A farm worker applies biochar in the field during a demonstration at a farm 40 km from Windhoek, capital of Namibia, on Oct. 8, 2020. (Photo by Musa C Kaseke/Xinhua)

Namibia will minimize importing agriculture products and prioritize creating market access for locally produced goods to stimulate economic growth, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform Calle Schlettwein said Tuesday.

Schlettwein said the move aims to empower Namibian farmers and allow them a fair chance to supply their goods to the local market.

“We have seen that the Namibia Agronomic Board (NAB) is doing a good job in minimizing imports of agriculture and horticulture products that can be produced locally. We have since laid a plan to improve production in our green scheme projects by improving the irrigation systems there as a way of giving local farmers a better chance to improve their farming techniques,” he said.

Meanwhile, the NAB said in a report released this week that they have heavily scaled up the production of grain reaching 76,660 tons of white maize, 2,344 tons of pearl millet and 6,863 tons of wheat in the previous farming season.

The NAB, a regulatory body under the Ministry of Agriculture, also said that they have achieved 60 percent local production of white maize, 40 percent of pearl millet and 4 percent of wheat respectively and have set plans to improve local fruit and vegetable production and reduce the country’s imports.

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