Schlettwein disagrees with 40% subsidy
proposal saying it is discriminatory

Martin Endjala

Minister of Agriculture Water and Land and Reform (MAWLR), Carl Schlettwein, is not supporting the motion calling for 40 percent subsidy for farmers in the Omusati region, and parts of Oshana region, saying the proposal by the motion is discriminatory.
The minister echoes his views in the National Assembly this week. The proposal also covers areas such as Omahenene, Omakuwa, Omangololwani, Epalele, Omindamba, Ishanaputa, Okathakoushongo, Olupaka,Omuulukila,Outapi, Onambelela, Ombafi, Okeeke, Ongongo, and Shitutuma, Oshipanda, Oshikuku, Onampila and Emo.

Villages that have been identified by the motion as having access to water flowing through the Omahenene canal. The minister says the ministry has already pilot projects underway, which will cater for all regions and the now proposed subsidy by the motion, he thinks, will halt other projects already underway. “We cannot allow a proposal as such that discriminate other regions and that all regions must be treated the same,” Schlettwein stresses.
However, he is cognisant of the hardship farmers are enduring on their own, but reiterates that government has put out mechanism to help farmers, which will benefit all regions and not only the two regions in discussion.
Thus opining that he cannot support such a proposal.

Mover of the motion, Popular Democratic Movement (PDM)’s Vipuakuje Muharukua, told the Windhoek Observer that the minister is looking at the motion in a discriminatory manner, without considering what it is actually intending to do. Adding that the premise of the motion is simply economic efficiency. Also highlighting that Namibia has resources, like the water canal, with many of the fields owned by the people with knowledge.

“We must use these to derive maximum benefit”, Muharukua emphasises. Continuing to stress that the motion is very clear in its intention. Starting with the Omusati region and expanding it and there is no discrimination in the motion.
He thus urges the chamber to approve the motion and start with Omusati Region and expand it to the rest of the country. “The minister must not discriminate against Omusati region”, Muharukua cautions.
In the same vein, the PDM President, Mchenry Venaani, is quick to support the motion as he himself is an advocate for irrigation drips. Believing in the ability of irrigation drips to help farmers to source out potable water to their farms. Hence he reiterates the importance of the motion, as it will enable communal farmers to utilise the water canals and oshanas by applying drip irrigation.
Hi is therefore of the opinion that this motion should be supported as it intends to improve the agriculture sector as it is one of the largest food security provider in the country.

By Observer