AMINUIS: Communal farmers have been urged to take an active role in efforts aimed at mitigating the impact of HIV/AIDS, as they are often vulnerable due to limited information and training services on the pandemic at their disposal.
Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU) Secretary Elia Kandjii told farmers at the Omaheke/Otjozondjupa Inter-regional show here on Saturday that the days when farmers took a backseat with regards to the fight against HIV/AIDS, are over.
He said today’s farmer is called upon to take an active lead in the process as the impact of the pandemic on the farming sector is clearly evidenced through the loss of productive members of the fraternity.
“HIV/AIDS eats at the roots of society and no one is spared. We should equip ourselves with the necessary knowledge in order to stay a step ahead and protect ourselves and our families. Such a fight should not only be left to other sectors, as the farming sector is also affected by the epidemic,” he said.
Kandjii urged farmers to acquaint themselves with the right information on the spread and prevention of the pandemic to avoid being left behind.
He went on to say that HIV/AIDS demoralises and disables effective agricultural activity from reaching efficient production levels, while placing household, community and the national economies and existence under threat.
Due to stern cultural belief and practices, the level of stigma regarding HIV/AIDS is seemingly high in rural areas, which may hinder the health-seeking behaviour of the affected and infected rural inhabitants, the NNFU secretary indicated.