Namibia experiment Chinese rice varieties to boost quality rice Production

· China and Namibia commences South-South Cooperation (SSC) project for value addition creation on agricultural products.

· Experts test 15 Chinese rice varieties adaptability confirmation.

Following the second phase of the South-South Cooperation (SSC) project signed by Namibia and China recently, to create value addition of agricultural products, 15 varieties of Chinese rice are undergoing trial for adaptability by the Green Scheme Irrigation Project in the northeastern part of the country.

If these rice varieties are adaptable, it will lead to a boost in local food production as well as strengthening crops’ resilience to climate change.

According to Patrick Kompeli, an agricultural research technician in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, the aim of the rice trial is to reduce the high dependency placed on imported rice and further enhance local rice production for food security purposes.

“Our overarching goal is to produce quality rice to feed the nation and further reduce imports of rice. This can only be achieved if we plant the best and climate resilient variety, hence the trials,” said Kompeli.

The ongoing modification is being carried out by the Chinese agricultural experts assigned under the project extension of the South-South Cooperation agreement between China and Namibia.

“We had to provide extensively train local technical workers at the project on all processes including land preparation and technology usage ahead of implementation,” added the expert.

The Green Scheme programme, is a government initiative under the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, to reverse the situation of imported food dependency, and enhance local production. The programme was introduced under the Green Scheme Policy of 2008.