Boer goats to relieve poverty in rural areas
A pilot project to assist small stock farmers in the Erongo region could commence soon.
04 February 2019 | Agriculture
Hafeni Ndemula; ERC chairman; “Beneficiaries will not be allowed to slaughter, exchange or sell the animals they receive.”
Otis Finck - The Erongo regional council (ERC) is waiting for an assessment report before rolling out a Boer goat project aimed at reducing poverty and unemployment levels in rural areas of the region.
The project with 25 intended beneficiaries in the Daures constituency (five small stock farmers from Uis, Tubusis, Omatjete, Okombahe and Spitzkoppe) is due to start this financial year.
Each beneficiary will receive a Boer goat ram priced at N$7 500 and five ewes costing N$1 500 each. Four selected quality offspring from each beneficiary (two rams and two ewes) will go into a revolving scheme for redistribution after a two-year period.
This will ensure increased income for households, improve living standards and reduce poverty levels in the target areas.
Hafeni Ndemula, the ERC chairman, said once launched, the Daures pilot project will set the benchmark for similar projects to be implemented in future.
“We want a concerted effort from all the involved parties. Beneficiaries will not be allowed to slaughter, exchange or sell the animals they receive. Most farmers had lost their livestock due to the persistent drought in the area hence the request for assistance to restock and improve the quality of herds.”
Consultations took place and the green light was given after a motion, requesting that N$510 000 be availed from the VAT account of the ERC to enhance and finally implement a Boer Goat project, was tabled by councillor Kennedy !Haoseb.
The same amount will be availed for the 2019/2020 financial year to the Karibib constituency and the Walvis Bay rural constituency in the 2020/21 financial year.
The ERC also called for strict conditions and adherence to implementation modalities such as the assessment of structures, evaluation, selection and approval of beneficiaries.
Agricultural officers are expected to provide reports that identified fields can accommodate Boer goat rams.
A firm set of selection criteria and a revolving agreement between the ERC and beneficiaries have also been drawn up.
The selection criteria stipulates that eligible farmers have to be farming actively for a minimum period of three years, own 20 to 30 ewes, be registered as a producer, and complete a Small Stock Management training course.
Only one member from a household can benefit and preference will be given to female headed households. Applicants must also not have benefited from similar development projects in the past.
Due to the loss of a considerable number of livestock as a result of persistent drought, the office of the governor approached the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations to assist the region in a restocking process, without any success.
!Haoseb then submitted a motion for the purchasing of Boer goat rams for farmers in the Daures constituency to the regional council on 6 July 2018. Various consultation meetings were held and a familiarisation visit was also conducted at Snyfontein, Karasburg, Koës and the ||Kharas regional council.
During the visit it was highlighted that it is not feasible just to purchase a Boer goat ram but that five ewes rather be added to the ram as part of assistance to yield the necessary impact.
A thorough analysis was done on a number of aspects including how the project would run, procedures and contracts with beneficiaries.
A study on the adaption of Boer goat rams based on vegetation was also done in consultation with the ministry of agriculture, water and forestry.
NDP5 desired outcome requires that the rural quality of life and socioeconomic well-being be improved with a reduction of poverty from 37% to 25% and unemployment from 30% to 20%.