UNAM student awarded a scholarship worth N$201 000 by Mashare irrigation PROJECT
Asteria Katakula a second year Bachelor of Science student at the University of Namibia was awarded a scholarship by Mashare Irrigation project on Friday 13th2015.Mashareis a green scheme farm under the management of Agricultural Business Development Agency (AGRIBUSDEV). AGRIBUSDEV mandate is to ensure that adequate food is produced by the Green Scheme for local consumption. The Green Scheme responds relatively well especially on the front of maize and wheat production to the National Strategic Food Reserves during drought periods. Mashare has been performing exceptionally well during the past few years. During year 2014, the project decided to extend its prime business into corporate social responsibility (CSR) through sponsoring academic students. An invitation was made to eligible Namibian students to apply for a scholarship in crop science.
The sponsorship targeted persons from disadvantaged backgrounds. A total of 25 applications were received where by Asteria scooped it due to her outstanding grades in year one at the University of Namibia. Mr Petrus Uugwanga the Managing Director of AGRIBUSDEV and Mr Lourens Le Grange the Director of Mashare (Pty) Ltd handed over the cheque of N$201 000 to the recipient student. The total amount is divided into three circles of N$67 000 for each academic year. Primarily, the fund is earmarked for Asteria tuition fees, accommodation and travelling expenses. A laptop was also given to the recipient to facilitate her academic endeavour in terms of ICT related needs. The student is expected to spend at least four weeks per annum at the project to observe practical irrigation farming to expand her knowledge. Mashare indicated that it should not be interpreted by the public as if this is an ongoing scholarship program. The sustenance of the program will only be determined by the financial sustainability of the project. Meanwhile the farm is also about to undertake a construction of one class room at Muroro primary school in Kavango east region.
Mr Uugwanga applauded Mashare in taking a lead in CSR on the scheme. He remains optimistic that other projects will also recognise it as an instrumental function in advancing the socio-economic focus of the agro food industry in the country. He further assured the student that AGRIBUSDEV is ready at all times to link her with relevant networks that appreciate the value of the green scheme in Namibia. Asteria informed the team that it has always been her biggest dream to add value to the Agro-food industry. Hence she sees this opportunity as a milestone to foster her passion even much wider. The overwhelmed student thanked AGRIBUSDEV and Mashare team for responding to her financial struggle to achieve her academic goal. She further urges fellow students in Namibia to take their studies serious and use gained skills in tackling current economic drawbacks.
Author: Evaristus Natangwe Titus