Zimbabwean ambassador proposes seawater agriculture

06 Oct 2017 17:20pm
SWAKOPMUND, 05 OCT (NAMPA) - Zimbabwean Ambassador to Namibia, Rofina Chikava on Thursday proposed the growing of vegetables and fruit in the Namib Desert by using seawater.
She made the proposal to Erongo Regional Governor Cleophas Mutjavikua during a courtesy call to his office in Swakopmund.
Chikava and nine other African ambassadors and high commissioners stationed in Namibia are touring Erongo to acquaint themselves with the various development opportunities available here.
“Why can we not grow crops in this vast open space by irrigating it with sea water? Let us find use for sea water to benefit more people,” Chikava said, stating that it could be a redress for hunger and ensure food security in the country and Africa at large.
Mutjavikua did not rule out the possibility of planting in the desert should the idea be deemed feasible by research findings.
“It is a challenge we are taking; we want to change the face of Erongo and make it the bread basket of this country too,” he said.
Mutjavikua said the idea is already being put to the test through his office, with the Namibian University of Science and Technology conducting the feasibility study.
The governor noted that their first plan is to pump water from the sea to an area in Omaruru where irrigation will take place, while another team is researching on the sea water aspect.
However, seawater has a very high sodium concentration and has to be purified before it can be used for agricultural purposes.
Countries such as India, China, America and Saudi Arabia use desalinated water for irrigation and drinking.