The University of Namibia conducted a much-needed training workshop on crop yield estimation for technical staff from the Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform.
Conducted at the Katima Mulilo Campus, Zambezi region, from 30 April to 02 June 2022, the workshop was aimed at equipping field staff with scientific methods and practical skills for forecasting the yields of common cereal and vegetable crops cultivated in the region. 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.
Yield Estimation is critical for NAB in effective border control, import and export management and in 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.
The participants narrated that it had always been a challenge for them to quantitatively forecast local crop yields due to the lack of technical capacity. 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 stated 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 training workshop was facilitated by Dr. Simon K. Awala, an Agronomist from the Department of Crop Production and Agricultural Technologies, and Mr. Kudakwashe Hove, a Biostatistician from the Department of Wildlife Management and Tourism, UNAM. The workshop was sponsored by NAB.