24 Feb 2017 10:50am
ONGWEDIVA, 24 FEB (NAMPA) Namibia continues to import over 50 per cent of maize and 80 per cent of wheat to fill the gap in the domestic production system.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry Anna Shiweda made the remarks whilst officiating at the second annual general meeting of Agricultural Business Development (Agribusdev) at Ongwediva in the Oshana Region on Thursday.
Agribusdev is a public agency entrusted with the development and management of national Green Scheme irrigation projects.
Shiweda said mobilising necessary investments to develop more irrigation-based projects is an answer to reverse the situation of Namibia importing more maize and wheat from other nations.
It is indeed our collective responsibility as Government, private entities and individuals alike to mobilise the required investments in order to transform approximately 15 000 hectares (ha) into irrigation-based production between now and the year 2030, she said.
She pointed out that Vision 2030 targets 27 000ha to be put in production in Namibia to enable the nation to achieve its ultimate objective of ensuring national food security.
Shiweda said the target would even be achieved earlier than initially planned, should the nation manage to double required investment through joint resource mobilisation efforts.
It is therefore important for Government and the private sector to join hands in order to increase investment in the agricultural sector, noted the deputy minister.
She added that investment opportunities in the Green Scheme programme are still available at Zone in the Kavango West Region, Katima/Liselo in the Zambezi Region and at Neckartal Dam and Tandjieskoppe in the //Kharas Region.
Shiweda then invited investors to explore investment in such opportunities.
An advert calling investors to express interests in the development of those projects is currently running in the print media, and the ministry stands ready to provide additional information, she explained.
The ministry is looking forward to receive sound proposals by the deadline of 03 March 2017.
Regional governors, who participated at the event, appealed to the agricultural ministry to accelerate the establishment of Green Scheme projects to more regions.
Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises Engel Nawatiseb also attended the meeting.