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Africa 16/02/2024

Namibia: Namibia’s agronomic board pushes for increased local potato production

The Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) is urging local farmers to increase potato production, aiming to reduce the country’s N$138 million annual bill for potato imports.

Potatoes offer significant opportunities for local farmers, according to NAB spokesperson Fabian Auguste, who underscored the consistent demand for the crop.

Despite this, the border remains open for potato imports all year round. Auguste explained that only potatoes and lettuce have been exempted from import restrictions for two consecutive months, reflecting their importance in Namibia’s horticulture sector.

"Most other crops are produced in sufficient quantities locally. We advocate an increase in local potato production due to its constant demand," said Auguste.

Currently, Namibia only produces 35% of its potato needs, leading to a reliance on imports for the remaining 65%. The National Association of Horticultural Producers has started a program to train small-scale farmers in potato cultivation. Lesley Losper, the association’s spokesperson, expressed satisfaction with the high turnout, hinting at possible extensions to cater to the unexpected demand.

"We did not anticipate getting such large numbers, and we might have to extend the programme beyond the initial 15 centres. The idea is to teach farmers that they can also grow potatoes, even at the household level, to reduce pressure on the national supply chain," said Losper.

Source: economist.com.na

Fuente: https://www.freshplaza.com/europe/article/9599059/namibia-s-agronomic-board-pushes-for-increased-local-potato-production/

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