Namibia’s first plant health clinic launched at Rundu

Namibia’s first plant health clinic launched at Rundu

RUNDU – In an effort to safeguard Namibia’s plant health and ensure food security, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), in partnership with the ministry of agriculture, recently launched the country’s first plant health clinic at Rundu in the Kavango East region. 

The clinic is at Rundu’s Kaisosi agriculture extension centre. 

FAO has invested about N$2 million in the training of plant health doctors and the establishment of 10 plant health clinics that will be rolled out to 10 other centres across the country.  

The recent training of the plant doctors form part of a series of trainings that will take place over the coming months.

“This initiative is a testament to our commitment to sustainable agriculture, farmer empowerment and the health of our precious crops,’’ said the agriculture ministry’s acting deputy director for the plant health division, Violet Simataa.

During the launch, she stated that agriculture is the country’s backbone, providing livelihoods, food security and economic stability. 

 “Today, we gather to celebrate a new chapter in our agricultural journey – one that promises to equip our farmers with the tools and knowledge needed to combat plant diseases and enhance crop productivity,’’ she said.

FAO representative Ferdinard Mwapopi said the clinic will serve as a dedicated resource centre for diagnosing plant health problems, and providing actionable solutions.

“The launch of this clinic at Kaisosi symbolises our commitment to protecting our agricultural resources from the devastating impact of plant pests and diseases,’’ he said.

In Namibia, crops have been ravaged by uncontrolled pests and diseases, such as the Fall Army Worm outbreak during the 2016/2017 season, as well as the African Migratory Locust outbreaks of the 2020-2021/22 seasons.