ONDEROMBAPA: Agriculture, Water and Forestry Minister John Mutorwa has praised the efforts of agricultural cooperatives for assisting Government in the quest for food security.
These remarks form part of the keynote address during the national celebration of World Food Day at the Onderombapa settlement, some 120 km south of Gobabis on Thursday.
In a speech read on his behalf by Desmond Shikesho, Under-Secretary in the same ministry, Mutorwa said cooperatives are a vital instrument in Government’s multi-dimensional approach towards socio-economic development.
The work of agricultural cooperatives has been instrumental in addressing poverty at grassroots’ level, especially in rural areas where they enjoy a large membership base.
“Our communities in the rural areas need organisations such as cooperatives to enhance social cohesion and economic growth at micro-level, and also to channel stakeholders’ support to the marginalized communities in the remote areas of our country,” he noted.
Mutorwa said Government views the contributions of agricultural co-operatives highly in its efforts to become self-reliable in terms of food security as part of its developmental objectives contained in Vision 2030.
World Food Day is an annual event celebrated across the world in celebration of the day on which the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) was founded.
The day is aimed at bringing to the fore the plight of millions of people around the globe who are starving, and to create awareness and understanding of food security issues.
The United Nations General Assembly declared the year 2012 as the “International Year of Co-operatives”.
There are 51 registered agricultural co-operatives in Namibia, nine of which are in the Omaheke Region, covering areas such as seed multiplication, livestock marketing, crop production, top breeding of livestock and mahangu marketing, amongst others.
This year’s celebration of World Food Day was done under the theme ‘Agricultural cooperatives – Key to feeding the world’, in recognition of the role that cooperatives play in improving food security and its contribution towards the eradication of hunger.