UNAM launches seed multiplication project for sustainable food production
The University of Namibia, in partnership with the Namibia Agronomic Board (NAB), the Namibian Correctional Service (NCS), and the World Food Programme (WFP), held a significant event to launch the seed multiplication project and wheat seed planting for sustainable food production. The launch took place at the Evaristus Shikongo Correctional Facility in Tsumeb on 27 June 2023.
Distinguished guests attended the event, including H.E. Dr Nangolo Mbumba, Vice President of Namibia and UNAM Chancellor, who was represented by Hon. Christine //Hoebes, Minister of Presidential Affairs. Other notable attendees were Prof Kenneth Matengu, UNAM Vice Chancellor, Commissioner-General Raphael Hamunyela of the Namibian Correctional Service, Mr Gerson Kampungu, NAB Manager: Research & Policy Development and Dr George Fedha, Director and Representative of the World Food Programme in Namibia.
Prof Matengu, in his speech, emphasised the significance of the seed research project in achieving seed and food security in Namibia. “UNAM commits to addressing national and global development challenges, aiming to be a relevant and impactful institution that contributes to the country’s and the world’s development goals,” he said.
Commissioner-General Hamunyela praised the partnership between NCS, UNAM and WFP, highlighting the importance of the seed multiplication project for sustainable food production. He acknowledged the project’s transformative nature, which maximizes food production and reduces input costs. “The role of seed multiplication in improving agricultural productivity is very crucial,” he said. “We need high-quality seeds to increase crop yields and lower production expenses.” He expressed gratitude for the collaboration between NCS and UNAM, recognising NCS’s commitment to achieving self-sufficiency in food production.
In a statement delivered on his behalf, H.E. Dr Mbumba, the Vice President of Namibia and UNAM Chancellor, commended UNAM and NCS for initiating the seed research project. He underscored the interconnectedness of sustainable food production, food security and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “Government’s priority of enhancing agricultural productivity, particularly for smallholder farmers, to drive inclusive and sustainable economic growth is key,” he expressed.
During the event, attendees witnessed the successful potato seed multiplication programme and the planting of wheat for a seed multiplication programme at the Evaristus Shikongo Correctional Facility. These initiatives represent tangible outcomes of the partnership between the University and the Correctional Service.
UNAM remains committed to its mission of conducting transformative research, providing quality training and fostering innovation to contribute to national and international development goals.