17 Feb 2014 19:20pm
ONGWEDIVA, 17 FEB (NAMPA) Trade and Industry Minister Calle Schlettwein on Saturday visited the Oshikoto Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Farm as part of his two-day visit to northern Namibia as from Friday.
Schlettwein was the guest speaker of a business breakfast meeting organised and hosted by the Oshakati Town Council for local entrepreneurs on Friday morning.
He also paid a familiarisation visit to the Fresh Produce Hub at Ongwediva and the Northern Tannery at Ondangwa on Friday afternoon.
The Oshikoto Fruit and Vegetable Farm is an established agricultural business which has been operating since 2005.
The company is owned by youthful Michael Iyambo and employs about 60 people from in and around Tsintsanbis, who are actively working on a 15-hectare (ha) irrigated land with vegetables and on a six-ha land with fruit.
Although the high value crops which are currently being grown are cabbage, watermelons, butternuts, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, maize citrus and mangos, the operations include a seed nursery that has been recently expanded, said a statement issued by Schlettweins personal assistant, Esau Mbako, over the weekend.
A 70-ha piece of land is being cleared at the farm to expand vegetable farming and to add newer crops such as potatoes.
The project is utilizing two irrigation systems, the drip and micro jet, which are working well, and the test results of the soil conducted by a soil expert support the business viability, read the statement.
The business is seeking funding and/or technical expertise to install a pivot irrigation system, procure agri-inputs and agricultural implements such as harvesters and packing equipment.
Its annual turnover is N.dollars 1.2 million.
Currently, the business supplies retail outlets such as Pick n Pay, Fruit and Veg, Farmers Market, OK Foods, Tulipamwe Caterers and Namib Mills.