Namibia

Last updated: January 2019
  • Region Eastern and Southern Africa
  • UPOV membershup status Member of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO); initiated the procedure for acceding to the UPOV Convention
  • Participation in OECD Seed Schemes No
  • ISTA accredited member laboratories No
  • GM crop approval for cultivation No
  • Law on Plant Variety Protection No
Seed sector in Namibia

Namibia is an arid country with a total land area of 824,268 km2 consisting of poorly vegetated steppe-like areas, deserts, extensive savannah, woodlands and subtropical forests. Although its agricultural potential is relatively low, in part because of low rainfall levels, the sector remains an important source of income for most Namibians.

Government seed cooperatives dominate the production and distribution of seeds, though activities undertaken by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry face challenges to meet the demand for seeds. Namibia has experienced a seed shortage for the past six cropping seasons, which has affected more than 60% of the population.

The Subdivision of Crop Production and Management through the Section of Crop Quality Control carries out seed quality control and certification of all seeds produced at research stations, green schemes and seed growers’ fields.

Seed cooperatives struggle to produce sufficient quantities of seeds. Inadequate funds hinder production of adequate quality seeds and the effective application of seed quality control mechanisms, such as field and laboratory seed inspection and testing. The current available land is inadequate to produce the required quantity of seeds, and climatic conditions remain a challenge to seed production.

Observations

Of the 11 index companies in Namibia, only Seed Co has seed value chain activities outside of sales. The company has testing and production locations in the country, reportedly for field crops from its own portfolio.

Index company activities identified in Namibia
Company Crops in portfolio Company activities in country
Companies selected for
the Access to Seeds Index
Field
crops
Vegetables Breeding
location
Testing
location
Seed
production
Processing
location
Sales Extension
services
Capstone Seeds
Corteva Agriscience
Hygrotech
Klein Karoo Africa
Rijk Zwaan
Sakata
Seed Co
Starke Ayres
Syngenta
Zamseed

Other companies identified in the regional landscaping study and their activities

Company Crops in portfolio Company activities in country
Field
crops
Vegetable
crops
Breeding
location
Seed
production
Sales
Northern Namibia Farmers Seed Grower Cooperative (NNFSGC)
Katima Farmers Seed Producer Cooperative (KAFASEPCO)
Likorerere