Helvi Shindume encourages women in agriculture
My name is Helvi Shindume, I have a bachelor's degree in agricultural science and I am currently pursuing an Honours degree in Agribusiness. My love for agriculture grew from a tender age and now it’s slowly starting to reap the fruits of success through my Women in Agriculture Namibia (WIAN) initiative.
WIAN was established in 2019 and places an emphasis on women pursuing careers in agriculture, or making a living through agricultural practices. In addition, the project aims to strengthen the recognition of such women’s efforts.
The project was originated with the concept to encourage more women to partake in agriculture by initiating platforms focused on networking, knowledge sharing and training within the sector. The club has over 200 members who are proactively dynamic in their communities, most being small scale farmers that produce for their households, while others are qualified agriculturalists.
WIAN visualises the construction of a successful team of women farmers to be at the centre of commercial agricultural production as they have already demonstrated their interest at tertiary level or through subsistence farming. Thus far, we have managed to host a panel discussion on Women’s Perspective on Agriculture and bedded gardens to assist communities that rely on either government or donors to aid them with food parcels.
Through the collaboration of Agribank Namibia, the project has also provided training in different aspects to participants. However, in order for the initiative to fully reach its potential to contribute towards the socio-economic growth of Namibia, much still needs to be done. We are currently in the process of collaborating with youth institutions, the Ministry of Agriculture, other line Ministries and the private sector to seek support.