Agronomic board awards Master Agronomist
The Namibian Agronomic Board has selected and awarded their 22nd Master Agronomist last week, keeping the tradition every year since 1995.
This year the winners are Ebbi Fischer and his wife Heidi of the farm Okongeama near Hochfeld.
The titled was bestowed last week at the couple’s farm at an event that included the Annual General Meeting of the Agronomic Producers’Association. The Fischers received the coveted trophy from the previous Master Agronomist, Georg Sievers.
The annual award goes to a farmer who is not necessarily evaluated on the size of his harvest, but rather on practising an exceptional innovative scientific approach, good risk diversification, good labour relations and community involvement, according to the Namibian Agronomic Board, the custodian of the award.
Ebbi Fischer told the assembled fellow farmers that he only started farming in 1993, initially starting part-time and with a farm manager, but as from 2004 taking on farming full-time.
The Fishers cultivate crops under rainfed (dryland) conditions with maize rotated with legumes and feed-sorghum. They also grow crops under irrigation with additional crop rotation between maize, legumes and oats. This crop rotation improves the soil fertility and breaks the disease cycle for the crops.
Their six year average rainfed maize yield, which includes some drought years, is 3,3 tons per hectare at times reaching a maximum of 5,4 tons per hectare. Their irrigation maize harvest average is 11,3 ton per hectare, at times a maximum of 12,4 tons per hectare. They also cut grass (hay) to the tune of 800 tons per year.
The Fischers also farm extensively with cattle and are involved in a Brahman stud breeding programme.
In addition to the Master Agronomist award, the Namibian Agronomic Board annually selects and awards the Zambesi Region Champion Maize Farmer and the Regional and National Mahangu Champion in two categories as well as the Mega Irrigation Master Producer and the National Horticulture Champion in three categories.
In the picture, Georg Sievers (left) handed over the trophy “from Master to Master” to Ebbi and Heidi Fischer witnessed by Christof Brock (right), the CEO of the Namibian Agronomic Board. (Photograph by Agriforum)