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Agronomy Producers Run Maize, Groundnut Trials

The Agronomy Producers’ Association (APA) visited various regions of the country last month to engage members and address a range of issues, and streamlining processes related to groundnut and maize trials.

According to the latest issue of the Namibia Agricultural Union newsletter, consultant Dirk Prinsloo conducted visits to various regions, including Hochfeld, Summerdown, Grootfontein, Tsumeb and Abenab, giving farmers advice on fertiliser recommendations, land evaluations, irrigation scheduling and proposed pesticide programmes for different crops.

The newsletter said preparations for the groundnut and maize trials are underway and the consultant has engaged relevant stakeholders to optimise technical aspects of the project.

“The acquisition of the required seeds is in progress and the distribution of trial resources are being organised,” he said.

During these visits, Prins­loo, an agronomist with more than 20 years’ experience, met nine APA members, engaging them in detailed discussions regarding their immediate and long-term needs.

Considering the potential drought in 2023/2024, he identified critical stressors that require attention for the future success of members.

He said one of the major concerns raised by farmers was the high production cost of inputs, particularly related to fertilisers, agro-chemicals and electricity.

“Members also highlighted the absence of adequate support for irrigation scheduling and the need for optimising costing strategies related to mechanisation,” he said.

The consultant noted that producers emphasised the necessity for improved services in leaf, water quality and soil analysis and said the lack of sustainable chemical spraying programmes may lead to a potential build-up of resistance among insects and diseases.

As part of the solution, Prinsloo recommended that producers be provided with technical support to optimise production processes and counteract high production costs.

He called for engagement between local and South African stakeholders to explore irrigation scheduling options and said local and South African service providers be engaged for efficient services and interpretation support.

Source : Namibian