Planning of Omaheke diary farm almost complete

15 Oct 2013 16:00pm
GOBABIS, 15 OCT (NAMPA) – Steady progress has been made in finalising sites in the Omaheke Region to host the dairy processing and packaging plant envisaged for the region.
The settlements of Otjinene and Tshaka have been identified as feasible hosts for the diary plant, and land has already been availed at these two sites for the project.
Otjinene is located some 160km north of Gobabis, while Tshaka is a mere 50km south of the regional economic centre.
An advisory committee which will guide and advise on the progress and the logistics during the formative process has also been formed.
A feasibility study and the finalisation of a business plan is the next step in an effort to bring the large-scale development to the Omaheke Region.
A team of experts in the dairy industry from India was in the country in late 2012, and expressed satisfaction with the developments made with regards to the project.
It re-committed itself to assist in any regard in ensuring the project becomes a reality.
Pio Nganate, the special advisor to Omaheke Regional Governor Festus Uuitele, and chairperson of the interim steering activities pertaining to the project on Tuesday said they are also considering by-products of milk as a side business venture.
Such products include cultured milk (omaere), yoghurt, cheese and cream.
“We are open to business proposals for any by-product of milk so as to allow the factory to have a greater impact on the communities, as opposed to only packaging milk,” he said.
Former Omaheke Regional Governor, Laura McLeod-Katjirua, accompanied by farmers and other experts in the dairy field, travelled to India in May 2012 to familiarise themselves with dairy production in that country at the invitation of that country’s National Dairy Development Board (NDDB).
The NDDB is known for the production and processing of milk through the Amul-Anand pattern - the world’s largest pouched milk brand.
Considered a hub for livestock farming, Omaheke became ideal as host region for this venture.
With more than 600 000 heads of cattle and where 60 per cent of the inhabitants are livestock farmers, the region is well-placed to establish a dairy project.
The project is expected to cost N.dollars 6 million during its initial stages.