13 Mar 2014 13:30pm
ONGWEDIVA, 13 MAR (NAMPA) It has been scientifically proven that rice can be grown successfully in northern Namibia.
This was confirmed by research done by the Namibia-Japan Rice and Mahangu Project at the Ogongo Agricultural Campus of the University of Namibia (Unam).
Principal scientist and leader of the project team, Professor Morio Iijima from the Kinki University in Japan said this in his project presentation here last Friday.
It is a five-year research project started in 2012, with an experimental farm at Ogongo in the Omusati Region producing rice seedlings for local farmers in northern Namibia.
Any local subsistence farmer who is interested in the project can receive rice seeds from Ogongo through agricultural extension officers.
The project so far has nine demonstration farms, which are also able to provide seedlings to villages such as Onamndindi, Oshiteyatemo and Afoti.
It is a technical cooperation project between the Namibian and Japanese governments under the banner Flood and Drought-Adaptive Cropping Systems to Conserve Water Environment in Semi-arid Regions.
The goal of the project, Iijima said, is to improve food security by introducing a rice-cropping system which is harmonised with the water environment of the local oshanas/water pans.
The project comprises research, community engagement and capacity-building programmes.
The project is funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and was implemented by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) jointly with Unam and the Agriculture, Water and Forestry Ministry.
An information field day regarding the project took place on Wednesday at Ogongo, where demonstrations on rice growing were done to various stakeholders.