Agriculture Ministry to rerun three green scheme bids

January 31, 2023

The Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform is set to re-advertise the three green schemes of Katima Liselo, Tandjieskoppe, and Zone, after previous bids failed to interest investors. 

Agriculture Minister Calle Schlettwein said the Ministry will conduct further market sounding to better present these projects to potential investors. 

"Public bids for the three brownfield projects of Tandjieskoppe, Zone, and Katima Liselo Green Schemes were floated in the market but no interest was shown. For these projects, a re-advertisement is envisaged as the bids did not receive any response from the market. Further market sounding will be undertaken to better pitch these opportunities to potential investors going forward," Schlettwein said on Monday. 

The bids for the Ndonga Linena Green Scheme Irrigation Project and Orange River Irrigation Project are under evaluation, while the Uvhungu Vhungu Dairy Project has been successfully leased to a Namibian-Indian joint-venture company. 

"While this process is unfolding, the Ministry with public funding support has put these assets into production after many years of underutilisation," he said. 

Three Green Schemes, Shadikongoro, Sikondo, and Etunda, have not been advertised yet and are in production with winter crops (wheat) already being harvested. 

The Minister announced a yield of 776 hectares producing 7,000 tonnes of white maize from the Green Schemes. If everything goes according to plan, the yield will exceed the National Strategic Food Reserve of 11,000 metric tonnes. 

“If all goes according to plan, the yield of 14,000 metric tonnes, which excludes the small and medium scales farmers produce, will overflow the current National Strategic Food Reserve which currently stands at the capacity of 11,000 metric tonnes,” the Minister said. 

White maize’s local demand from April to December 2022 was 136,204 metric tonnes according to the Minister, with 97,534 tonnes produced locally and 38,670 tonnes imported. 

Schlettwein further stated that the country has surpassed the 50% mark and needs to work towards sustainability in wheat and grain production. 

"The current good rain experienced in the country combined with the revival of the Green Scheme projects means that the country is on its way to self-sufficiency when it comes to White Maize; and it is my hope that it is achieved by 2024/2025," he said. 

The government is seeking both domestic and international investors to partner on a Built, Operate-and-Transfer model. This model allows the government to receive the farm with all its infrastructure and development while the investor walks away with profit after the lease contract lapses. Most Green Schemes are now lying dormant, while those in operation are operating below desired levels.

 The leasing of green projects comes after the Cabinet approved the cancellation of the memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform and the Agricultural Business Development Agency (AgriBusDev) due to ongoing challenges at AgriBusDev.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 01 February 2023 14:40

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