Govt targets PPP for Neckartal irrigation project

November 10, 2021

The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform says the implementation of the much-touted irrigation project at Neckartal Dam will be done through Public Private Partnerships, with 3800 hectares (ha)out of the 5000ha earmarked for irrigation development having already been acquired.

“Government had planned to develop Phase II of the Neckartal Irrigation project with its own resources. However, due to the recent Global and national economic headwinds, which negatively affected Government's fiscal position this is no longer possible. It is for these reasons that the Government decided to implement Phase II through the Public Private Partnership Unit," Agriculture minister Calle Schlettwein said on Wednesday.

He added that his ministry will not entertain calls for a conference regarding the allocation of irrigation plots under phase II of the Neckartal Dam project as the government had already partnered with the Finance ministry’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) Unit for the process.

“The Ministry observed that there are proposals being made by some quarters for a Conference to be held to discuss the implementation of Phase II of the Neckartal Dam Project. In our view, it is premature to entertain and engage in a parallel process of this nature, while a similar process is already being carried out by the Government through the line Ministry. The PPP Unit is currently busy screening the project for PPP suitability after which all the other activities as mentioned earlier will follow suit,” Schlettwein said.

“The Ministry is happy to inform the Namibian Public that activities for the implementation of Neckartal Dam Phase II have started. In this regard, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform in conjunction with the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Unit at the Ministry of Finance have initiated the process to operationalize the Neckartal Dam Irrigation Project.”

Schlettwein said the government was also targeting to explore Public Private Partnerships for the development and operation of three Green Schemes.

“The Government will therefore continue to explore Public Private Partnerships for the development and operation of Green Schemes especially the commercial components thereof including through Venture Capital Funding and other funding avenues that may be available. It is important to highlight that apart from the Neckartal Dam Project, other Irrigation Projects were also submitted to the PPP Unit for consideration. These projects are: Zone irrigation project in Kavango West Region, Tandjieskoppe Irrigation Project in //Kharas Region and Katima- Liselo Irrigation Project in Zambezi Region,” he said.

According to a study completed in 2010, the envisaged crops identified for production under the 5000 hectares include Dates, Grapes, grains, horticulture, and lucerne among others, with 50ha  and 100ha farming units having been recommended depending on the type of crops to be produced.

Neckartal Dam, which was completed in 2019 as part of Phase 1 at a cost of over N$ 5.7 billion, is now the country’s  largest holding dam with a holding capacity of 857 million cubic meters of water, followed by Hardap Dam (320 million m3).

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Last modified on Friday, 12 November 2021 16:58

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