The manager of the Northern Namibia Farmers Seed Growers Cooperative (NNFSGC) is assuring the nation they are ready to supply communal farmers with drought-resistance seeds.
Amutenya Desiderius told Farmers Forum that scientifically tested seeds are ready on sale, urging farmers to get it now that the ploughing season has started.
The NNFSGC’s main function is to multiply, grade and certify seed according to specified standards and market seeds throughout the communal areas. Desiderius says the seed cooperative produces a variety of certified seeds of pearly millet Okashana, Kangara, Sorghum Marcia and red sorghum, cowpeas (Nakare, shindimba and bambaranuts).
“The cooperative purchases foundation seeds from the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry. The foundation seed is then sold to the cooperative members (seed growers) for the production of certified seed,” explains Amutenya.
He adds that the A team of seed inspectors from the seed Cooperative, DART and DEES conducts field inspections to see whether the seed growers plant the true varieties bought from the cooperative.
Amutenya further explains that the DART and DEES will ensure that the seed fields are free from weeds and off types. After harvesting the seed, growers have to bring the seed to the cooperative.
“At the cooperative, germination tests are conducted to ascertain the germination quality or viability of the seeds before they are finally sold to the public,” he elaborates.
The agriculturalist explains that the seed is certified if it is pure and not mixed with any other seed and the germination is 85% and above. If the seed passes the germination test it is then cleaned and graded using a mechanical processing machine.
Amutenya assures communal farmers that high-grade seeds are handled in silos until the clearing and grading is completed. Once the grading process is done, the seeds would be packaged in bags and stored under roof awaiting marketing and distribution.
Currently, according Amutenya, the seed cooperative has 130 employees.