Namibia: Agriculture Ministry to Introduce Five New Cowpea Seed Varieties to Ensure Food Security At Both Household and National Level

The Ministry of Agriculture this week said it will introduce five new cowpea seeds into the country's agricultural sector to ensure food security at both household and national level.

In a statement, Percy Misika, the agriculture ministry's executive director said sustained increase in agricultural production is dependent on the development of new and improved varieties of crops and efficient systems for timely supply of inputs.

"Seed of appropriate characteristics is required to meet the demand of diverse agro-climatic conditions and intensive cropping system in Namibia," said Misika.

He said Namibia has been spearheading a project since 2009 on induced breeding where the main objective was to apply mutation breeding techniques to develop high-yielding, early-maturing drought-tolerant and insect pests-and-disease-resistant crops.

The five new cowpea seeds are an addition to three existing cowpea varieties.

About 85% of cereal producers in Namibia already intercrop cowpea with the main staple crops like pearl millet and maize.

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