“Soil – building a productive, food secure Namibia from the ground up”, was the theme for the Horticulture Producers Training Day during the National Horticulture Week.
The National Horticulture Week was held in Noordoewer leading up the National Horticulture Day and for the first time since its inception, the Day was preceded by a full day of training for horticulture fresh produce producers. The Day is organised by the Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) every year to showcase the achievements of horticulture fresh produce producers in three categories; Large, Medium and Emerging producers and also to recognise the retailers in fresh produce for their adherence to purchasing at least 41.5% of their horticultural needs from local producers before importing from beyond the Namibian borders.
“Soil – building a productive, food secure Namibia from the ground up” is a critical approach in the agronomic sector in Namibia and follows on the 68th United Nations General Assembly Declaration of 2015 as the International Year of Soils. The declaration is implemented by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) worldwide and its mandate is related to fostering food security in countries all over the world. The strategic point of focus for the FAO is that soils are a strategic resource because it constitutes the foundation for healthy and sustainable food production for the planet. Directly and indirectly, 95% of our food comes from soils. Fertile soil is thus the true origin for nutritious food and the roots of good farming practice. Soil is a non-renewable resource that needs – and deserves – good care, protection and good management if producers are to depend on it for quality crops and high yields.
“The International Year of Soils” highlights many of the aspects of soil management and soil conservation and how all these aspects translate into food sustainability and food security all over the world. According to literature produced by the FAO to publicise 2015 as the International Year of Soils, a healthy soil is defined as the capacity of soil to act as a living system.