Kalimbeza rice goes commercial

27 Jun 2015 09:00am
KATIMA MULILO, 27 JUN (NAMPA) – Rice grown at the Kalimbeza rice project in the Zambezi Region is now a commercial commodity.
The commercialisation of the rice was announced by John Mutorwa, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, at the launch of the Agricultural Business Development (AgriBusDev) agency’s Strategic Plan and logo here on Thursday.
In a statement issued to Nampa afterwards, Mutorwa said starting 25 June 2015, a total of 70 metric tonnes of rice will be dispatched into the commercial market and can be bought at national fresh produce hubs in Ongwediva and Rundu, including at the Kalimbeza farm.
“This volume shall hopefully double or even, at most, triple by next year! This is indeed a true meaning of growth at home.
“The deals with many outlets or retailer shops are being sealed and an announcement will be made shortly by AgriBusDev,” he said.
Mutorwa added that the dispatching of the rice follows successful laboratory tests by the Namibian Standards Institution (NSI) that the product contains no pesticides or any other harmful chemical residue and is thus fit for human consumption.
Nutritional and other essential information are affixed to the product’s packaging material.
“I therefore state with confidence that from the food safety point of view, this rice is very safe. Let us therefore take pride in Kalimbeza rice by making it part of our daily shopping basket,” he urged.
Mutorwa, who beamed praises on the project that started in 2007 as scientific research under the University of Namibia (UNAM) by late Professor Luke Kanyomeka, said the investigation into the possibility of producing rice in the country has yielded convincing positive results, surpassing expectations.
“At the same time, the result goes to dismiss the pessimistic theory held by some that we could not produce rice in some parts of the Land of the Brave.
“What remains to be completed is basically and simply to claim the rightful market space for our rice produced at the Kalimbeza rice project,” he said.
The project aims to boost the country’s food security and poverty reduction. It grows three varieties of rice, namely Supa, Irga and Angola.