THE Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF) held the urban agriculture grant e-voucher card issuance and terminal roll-out in Windhoek yesterday morning, with financial support from the Japanese government.
The event was held in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as part of assisting four regions identified to benefit from the e-voucher card issuance and terminal roll-out.
The urban agriculture programme, which is funded to the tune of N$2 million (N$500 000 per region), will support 56 beneficiaries, of which 13 are in Windhoek, 13 at Swakopmund, 17 at Rundu and 13 at Maltahöhe.
EIF representative Karl Mutani Aribeb highlighted the background of the Build Back Better programme and thanked the Namibian government and the UNDP for conceptualising the programme, and the Japanese government for funding it.
“The EIF is ecstatic about this project, not only from a grant management perspective because it talks about food security, but more so on urban agriculture, as most interventions are geared only towards rural food production,” Aribeb said.
Margaret Matengu, the acting director of agricultural production, extension and engineering services, echoed the same sentiments.
“The urban agriculture is as a result of multilateralism and partnership between the Namibian government, UNDP and the government of Japan, and it is only through agriculture that Namibians can empower themselves, especially those in urban areas.”
She also urged the beneficiaries to work hard and take advantage of the grant and training they will receive to uplift their families’ livelihoods and create income for themselves.
Activities to be sponsored include horticulture, backyard gardening, poultry production, fodder production, agroforestry, orchards, vermicomposting and smart agricultural concepts (hydroponics/aquaponics, etc.)
The next rollout will take place at Rundu today and then at Maltahöhe on 22 March.
The EIF has, since its inception, disbursed grants of more than N$583 million and assisted to put more than 240 256 hectares under conservation.
The fund approved 71 grants for different environmental projects, created more than 950 employment opportunities, mostly in rural areas, and rehabilitated 120 boreholes that provided 77 000 people with potable drinking water.