Namibia’s agriculture ministry on Feb 8 bade farewell to 15 Chinese experts who completed a two-year program teaching farming skills in the southern African country.
The 15 Chinese agriculture experts were part of the Tripartite Agreement on South to South Cooperation (SSC) entered into between Namibia, China and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations on June 2014.
Under the agreement, China deployed 15 experts from various agricultural fields, who for the past two years provided technical assistance to Namibia’s irrigation projects, veterinary laboratories and research stations.
John Mutorwa, minister of Namibia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF), said the ministry also hosted a debriefing meeting on the project on Feb 8 in the presence of delegates from FAO and the Chinese embassy as the first phase of the SSC that was implemented under the agreement is nearing completion on Apr 30.
At the event, Chinese Charge d’affaires ad interim, Li Na said, during the past two years, the MAWF and FAO provided a very comfortable environment and sufficient facilities to secure a better living and working conditions for the Chinese experts.
“The SSC tripartite agreement sets a new and efficient cooperation between our two countries. I believe that under the frame of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, our partnerships in various fields, including agriculture, will surely be well promoted,” he said.
FAO Country Representative Babagana Ahmadu said the SSC project in Namibia achieved significant success in terms of complementing government’s efforts of increasing agricultural production.
According to Ahmadu, through the SSC project, rice yields at Kalimbeza increased with more than 10 percent and that 15 new Chinese rice varieties and one foxtail millet variety are under trial to determine their adaptability.
“About 400 Namibian farmers and government officials have been trained in rice, foxtail millet and horticulture production,” he added.
Meanwhile Mutorwa said that the SSC was successfully implemented and has achieved its objectives. “The 15 experts that were deployed to Namibia under this agreement have done an excellent job and we are indeed satisfied with their work performance.”