Friday, March 02, 2007

Namibia: Courses teach farmers to coexist with cheetahs

New Era (Windhoek)
February 28, 2007

The Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) and its project partner, Agra, will be presenting two practical farming training courses tailored to the specific needs of farm workers, from March 5-9 and April 16-20.

Due to popular demand following the first two courses presented to 42 farm workers last year, CCF and Agra have decided to again make this course available.

Ambassador Leonard Iipumbu, a board member of CCF, complimented Agra on this worthwhile investment in Namibia's agricultural sector, while members of his farming team will attend the course as well.

In a survey conducted in the north central commercial farmland, it was found that only about 30 percent of farms are occupied by full-time farmers. This situation stresses the importance of well-trained personnel attending the day-to-day management of the farming enterprise and being equipped to handle crisis situations.

Thus, it remains imperative that the capacity of the front-line staff be continuously enhanced.

One participant stated last year that it was the most enlightening course he had ever attended, whilst for the majority of participants it was the first time they had ever had the opportunity to attend and fully participate in a formal training programme.

Farmers who sent their workers to attend the course reported that they were impressed by the practical knowledge gained.

During 2006, CCF presented 12 training courses for 300 farmers and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector. This year, 20 training courses have been planned, targeting 500 farmers and land-users in the livestock-farming sector of Namibia.

Application forms for the practical training course and other courses can be obtained on request from the Cheetah Conservation Fund.

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