New Era 27 January 2014
by Eveline de Klerk
The recipients, five women and four men, received nine goats each to farm with at farm Utuseb in the revolving programme funded by Germany. After two years the recipients are expected to give at least three goats back to the programme to be given to the next recipients. The goats were handed over on Saturday morning at Utuseb by Topnaar chief, Seth Kooijtie, members of the NGSI organisation, as well as members of Rise Namibia who facilitated the project in terms of training and funding.
According to the goat project chairman, Richie Herero, the Topnaar Traditional Authority received 129 goats early last year to kick-start the initiative aimed at uplifting the livelihoods of communities in rural areas. “However some of the goats were in a poor condition when they arrived. We have lost a few of the goats, but 13 were left to reproduce to continue the programme for the next recipients and 72 goats were distributed,” he explained. He appealed to the recipients to take care of the goats and said the committee will be visiting the recipients at least twice a month to make sure that the programme succeeds. “The recipients also received intensive training in terms of farming and further assistance will also be available for them in the form of medication among others,” he said. One of the recipients, Gertrude Bull, a first time farmer, told New Era that she and her husband are very excited and thankful to be part of the initiative. “We both grew up with animals, especially goats and are looking forward to becoming farmers. I am also very positive that this project will empower all recipients, so that we can be able to improve our livelihoods,” Bull said.
She further said the project will allow them to produce quality meat products for the mainstream market, while becoming passionate farmers. The initiative also supports other development activities at local and community levels in other areas of the country where Germany acknowledges special historical and moral responsibility, such as the Karas, Hardap, Kunene, Omaheke, Otjozondjupa, Khomas and Erongo regions. The programme also includes borehole rehabilitation and gardening projects, among others. The second phase of the project is due for completion by the end of this year during which 177 projects valued at over N$146.8 million would have been funded.