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Rice project implementation a success

by Rodney Pienaar

Agriculture minster John Mutorwa says that the implementation of various rice plantation projects in Zambezi Region have been a success.

The projects are aimed at assisting farmers that are interested in planting rice for an income as well as their own consumption.

“The Chinese have actually been doing a great job with the project in the Zambezi Region. Farmers in the surrounding areas have learned from the Chinese nationals on site to plant and maintain the plantations in any way possible. The region is suitable for rice plantation due to the Zambezi River which supplies the project with water,” he said. 

He added the Chinese experts have introduced different types of rice grains they can choose from, for farmers who are interested in starting their own projects.

The project currently grows a variety of rice namely Supa, Irga and Angola and covers a total area of 222 hectares.

Mutorwa also said that the Chinese experts have introduced some agricultural technologies to assist farmers.

“Some new varieties particularly to the rice project will be a benefit for this famers. Some of the Chinese experts have transferred skills to the farmers and it show that Chinese and Namibians can work together in any field of the agricultural sector,” he said.  

He added that the rice project has come at the right time, as it will help alleviate poverty in that region, and will enable farmers to market their products within the country and in future export to neighboring countries or even overseas, depending on the marketing strategies the farmers will be using.

These projects will not only help improve food security in the country but will also contribute towards the improvement of the socio-economic status of Namibia’s rural farmers, Mutorwa stated. 

“It is precisely because of the achievements of the implementation of the first phase of the South-South Cooperation agreement between Namibia and China that our two governments got into discussions on the possibility to extend the agreement to the second phase,” he said.

He added that the MoU that was signed between the two governments will allow Chinese experts to share ideas on how best the project can be expanded in future.