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Calls for technology transfer between Zimbabwe and Namibia amplified

By Regis Mhako

MASHONALAND West and Namibia’s Kavango Province have agreed on facilitating technology and human capital transfer to improve productivity, especially in the agriculture sector.

With a memorandum of understanding between Namibia’s Kavango and Mashonaland West Provinces already in place, signatories are setting sights on technology and human capital transfer to strengthen areas lacking expertise on either side.

The Mashonaland West delegation on a visit to Kavango Province met with management at Rundu Vocational Training and a farmer who is putting on trial Zimbabwean maize hybrid seed, who concurred they need expertise in agriculture.

“We experimented with some hybrid series from your country which was donated to us and we are happy with the yields especially the five to seven series. We would want to put 20 hectares under the seven series this season and we expect to produce 10 to 12 tonnes per hectare but we definitely need experts to help us,” said Floris Smith, a farmer.

“We are still importing about 80 percent of our food from South Africa but we have to get to a time where we should be producing enough for ourselves so this is why we attach importance to this twinning with Mashonaland West which will help us in the area of agriculture,” said Honorable Gabriel Kanyanga, the mayor of Rundu.

Mashonaland West Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Honourable Mary Mliswa, who earlier this Wednesday visited a 60-hectare blueberry farm, hinted at encouraging farmers back home to visit the project and take notes on the production value chain of the horticulture fruit.

“I was really impressed by the Blueberry project where we were taken through the whole production process until the products gets to the market. It’s a high-value crop in which a farmer can reap huge returns without utilising vast tracts of land. Our farmers back home can also do it.

“The other thing is that a window of opportunity has opened for our lecturers and since we have Gwebi and Chibhero colleges in our province, I think Kavango East Province has somewhere to tap from in terms of trainers in agriculture. The farmer at Uvhuru Vhuru indicated the need for Agritex officers and we will work on that as well,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Mashare Blue Berries Production Manager Izak Grobbelaar said the project employs at least 600 people depending on the season.

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