The Ministry of Agriculture Water Land and Reform has refuted allegations that no budget was allocated to the Mashare Agriculture Development Institute (MADI).
The allegations were described as a blatant lie and that budget allocation has indeed been made available, except for the fact that it is decentralised in Windhoek.
The ministry’s Spokesperson, Jona Musheko, during an interview with this publication yesterday, explained that due to high inflation, which has heavily impacted the economy, the budget allocated to the Agriculture Ministry was reduced, which then led to the Ministry only allocating certain budget to MADI.
This comes after the All People’s Party (APP) Secretary General Vincent Kanyetu bemoaned over the abandonment of the Institute by the government, where he further alleged that the Ministry has also neglected the institute.
This has contributed to the dilapidating and dwindling state of the institute, with animals said to be starving and some are reported to have died as a result.
This development, is what triggered Kanyetu’s dissatisfaction and he was left with no other option but to voice out his frustration.
Kanyetu opined saying, that the two Kavango East and West regions are supposed to be food baskets of Namibia, however, this is not the reality on the ground, as lack of budget allocation to projects in the region has seen several projects performing poorly.
Musheko reiterated saying that this misconception is misleading people, and painting a negative picture that the Ministry is just idle and doing nothing about the situation of the Institute.
He further explained that the notion of people thinking that MADI is a farm or a green scheme is also not correct, but it is rather an institute created by the government to train students and those who wish to venture into agriculture or farming.
Therefore, maintaining that the farming and vegetation being carried out at the Institute, is merely for training purposes in animal husbandry and crop production.
However, due to other equally important ongoing projects across the country, the Ministry has divided the funds to projects across the regions, but in the meanwhile, the Ministry bought equipment for the Institute, so that training can continue uninterrupted.
Furthermore, Musheko emphasized that the Ministry is working hard to find sustainable solutions to some of the concerns raised, to ensure that the Institute remains operational at all times.
Meanwhile, kanyetu laments that the cut of the operational budget is negatively impacting the training, as some of the machines are reported to be either outdated or broken.
The APP secretary General also observed tribal cuts regarding employment at the Institute, alleging that of 50 people working there, 47 are of Oshiwambo speaking from the Northern regions and only three are from the Kavango region.
He, therefore, opines that Institutes of this magnitude should be headed by local people who understand the vernacular language, to convey the message to the community.
Musheko, however, questioned Kanyetu’s observation, saying how does he know that the Oshiwambo people employed there cannot speak the local language spoken in the region, thus denoting that such unfounded allegations must be supported by factual evidence because the Ministry only acts on authenticated evidence and not speculations.
The Institute was established as a government training institution in the early 1960s as a breeding station for indigenous livestock, goats, pigs, cattle, chicken and also do training for farmers in small stock husbandry and horticulture as well as research, looking at various technologies that farmers may need in the evolving agriculture sector.