MAWF avails hybrid maize seeds to flood-affected farmers

29 Jul 2013 11:20
WINDHOEK, 29 JUL (NAMPA) - The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) will avail 10 tonnes of hybrid maize seeds to flood-affected farming households in the Caprivi Region.
The Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa made this announcement in a media statement issued on Friday.
“Stakeholder collaboration, co-ordination and maximum co-operation are absolutely essential to ensure success. Therefore, beneficiaries will have to be registered in close consultation with regional councillors through their various constituency offices to ensure smooth and timely provision of the said seeds,” he noted.
Mutorwa said a total of N.dollars 5 million is currently available for the production and distribution of pearl millet (mahangu) to drought and flood-affected communities.
The MAWF is also considering including commercial rain-fed crop farmers in this exercise, according to Mutorwa.
The ministry has produced 80 tonnes of pearl millet seeds at various research stations and irrigation projects. Some 20 tonnes of hybrid maize seeds are also available from a local maize seed producer. In addition, Mutorwa indicated that his ministry has plans to produce another 100 tonnes of pearl millet seeds under irrigation at its Green Scheme projects and research stations.
He explained that in view of the short period available to grow additional seeds, maize seeds cannot be produced under this initiative.
However, there is a need to import additional seeds for pearl millet, maize, sorghum and legumes to make up for the shortfall.
Meanwhile, the MAWF is also availing free seeds to drought and flood affected rain-fed agronomic farmers.
However, the free seed provision will only be for a maximum of three hectares per farming household.
In June this year, Mutorwa announced at a media conference that Government would spend about N.dollars 50 million to assist farmers during the drought.
Under the drought-relief scheme, the Ministry of Agriculture has made provision for a marketing incentive scheme, a grazing subsidy when farmers lease land, as well as a transport subsidy to and from grazing areas for farmers during the drought.