WAD to grow and export vegetable seeds

WINDHOEK: The Women’s Action for Development (WAD) organisation will soon grow and export vegetable seeds from Aussenkehr in the //Karas Region to various international markets.

WAD Executive Director, Veronica de Klerk made the announcement during the 20th anniversary of the organisation on Friday evening.

“This is the first project of its kind in Africa,” she boasted, adding that the multi-million-dollar project will create employment to about 2 000 local women.

In agriculture and gardening, hybrid seeds are produced by cross-pollinated plants.

According to the Wikipedia encyclopaedia, hybrid seed production is predominant in agriculture and home gardening, and is one of the main contributors to the dramatic rise in agricultural output. The alternatives to hybridization are open pollination and clonal propagation.

In January 2012, WAD signed a Letter of Understanding with Technical Management Services (TMS), an Israeli agro-based company, and a world-renowned seed exportation company, Nunhems from the Netherlands.

TMS brought this initiative to Namibia and will also provide technical expertise in the production of hybrid seeds.

Upon completion of the pilot phase, the production will concentrate on hybrid seeds for tomato, melons, water melons and cucumber.

The Pupkewitz group was later incorporated into the project, and they are the funding partners responsible for infrastructural development, capital equipment and management solutions.

WAD will provide the mobilisation and management of women co-operatives, who will be directly involved with the production of the hybrid seeds.

The WAD website indicated that women would be divided into 24 co-operatives with each co-operative producing on a one hectare plot.

The initial full production phase will be implemented on 24 hectares, with the potential of growing to 150 hectares of land.

The licence quarter of the project is initially 15 years, with prospects of renewal and continuity.

Furthermore, the project will give birth to a brand new industry in Namibia, and the subsequent creation of employment to many people, primarily women, said De Klerk.

Speaking at the same occasion, President Hifikepunye Pohamba commended WAD for taking steps to join hands with international technical partners in order to establish business ventures.

“When successfully implemented, this project will complement Government policies aimed at reducing our country’s high dependency on imported food, including fruit, vegetables, cereals and other basic consumer items. We welcome this development as another practical step to economically empower Namibian women and combat poverty in our society,” he added.

SOURCE: NAMPA

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