By: Timoteus Iyambo
The office of //Kharas Governor together with the department of Multidisciplinary Research Centre (MRS) at the University of Namibia (UNAM) Main Campus, launched a rice growing project in //Kharas region to increase food security in the country.
According to Simanekeni Shivute, UNAM MRS researcher in Zero Emission Research Initiative division (ZERI), the project is collaboration between the UNAM, Namibia Industrial Development Agency (NIDA), the office of the Hardap Governor and community in general to establish an integrated rice, mushroom and vegetable production for sustainable agriculture in the southern part of Namibia and contribute to food production.
“Upon rice harvesting, the project deemed to grow oyster mushroom from rice straws. We hope the project to be efficacy with experience from a similar joint project with The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform which was launched in 2007,” she said.
The university is concluding the seed culture inductions, vitro evaluation, bleedings and genetics analysis. “Most of the infrastructure are already in place. NIDA already availed equipment such as tractors and other implements for the project while TIA company agreed to elect greenhouse at the site,” she said.
The office of the Governor acquired two types of rice seeds from Tanzania which will be used in the project together with other varieties from Ogongo campus. The project is a significant to the community as it will provide employment and food production in the country. “Rice is regarded globally as a staple crop with a vital role in achieving food security,” Shivute emphasized.
Shivute indicated that the university will continue to work with the community, identify and plan possible projects that can address issues surround the communities and contribute to Namibia economy.