IREMA kick-starts agroforestry programme in Kunene

By Business Reporter

IMPROVING rangeland and ecosystem management practices of smallholder farmers under conditions of climate change in Sesfontein, Fransfontein and Warmquelle , the IREMA Project has rolled out its tree planting programme to 50 vulnerable households in Erwee, Otjokavare, Sesfontein and Khorixas.

Implemented by the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF) and executed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform (MAWLR), this is a Green Climate Fund (GCF) project that aims to reduce the vulnerability of smallholder farmers in Kunene region, one of the driest regions in the country.

The MAWLR Directorate of Agricultural Production, Extension and Engineering Services (DAPEES) regional staff, Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) – Directorate of Forestry regional staff and the IREMA project staff spearheaded the handover ceremonies.

The project handed over packages of gardening tools -wheelbarrow, spade flat, spade round noise, fork, watering can, garden trowel, rake and pruning shears- per individual farmer and tree seedlings of orange, moringa, palm, banana, neem, guava, lemon, pawpaw and mango to each farmer.

The project aims to support 300 farmers in the Kunene region to implement backyard orchards and vegetable gardens to ensure food security at household level, environmental conservation as well as reduction of greenhouse gases emissions.

This intervention offers a wide range of environmental services such as improving soil fertility, restoring degraded lands and preventing soil erosion amongst many other benefits. It is an integrated land management approach that also reduces human impact on land and contributes to developing a green economy both at local and national levels by promoting sustainable and resilient land management.

Officiating at the handover ceremony in Sesfontein was chairperson of the Kunene Regional Council and Sesfontein constituency councillor, Hendrik Gaobaeb who applauded the EIF – IREMA Kunene project for the great initiative of helping to promote agroforestry in the region, further affirming that the communities are grateful for the support.

He also reiterated that promoting and the adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices among local communities is one of the strategies that will help vulnerable communities in the drought-stricken Kunene to become resilient to climate change negative impacts.

During a similar handover ceremony in the Khorixas area, councillor Sebastian !Gobs encouraged the beneficiaries to take good care of the seedlings and tools donated to them so that they can bear fruits to the benefit of the wider community.