Agricultural face-to-face training resumes

01 September 2021 | Agriculture

Agribank’s Agri-Advisory Services Division (AASD) resumed with face-to-face training and lectures, following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings, with strict adherence and observation of set protocols to curb the spread of the virus.
The bank's Livestock and Rangeland Management Technical Advisor Erastus Ngaruka said that Covid has made people to realize the value of agriculture in supporting livelihoods in the country. He said this saw several people developing an interest in and embarking on farming activities, resulting in a surge in demand of the bank's training services, especially among the young and aspiring farming community.
“Covid restrictions have hugely affected information dissemination to most of our farming communities, especially in the remote areas. Though some farmers who have access to digital media platforms have benefited through our various communication platforms during this period, many have been longing for the face-to-face training, saying that it's more interactive and most effective,” Ngaruka said.

Done and dusted
The first four lectures and training after the suspension of face-to-face training and lectures were held in Windhoek recently and covered a wide range of topics, including the basic aspects of farm management, planning, and records, seasonal livestock health and nutritional needs, the importance of succession planning in farming as well as understanding soils for successful crop production.
“We are a small team and try to reach out to as many farmers as possible all over the country with minimal resources at our disposal. “Therefore, we are exploring and taking advantage of our digital media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, to reach out to our farmers,” he noted.
Though the annual calendar is usually developed at the beginning of each year, Ngaruka said it has not been executed smoothly this year due to the pandemic, however the division is identifying farming areas that had less of the bank’s interventions to begin with, despite more requests of these trainings by farmers all over the country. He added that the AASD division will also soon share a concrete plan as soon as it is finalized.
“Agribank is committed to capacitate farmers in Namibia by reaching out to many farmers as we can. Farmers can keep in touch with our mentors in the regions, and they are also welcome to contact myself or Hanks Saisai for their farming issues as usual. Other stakeholders are also welcomed to engage with the division to coordinate efforts,” he concludes.