'You reap what you sow'

26 February 2020 | Local News

Two siblings from Utokota village in the Kavango East Region have called on fellow subsistence farmers to work hard in their mahangu fields following good rains.

They further bemoaned the dependency on government handouts, saying this food comes occasionally and it cannot be sold to a third party in order to make money to cater for household needs, as opposed to harvesting mahangu and other crops.

Innocentia Kavindama and Fabianus Linyando were weeding their crop field as they spoke to Ewi lyaNooli.

The duo, who indicated that they are unemployed, said that life has been difficult for them over the past two years due to the drought, which saw them having to survive on handouts. Kavindama said caring for a family of 13 is not easy for an unemployed person.

“We used to survive on the mahangu and maize we harvested from our fields, but as you know what happened in terms of the drought situation, we were struggling to get by,” she said.

She explained that government grants and drought relief food played a crucial part in their survival during the drought.

She described the good rainfall they continue to experience in Kavango East as a blessing.

Kavindama said they were able to plough and weed timeously, which means their two-hectare piece of land will see them harvest a lot of food that will last.

“You see, with this good rainfall, we are able to weed our field and if you come after a few months, we would have harvested a lot from this field. God answered our prayers,” a thankful Kavindama said.

Linyando told Ewi lyaNooli that surviving on handouts does not encourage one to work hard.

“I saw how some people decided not to work on their fields simply because they got used to the idea of getting free food. We also benefited from the free food, but it is not good,” he said.

He explained that once a farmer has reaped a bumper harvest, he or she can decide to sell some produce to earn money and cater for their needs or simply trade mahangu for something else.

“You cannot sell or trade the government food for money, it is not allowed, but as for your own harvested mahangu and other produce, you are able to do so without fear,” Linyando said.

The duo thus called on fellow subsistence farmers to work hard in their fields and aim for a bumper harvest.

Subsistence farmers in the northern regions have been negatively affected by drought for the past two years.

Government has, in fact, declared a drought emergency.

In an attempt to rescue the situation, various stakeholders, including non-governmental organisations, joined government's efforts to provide food to needy community members.

Kenya Kambowe

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