers in southern Namibia to build a more food-secure future.”

FAO’s support for the initiative comes through the “Emergency response to mitigate multiple shocks impacting food security and nutrition and enhance the resilience of livelihoods in Namibia” project, funded by the Government of Japan. The training aligns with its output one, which aims to support need-based and result-oriented capacity building, trainings, and skills transfer.

This targets smallholder farmers and agricultural extension staff, selected key community role players (youth and traditional leaders), and the Vulnerability Assessment Committee (VAC) to generate evidence/data for decision-making and mitigate multiple shocks at various levels.

“This training is a valuable opportunity for farmers to learn new techniques and improve their practices,” said Fabian Boys, MAWLR Senior Agricultural Technician based in the Hardap Region. “Let’s continue to foster the spirit of collaboration to uplift our farmers, especially smallholder farmers.”

Farmers such as Erika Paulus from //Karas Region expressed satisfaction with the training, noting that it will prove helpful as the drought situation intensifies across the country, including the southern regions. “The training has come at the right time as we are now better equipped with the knowledge and skills to handle the drought that is already bothering our livestock.”