Govt creating new structure to oversee green schemes

October 23, 2023

The agriculture ministry is creating a new structure within the ministry to oversee the implementation of green scheme projects in Namibia. 

According to the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Calle Schlettwein, the structure is still subject to approval by the Public Service Commission and will be implemented by former employees of the now-defunct Agricultural Business Development Agency (AgriBusDev). 

“The structure in which the employees will be placed is in the process of being developed and is expected to be submitted to the Public Service Commission for approval by the end of October 2023,” he said. 

The minister said the integration of AgriBusDev employees started last year. He added that while most of the employees have accepted offers for the various positions that are available in the ministry, some did not. 

Schlettwein said: “The initial plan was to integrate the AgriBusDev staff into the existing structure of the MAWLR. However, the MAWLR identified the need to create a new permanent structure, which will oversee the implementation of the green scheme projects in the country.” 

Meanwhile, interim arrangements are still in place for  AgriBusDev employees to assist the Directorate of Agricultural Production, Extension and Engineering Services in its various activities. 

Schlettwiein said this will continue until the structure is approved and all employees are fully integrated into the ministry.

“The 32  AgriBusDev employees will be integrated into the MAWLR once the structure is approved by the Public Service Commission. Therefore, at this point I am not in a position to provide the exact date for the completion of the integration exercise until the new structure is approved,” he said. 

AgriBusdev was established in 2011 to run 11 national green schemes. However, amid rampant mismanagement and financial irregularities in 2021, the Cabinet directed that the company be closed and the green schemes offered and run privately.

Government at the time promised that no jobs would be lost. In his address, Schlettwein, said around 285 employees at the green schemes would be taken over by the service providers who take over the projects.

Following the Cabinet decision, the ministry mobilised funds to establish five green schemes, namely, Sikondo, Etunda, Shadikongoro, Uvungu-Vungu Crop Production section and Ndonga Linena Green Schemes under production.

A total of 776 hectares are under irrigation and a harvest of average of 7,000 tonnes of white maize is expected to be.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 24 October 2023 12:12

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