Agriculture is one of the most inclusive source of revenue for the country, but the skill gaps between farmers usually makes it difficult to farm.

This is why the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry has chosen the Tsumis Arid Zone Agricultural Centre (TAZAC) in the Hardap Region and the Mashare Agricultural Development Institute (MADI) in the Kavango East Region to serve as government training institutions. The institutions will provide Vocational Education Training (VET) in agriculture to farmers.

With support from the Namibia Training Authority (NTA), the program will work towards reducing the number of unskilled workforce in the sector.

Percy Misika, the Permanent Secretary of the Agricultural Ministry said in a statement that having the right education, skill development and technical knowledge is highly essential to boost agricultural production for rural farmers. He also added that it would create employment opportunities.

The programme has so far trained 11 farmers and given them certificates after a 6-month foundation course in horticulture basing most of their work on dates, grapes and vegetable production.

He said “I do not expect you to go and look for employment but I look at you as new commercial farmers, prospective employers and young entrepreneurs, who will make their mark in a highly competitive national and international market for crops and horticultural products, thereby contributing to the attainment of food self-security, and improved livelihoods”.

The Ministry hopes to increase agricultural production in the country by investing in human capital development through the VET programme.