25 Aug 2013 06:00
WINDHOEK, 25 AUG (NAMPA) - The Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) has given awards to some grain producers in the Zambezi Region who have achieved impressive levels of production excellence by using modern farming practices and innovations.
A media statement issued by Antoinette Venter, Administrative Manager of the Namibian Agronomic Board and availed to Nampa here on Sunday said finalists were selected earlier this year, amongst white maize and mahangu producers in the Zambezi Region, by a committee that included representatives of the Namibian Agronomic Board, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, the Likwama Farmers Union and the Agronomy Producers Association.
The Zambezi Dry-land Maize Champion award for 2013 went to Francis Imenda. The first runner-up is Alfred Mbeha and the second runner-up is Stanley Tembwe.
During the award ceremony, the Mahangu Regional winners were also announced and the Zambezi Regional Champion Mahangu Farmer title went to Mavis Kasungo, a producer who cultivates five to 10 hectares of mahangu.
The Zambezi Regional Grand Champion Mahangu Farmer was this year awarded to Kristof Kasuka, who cultivates more than 10 hectares of land for mahangu.
Venter indicated that the finalists were visited on their farms and assessments of their operations were carried out.
The assessment included, amongst others, the extent to which producers manage their farms to maximise their yield.
Such practices typically include introducing fertilisers to their farming practises, and where possible how modern farming practices are incorporated into their production processe; how financial management systems are used in the farming practice to assist the producer in achieving maximum yield and how they've introduced crop diversification. All these improvements have the potential to aid the farmer in producing a surplus crop that can be sold and entered into the food supply chain, contributing to food security in Namibia, explained Venter.
According to Venter, during the assessment visits to the Zambezi Region, Hannes Grobbelaar, who is a commercial farmer, a Board member and representative of the Agronomy Producers Association, had the opportunity to make valuable contributions by advising the small-scale farmers on issues such as production and planting methods.
These practical suggestions are normally applied during the next planting season by the small-scale farmer. The Agronomy Producers Association also made a financial contribution toward the prize for the overall winner, noted Venter.