NAMIBIA SEEKS CO-OPERATION WITH CHINA, UN ON FOOD SECURITY

WINDHOEK, Namibia is seeking to continue its co-operation with China and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in promoting food security, says

FAO country representative Babagana Ahamadu.

He told Xinhua that given the success of the first phase of the tripartite South-South Co-operation (SSC) agreement, Namibia, through the Agriculture Ministry and the Fisheries Ministry, had officially applied to the FAO for phase II of the SSC.

"By way of feedback I am happy to report that all applications will be considered towards the end of this month and that the outcome will be communicated through diplomatic channels," he told Xinhua here Tuesday.

In 2014 Namibia officially signed the tripartite agreement on South-South Cooperation (SSC) and it was formally incepted in April 2015 upon arrival of 15 Chinese experts, who were deployed in four regions (provinves) to work with their Namibian counterparts in the rice, gardening and animal husbandry sectors.

During the two-year period, 15 varieties of rice have been introduced to Namibia and three will be selected for planting in the country in the future, 455 farmers and officials received training in various fields and modern agricultural machinery has been introduced and demonstrated in the country.

The project, which will officially end in April, also brought about mutual sharing and exchanges of development solutions, including knowledge, experiences, policies, good practices, technology and resources over the two year period it was implemented.

Last week, Namibia bade farewell to the 15 Chinese agriculture experts who were here under the agreement and the Minister of Agriculture, John Mutorwa, hailed the project and said it had been successfully implemented as it achieved its objectives.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Percy Misika, said in an interview with Xinhua that for future co-operation, discussions were underway for Phase II of the SSC project among the Tripartite parties.

"No specific areas has been decided upon yet as discussions are still in their early stages. It is however anticipated that Phase II will build on the excellent results obtained in Phase 1 particularly in rice production," he said.

Meanwhile, Ahamadu said that the FAO was ready to support Namibia's efforts and plans aimed at reducing poverty.

"SSC today plays a greater role than ever before in the international development cooperation landscape and innovation in the South is generating new tools and partnerships for tackling issues of food insecurity, poverty and sustainable development," he said.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK