Delegation assesses Omusati seed processing plant

Improving food security with better seed

22 September 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK

The possibility of increasing capacity at the government’s only seed processing plant was assessed on Monday when a delegation led by the Namibia Seed Improvement Project (Namsip) visited the Omahenene Research Station in the Omusati Region.

The Namsip officials formed part of the African Development Bank (AfDB), the United Nations and the World Food Programme and stopped by the research station on a project implementation support visit.

According to a statement issued by the agriculture ministry, part of the visit assessed the possibility of increasing the capacity of the plant to cater for quality seed producers registered last year with the ministry through Namsip.

It also assessed the implementation of the project with specific focus on challenges and successes and explored other agricultural opportunities in the region.

“One of the key sub-components for this project is certified seed system improvement, which aims at ensuring timely availability and accessibility of quality certified seed which are early maturing, high-yielding and drought-tolerant to farmers,” the ministry said.

The sub-component will be implemented in the 10 crop growing regions, Zambezi, Kunene (northern part), Omaheke, Otjozondjupa, Kavango East, Kavango West, Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Oshana and Omusati. These regions were selected for seed multiplication based on good rainfall patterns and favourable climatic conditions.

Improving food security

Speaking during the courtesy visit, Omusati governor Elginus Endjala highlighted the need for subsidised and quality seeds to cater for aspiring horticultural producers.

Implemented by the agriculture ministry, Namsip is co-funded by an AfDB loan. The project supports the developmental objectives set out in Namibia’s high-level plans and strategies, and is being implemented over a period of five years - from April 2018 to December 2022.

The overall Namsip goal is to improve household food and nutrition security and contribute to poverty reduction. The specific objectives are to enhance agricultural productivity to reduce annual importation of staple cereal crops/grains, facilitate job creation and enhance household incomes.

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