Improved seed varieties key to enhancing food security – Official
The country requires well-established seed systems to make quality seeds available to the farming communities, to ensure enhanced food security, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, deputy executive director, Mildred Kambinda said this week.
She highlighted this at a handover of agricultural facilities and equipment from the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA).
“Therefore, utilization of combined strategies including quality seed for improved varieties integrated with cultural practices such as water and nutrient use-efficiency technologies are important to reduce the effect of climate change like drought, floods, extreme temperature, pest and diseases which can result in low crop yield, especially among small scale farmers,” she said.
TIKA donated a cold room that will help improve seed storage and support the multiplication of newly developed cowpea mutant seed varieties.
According to TIKA, Country Coordinator, Aydin Apaydin, with 40% of seed production at Mannheim Crop Research Station is going to waste each year and the cold room will preserve and store seeds, increasing seeds availability to breeders for the multiplication of certified seeds that can be distributed among targeted cropping regions.
“As we are all aware, the seed is an essential determinant of agricultural production potential, and the effectiveness of other agricultural inputs depends on it,” he said, adding that improved seed can significantly boost agricultural productivity in arid countries such as Namibia.
Namibia is currently working on an initiative called the Namibia Agricultural Mechanisation and Seed System Improvement Project co-funded by the Africa Development Bank which seeks to improve household food security and reduce poverty through enhancing agricultural productivity to reduce the annual importation of staple cereal crops/grains.