SWAKOPMUND: The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF), Joseph Iita says staff members should actively participate in the formulation of the ministry’s new four-year strategic plan.
Iita made this statement on Monday during the opening of a strategic planning workshop, which is currently underway in Swakopmund.
The workshop participants include officials from the MAWF, the Office of the Prime Minister and the National Planning Commission.
Iita said that the new strategic plan formulated during the five-day workshop, will serve as a roadmap for the next four years.
“The purpose of this session is for us to develop the next Strategic Plan, which will serve as the guiding document to implement our programmes and projects during the next four years, in line with the Fourth National Development Plan (NDP4),” Iita indicated.
The current strategic plan is in its final year of implementation.
Iita explained that strategic planning is a management tool that helps organisations to focus their energy in order to ensure that members of the institution are working towards the same goals, and adjusting the organisation’s direction in response to changing environments.
He said the government is giving priority to the agriculture sector, which is the backbone of the Namibian economy.
“This sector has the potential to create a substantial number of jobs. Therefore, it is entrusted upon us to ensure without fail that the sector contributes to the national development goals as clearly outlined in NDP4,” he stressed.
Iita added that the government has decided to focus its energy and resources on areas with the potential to impact its developmental challenges.
As a result of this, he said, the NDP4 concentrates on fewer objectives and has adopted only three overarching goals – High and Sustained Economic Growth: Increased Income Equality and Employment Creation.
“To reach these goals, key areas of focus including agriculture have been identified to create the necessary momentum for higher economic growth. The specific desired outcome will be increased agriculture production with an average real growth of four per cent per annum,” he stated.
The Permanent Secretary also highlighted some of the NDP4 strategies that should be deployed if such growth is to be achieved.
The strategies include the continued promotion of the green scheme: development of initiatives to increase the land’s carrying capacity for livestock: establishment of the agricultural fresh produce markets as well as the establishment of other agricultural infrastructure, such as silos and research stations.
Furthermore, Iita indicated that with regard to water, increasing access to potable water for human consumption from the current 85.5 per cent to 100 per cent is expected.
“However, it is up to us to develop initiatives geared towards achieving that outcome,” he said.
He also stated that the development and maintenance of water management systems and the supply of water and sanitation to rural communities is important.
“Initiatives geared towards the management, development and utilisation of forest resources need to be seriously looked into and most importantly we need to ensure effective ministerial financial management, efficient internal audit and provision of auxiliary services as well as the administration of human resources,” Iita said.