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Monday, 04 April 2016 02:07

Agronomic Seed and Horticultural Seedling Production

The Department announced the development of a plan to produce its own seeds and seedling capability in order to reduce reliance and rising costs. This bold step will over time, see the establishment of five mega-nurseries producing seedlings and fruit trees. Research Stations which were identified for the establishment of these nurseries are geographically spread across the province, under different bio-resource groups and can specialize in producing different seeds and seedlings. This programme aims to ensure that historically disadvantaged individuals participate in the seed and seedling value chain. This plan will ensure that farmers currently supplying the RASET market have sufficient seedlings and fruit trees to plant in order to fulfil orders. The plan is premised on two pillars: Horticulture (vegetable seedlings, fruit trees and sweet potato vines) and Agronomic crops (maize, dry beans, potatoes and ground nuts seed). While agronomic seeds and seedlings are produced, skills and knowledge will be transferred to the young agriculturalists by utilizing the Research Stations as knowledge hubs to provide agricultural technical support. Implementation will commence in 2020/2021 and the programme will see the employment of 290 agricultural graduates over the next 2 years.

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