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Statement by Hon. Pertus Nangolo IileongaDeputy Minister of agriculture, Water and forestry, Namibiaon the occasion of the 34th session of Governing Council of IFAD

Mr. President
Distinguished Director General
Esteemed Delegates
Ladies and Gentlemen

Allow me to present the warm and kind greetings from the people and Government of the Republic of Namibia. Let me also take this opportunity to pledge the support and cooperation of my delegation during the course of this meeting.

Mr. President,

As per the theme of the 24th session of the Governing Council of IFAD "Investing in Youth". On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Namibia allow me to briefly share with you one of two initiatives that our government has taken in an effort to address the challenges facing the rural youth.

Mr. President,

The importance of agriculture in Namibia is underpinned by the enormous investment the Government continues to make in social and economic infrastructure in rural areas. A good case in point is the "Rural Youth Development Program".

This programme is an initiative of the Government aimed at empowering young people in rural areas to acquire basic knowledge and skills through practical experience and activity based learning. The programme thereby enables young people to engage in remunerative agricultural activities.

Another important investment targeting youth development in Namibia is the training in irrigation farming offered at Mashare Irrigation Training Centre.

The training capacitates potential farmers to participate in irrigation farming on commercial basis. When acquired, this training enables these young men and woman to participate in the Green Scheme Programme, which is also another government initiative aimed at increasing local food production.

However, these good initiatives are constrained by inadequate financial resources and technical know-how. This is where institutions such as IFAD need to play a complementary role.

Mr. President,

We therefore note with appreciation and keen interest the exercise leading to the review of IFAD's lending policies and criteria. Of particular interest to Namibia are the elements introduced in the revised lending policies and criteria that shall take into account different levels of developments in Member States.

Lastly Mr. President,

I would like to comment your office and the Secretariat for their tireless efforts in making this session a reality.

Thank you.

19 February 2011