OMUSATI, Sept. 18 – In a bid to preserve their culture, residents of Onamundindi celebrated the Oshipe festival on Saturday at Tatekulu Mateus Iilongo’s home in the Omusati region.
The event officiated by Vice President Nickey Iyambo, who outlined that Oshipe celebrations have been a tradition for decades.
Iyambo said that the celebrations were made possible after farmers made concerted efforts to ensure a bumper harvest, and food security for their households and nation.
“The celebration of the Oshipe festival was introduced by our ancestors to give thanks to God Almighty for giving them a good harvest in the previous rainy reason,” said Iyambo, adding that the government through the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry introduced a program for Dry Land Crop Production in 2008 to ensure food security.
The program has budgeted N$30 million over the last two years to ensure that farmers only pay N$ 250 to plough a hectare of land with a government tractor, compared to N$ 350 with a private tractor.
He added that farmers received a maize subsidies of N$ 500 per person with a maximum of 20 kg per person, and millet (Omahangu) subsidy of N$ 5 to N$ 13 per kg per household.
“Agriculture is one of the most important sectors in the Namibian economy, with 70 percent of our population depending for their livelihood,” said Iyambo, adding that the sector is also an important source of employment creation and foreign exchange earnings for Namibia. – Maria Abraham