THE Hifikepunye Pohamba Foundation has resolved to focus on training Namibians in agriculture and food security in order to find solutions to the challenges faced due to poor rainfall. “I cannot overemphasise the importance of agriculture being the backbone of our economy, but when that backbone is threatened by forces which we have no control over, it requires our efforts and interventions to secure resources,” said Pohamba while handing over bursaries worth N$1 million to three agriculture students on Monday. Former Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba said such resources can only be secured with the technical know−how of the country’s human resources through education and training. “It is in this context that we need agriculturalists, food and animal nutritionists and other professionals who will do research and find solutions to mitigate the effects of food insecurity and related challenges.” Last year, 25 students applied for financial assistance, of whom only two met the requirements and were chosen. The third student was carried over from the previous year (2014) because of his outstanding performance. Over 18 students in the agriculture field have already benefited financially from the foundation over the past two years of its existence. Six of these students have completed their studies, while the rest are doing internships. This year’s beneficiaries are Dimitri Andreas, a final−year Bachelor of Agriculture student at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST); Simaneka Mbeeli, a third−year University of Namibia (Unam) agriculture student majoring in food science; and Jacob Mutota, a first−year agriculture student at NUST. Launched in 2014, the foundation aims to provide bursaries and scholarships for students, assist in the maintenance and extension of school facilities and make meaningful contributions to the advancement of education for vulnerable and disadvantaged children. Namibia has been experiencing a three−year drought as a result of sporadic and insufficient rain, which threatens household and food security. The former President also applauded the Namibian government for the countless strides made in the allocation of resources towards improving the living standards of the people. Bursary applications from the foundation for the 2017 academic year will be open as from October this year.