By Vilho Hangula
A successful Namibia Agriculture Seminar was held on 22 February at the Expo 2020 Dubai during the Food, Agriculture and Livelihood week.
Under the theme “Namibia’s Quest for a Green Economy,” industry experts mainly in crop production had an insightful discussion during which Dr Fedelis Mwazi, CEO of the Namibian Agronomic Board, outlined Namibia’s quest to upscale crop production to increase its contribution to GDP in order to create jobs and alleviate poverty while sustaining the environment.
Furthermore, Dr Mwazi said Namibia’s vast arable land, availability of water and political stability coupled with good infrastructure, make the country an attractive horticulture investment destination.
Echoing similar sentiments, NAB’s board Chairperson Michael Iyambo said Namibia has in place laws that give local and foreign investors necessary protection. As a country of processes, institutions and systems Namibia is ready for investors, he said.
With high-value crops such as palm dates, table grapes, blueberries and others being exported to lucrative international markets such as USA, UAE, China and South Africa, Namibia aims to expand market access by broadening its crop production capacity to establish a formidable green economy.
Agronomy and horticulture market development expert Gilbert Mulonda said Namibia has initiatives to balance the market such as market share promotion that exempt exporters from paying levies for them to export and compete in other markets and for import restriction of certain produces to allow locally produced goods to be procured.
As of now, about 11 000 hectares of land is under production in Namibia under the Green Schemea. With the good rains and all dams bursting at seams, 5 000 hectares are earmarked for production around the newly built Neckartal Dam in the south.
While global-standard inputs such as seeds and fertilisers prove to be challenges, Namibia remains with massive potential in the agro-processing and value addition sectors.