Introduced Chinese hybrid rice varieties to foster rice production in Namibia

WINDHOEK, Feb. 14 — Namibia’s flagship Kalimbeza Green Scheme Irrigation Project’s research department has identified four top Chinese rice varieties that have performed well and are able to produce between 5.5 to 6.4 tons per hectare (ha), according to an official.
The Kalimbeza project located in the northeastern part of the country last year ran trials of 15 Chinese rice varieties to test adaptability, of which the top four varieties were deemed suitable, Kalimbeza project manager Patrick Kompeli told Xinhua Thursday.
Since the varieties are hybrid, the seeds have to be sourced from China every year for planting, he added.
“The target for this year cropping season was to plant 150 ha but due to other technical issues they were only able to plant 90 ha,” Kompeli said.
In terms of cultivation and training, through South-South Cooperation, some rice experts from China were deployed at Kalimbeza to exchange knowledge and for Namibians to acquire experience. The last deployed group left in December 2017.
Kompeli said impact of a predicted drought on the project will be limited since it draws water for irrigation from the permanent river source.