Agronomic Board registers second largest maize harvest
The Namibia Agronomic Board (NAB) recorded the second largest maize harvest marketed through the board. The harvest which is still ongoing, is expected to record an estimated 71,000 tonnes total production of maize at a floor price of N$3,169 for both irrigated and dry land maize.
CEO of the Namibia Agronomic Board, Christof Brock said that this year’s maize harvest is unprecedented.
Brock said that the harvest is a new record for maize that has been marketed formally for both state and private farmers. Through the Agronomic Board, all maize produced on state land is guaranteed of a ready market, and is marketed by the board through conventional supply channels. The board also provides transparency to producers, enabling them to know the current maize price, and the price fluctuations that are normal with agricultural commodities. “There has been more effort to help farmers plant. Even though [the total number of] hectares had a slight slump, the yield per hectare is better then previous years.” Brock said, adding that he has never seen anything like this, with a nine to ten tonne per hectare yield for dry land maize production. It is speculated that the improved yields could be due to fertilizer left in the soil the previous drought year, which recorded only 36,725 tonnes total harvest. “This means that we are 50% self-sufficient with the average annual consumption being 140,000 tonnes. Currently virtually non of the produce will be exported although a small amount of maize is exported to Angola.” Brock said.
Local Producer have also increased the total tonnage and value of onions sourced from local producers. The national onion production increased from 1027 tonnes worth N$4 million in 2010 to 5030 tonnes with a value of N$26 million in the previous year. Local onion production trumped imported onions throughout 2010 in tonnage and value. Local potato production also showed signs of growth since 2010 however growth from up to 2014 does not exceed 50% compared to the 2010 benchmark. The total tonnage and value of locally sourced potatoes increased from 536 tonnes worth N$2 million in 2010 to 631 tonnes with a value of N$28 million value in 2013. The Agronomic Board CEO attributed the growing potato and onion statistics to the fact that producers are more comfortable that their produce will be sold. There are eleven agricultural Green Scheme Projects throughout the country under the Agricultural Business Development Agency (AGRIBUSDEV).