Ministry to supply free seeds to drought affected farmers
Drought and flood affected agronomic farmers will soon receive free seeds from government, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry recently announced.
Government has availed N$5 million for the production and distribution of pearl millet (Mahangu) to the drought and flood affected communities. Although the provision of free seeds is initially for
drought and flood affected rain fed agronomic farmers; the ministry is also considering including commercial rain fed crop farmers.
The Ministry announced in June that it will implement drought relief measures for livestock farmers affected by the current drought situation but the announcement did not include the provision of seeds during the period. However, the Ministry now says affected crop producing farmers will be provided with seeds for a maximum of three hectares per farming household.
A total of 100 tons of seed is available, which includes 20 tons of hybrid maize seed from a local maize seed producer and 80 tons of pearl millet (Mahangu) seed produced by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry at the various research stations and irrigation projects. Additional seeds for pearl millet, maize, sorghum and legumes will be imported to make up for the shortfall.
In addition to this, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry has plans to produce another 100 tons of pearl millet seeds under irrigation at its Green Scheme projects and research stations. However, maize seed will not be included in the production.
Hon Minister John Mutorwa called on stakeholder collaboration, coordination and maximum cooperation to ensure success of the initiative.”Therefore, beneficiaries will have to be registered in closer consultations with Regional Councilors through their various Constituency offices, to ensure smooth and timely provision of the said seeds,” said Mutorwa.
Within the next two weeks of August 2013, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry will avail 10 tons of hybrid maize seed to the flood affected farming households in the Caprivi Region.