THE University of Namibia (UNAM) in collaboration with the Namibia Agronomic Board (NAB) intends to produce adaptable seeds for farmers to ensure that the country is able to produce its own food instead of importing most of it.
A variety of seeds are currently being assessed at the Ogongo Campus, with the aim of seeing progress made with the planting of white maize and pearl millet seeds trails.
UNAM’s lead research official, Professor Rhoda Birech said Namibia remains a net importer of both agronomic and horticultural seeds, a gap which the ongoing seed variety research aims to address.
As a result, the seed research trial has been launched at three more stations, which are Mashare Irrigation, Zambezi Vocational Training Centre, and Doringboom UNAM.
“No country can be food secure if it has no seed of its own. Thus the idea of planting seeds variety to see which one best adapt in what condition and in order to best distribute it to other farmers,” she said.
Namibia Agronomic Board Manager research and policy development, Gerson Kampungu, said seed research is very significant in driving sustainable crop production as the production of high-quality seed is the foundation for long-lasting profitability for a crop farming business.
He cited that Namibia imports 100% of white maize seeds being used for crop production hence the seed research and seed production is important as they strive to reverse the situation of Namibia to be food self-sufficient.
“The success of seed research and seed production is envisaged to significantly contribute to increased food crop production and in the process create the much-needed employment,” he said
Kampungu pointed out that during the financial year 2020/21, NAB availed N$ 737 000 for the implementation process. NAB will also be availing N$ 1 million during the financial year 2021/22 to ensure that the seed research is upscaled to all production zones in the country.