The University of Namibia (UNAM) conducted a training workshop on crop yield estimation for technical staff from the Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform.
The workshop was held at the Katima Mulilo Campus in the Zambezi Region earlier this month to equip field staff with scientific methods and practical skills for forecasting the yields of common cereal and vegetable crops cultivated in the region.
UNAM said that during the 4-day training, a total of 14 participants were taught key concepts and methods of crop yield estimation.
“Topics covered included, relevance and use of statistics in crop production, sampling techniques, sampling and estimation methods for crop statistics, methods for measuring crop area, methods for measuring crop yield, area and yield estimation,” added the University.
UNAM stated that yield estimations are critical for NAB’s ineffective border control, import and export management, and ensuring food availability in the country.
“The participants also had ample time to practice some of these procedures under farm field conditions where practical challenges were clarified to increase comprehension and competence,” emphasised.
The participants also narrated that it was always a challenge for them to quantitatively forecast local crop yields due to the lack of technical capacity, while workshop facilitators on the other hand indicated that the University has recently received numerous requests for technical training services on crop production, experimental design, data collection, and agricultural survey studies.
Furthermore, the facilitators said that the training was very successful and expressed appreciation to the trainees for their active participation as well as to the farmers who volunteered to offer their crop fields for practical activities.
The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Simon K. Awala an Agronomist from the Department of Crop Production and Agricultural Technologies and Kudakwashe Hove a Biostatistician from the Department of Wildlife Management and Tourism at UNAM.