06 Aug 2013 08:00
ZONE, 06 AUG (NAMPA) - The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry is busy establishing whether a piece of land at the Zone village in the Kavango Region is suitable for the establishment of the eighth Green Scheme project in the region.
The 1 800-hectare piece of land is situated some 160 kilometres (km) north-west of Rundu in the Mpungu Constituency.
The Ukwangali Traditional Authority in the western Kavango Region late last year availed the land to the Agriculture Ministry for it to be used for the establishment of a Green Scheme project.
If realised, this would be the eighth Green Scheme project to be established in the region, and the first of its kind in the Mpungu Constituency.
The Permanent Secretary in the Agriculture Ministry, Joseph Iita said in a statement in response to questions forwarded by Nampa last week that the ministry is busy working on the allocated piece of land. Amongst other things, it is investigating the soil types in the area, as well as possibilities for water supply from the Okavango River to the envisioned project site.
The assessment will determine whether the ministry will go ahead with the project or not, Iita stated.
He then explained that the development of Green Scheme projects can take very long, and no specific date for the release of the assessment report has been set yet.
The Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa along with technical officials from his ministry visited the site in January this year to assess the area and identify boundaries.
Senior headman of the Ukwangali Traditional Authority, Mathews Nyambwe earlier said inhabitants of western Kavango Region have for many years been complaining about a lack of projects for food production in their area.
He said residents from areas such as Zone, Kasoro, Sakusi and Mungomba agreed in meetings which were held last year to avail land for food production projects.
Mpungu Constituency Councillor Esra Kakukuru has indicated on numerous occasions that once the project is realised, the high unemployment rate currently being experienced in his constituency will also be reduced as the project will create many employment opportunities.
In terms of food production, it will provide food security to residents in the constituency and the country as a whole.
The project, which was initially proposed to be established alongside the Okavango River, had to be shifted some six kilometres further away from the river, as no land could be obtained in that area.
The availed uncultivated bushy land is in close proximity to the Nkurenkuru-Okongo main road, and is now situated about eight kilometres from the Okavango River.
The Agriculture Minister during his visit to the site early this year, appealed to the headmen of the villages where the envisioned project is to be established to ensure that no residents settle or start mahangu fields in the area in order to possibly claim relocation compensation when the ministry starts with the project.
The seven other irrigation projects in the Kavango Region are the Musese, Sikondo, Uvhungu-Vhungu, Mashare, Ndonga Linena, Shitembo and the Shadikongoro Green Scheme projects.