Chinese rice experts complete first phase of South to South Cooperation
The Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Hon John Mutorwa, this week said that the first phase of the project under the South to South Cooperation tripartite agreement was successfully implemented and has achieved its objectives.
According to Mutorwa, the 15 experts in the agricultural field from China that were deployed to Namibia under this agreement have done an excellent job and his ministry is indeed satisfied with their work performance.
Mutorwa said this at an event where the ministry and other partners officially bid farewell to the 15chinese agriculture experts. They are part of the Tripartite Agreement on South to South Cooperation (SSC) entered into between Namibia, China and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in June 2014.
Under the agreement, the experts who specialize in various agricultural fields,for the past two years provided technical assistance to Namibia’s agricultural irrigation projects, the Central veterinary laboratory and various research stations.
According to the minister, the areas of cooperation that benefitted from the agreement, include the successful introduction of 15 rice varieties, training courses on rice production, mechanical transplantation as well as horticulture production, amongst others.
FAO Country Representative, Dr. Babagana Ahmadu said the South to South Cooperation project achieved significant success in terms of complementing the government’s efforts to increase agricultural production.
According to Dr. Ahmadu, through the SSC project, rice yields at Kalimbeza increased with more than 10% and that 15 new Chinese rice varieties and one foxtail millet variety are under trial to determine their adaptability.
“About 400 Namibian farmers and government officials have been trained in rice, foxtail millet and horticulture production,” he added.
Ahmadu said that as a result of the successful first phase, the agriculture ministry and the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources officially applied to the FAO for Phase 2 of the South to South Cooperation.
“I am happy to report that all the applications will be considered by the end of the month and that the outcome will be communicated through diplomatic channels,” he stated.
The First Phase of the Cooperation will come to an end on 31 April, with the second phase in the pipeline following the submission of the new application.