Parliamentary Standing Committee bemoans bureaucracy in the country's efforts to ensure food security.

The Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Natural Resources, Vincent Mareka says besides budgetary constraints, bureaucracy continues to hamper progress to attain food security in the country.

Vincent Mareka made these remarks during a visit by the Committee to the Hardap and ||Kharas regions on Namibia's readiness to mitigate food insecurity.

Namibia's agricultural sector has the potential to not only boost the country's economy but to avert food insecurity.

However, Mareka noted with concern that there is a sense of unwillingness as agricultural facilities are not being utilized to the maximum.

The Chairperson says, there have been apparent irregularities and that some managers do not carry out their duties effectively, which impedes the government's efforts to attain this goal.

Mareka added that the country is ready and has resources at its disposal to be self-reliant other than depending on outsiders for agricultural products.

"There is this issue of bureaucracy the manager that needs to make important decisions is seated in Windhoek while the facility is in Aussenkher and can't do small things and things like tractors are just there idling so the people cannot do anything. Are these people being held accountable? That's a very good question, but this is not the end so we are in fact going to invite those who are not based at their respective stations, with some irregularities that we have picked up and discuss how this can be resolved to the benefit of all."

The Committee made its final stop at Tsumis Arid Zone Agricultural Centre (TAZAC) in the Hardap Region, which Mareka says has the potential to sharpen the skills of the farmers.

The College is however not spared from financial limitations, which hampers training in crop production, horticulture, husbandry and welding.

"It has a repelling effect on the budget, obviously also now our farming operations at the end of the day and the other challenges is the lack of breeding material especially male and previously we were in the stock industry and one of our mandates were to provide superior breeding material to farmers throughout the country through auctions held annually", says TAZAC's Chief Agricultural Technician.

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Celma Ndhikwa