Namibia cannot rely on importation of seeds for staple food crops – Khomas governor

Khomas governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua says with Namibia facing its worst drought, it is critical to have legislation that provides an environment for a sustainable seed system for farmers.

McLeod-Katjirua was speaking at a stakeholders consultative workshop for the proposed regulations under the Seeds and Seeds Varieties Act in Windhoek on Wednesday.

“This shows us that we cannot rely on the importation of seeds for staple food crops and high-value crops from other countries. It is notable that the Seeds and Seeds Varieties Act (Act No. 23 of 2018) was indeed promulgated over five years ago, but it has not yet been gazetted into operation by the minister of agriculture, water and land reform through notice in the gazette.”

McLeod-Katjirua said as a result, Namibia was unable to benefit from important policies aimed to regulate the act and the registration of producers, processors and dealers of seed, as well as control over imports and exports of seed.

“The Namibian Seed Policy, which is a comprehensive framework to facilitate the advancement of a thriving and robust seed industry, emphasises the importance of seed. Seed is the most important agricultural input out of all important inputs,” McLeod-Katjirua said.

McLeod-Katjirua further emphasised that seeds are a rich symbol of the process of living and dying and represent a complete cycle of life.
She noted that the traditional symbolic meaning of seeds includes: potential, trust, hope, nourishment and provision.

“Each time we plant a seed, we become ancestors for the generation to come. Therefore, it is critical for Namibia to have a legislation that provides an environment required for a sustainable and effective seed system for availability, accessibility and affordability for commercial and communal, both large and small-scale farmers,” she said.

McLeod-Katjirua further expressed gratitude to the management of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform for coordinating the development of the act and facilitating the drafting of the regulation.

“This legal framework presents a positive stride towards ensuring the availability, accessibility and affordability of quality seeds that are produced, processed, certified and marketed in Namibia. If seeds are imported, there will be quality assurance,” she added.

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!

Latest News