Elephants continue to destroy crops in Musese

21 Apr 2017 12:10pm
MUSESE, 21 APR (NAMPA) – Vice-President Nickey Iyambo on Thursday visited the Musese Green Scheme Irrigation Project in Kavango West as part of his week-long familiarisation visit to the Kavango West and East regions.
Musese is situated 70 kilometres east of Nkurenkuru, the capital of the Kavango West Region.
Iyambo was accompanied by Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa and Deputy Minister of Environment Tommy Nambahu.
Lease owner of the government irrigation project, Tulio Parreira told the delegation the project continues to endure destruction of crops and infrastructure by elephants.
He said last season, he lost about 450 tons of crops to the bellies and feet of the mighty beasts.
“Not only one or two elephants come; they enter the farm in numbers of 60 or more elephants which start eating and trampling the crops,” Parreira said, adding that the animals also destroy infrastructure.
He quantified last season’s loss at about N.dollars 22 million due to the destruction of crops by elephants and also worms.
Despite the damage, Perreira said the project is doing well by producing food for the nation.
They produce maize and wheat, among other crops.
The commercial farm covers a size of 1 300 hectares, of which 800 hectares are for irrigation.
This year the project already harvested crops of 300 hectares.
The farm employs about 60 people.
Musese has reportedly been very productive in the past.
Government's other irrigation projects in the two Kavango regions are Uvungu-Vungu, Mashare, Musese, and Shadikongoro.
The main objective of Government’s green scheme projects is food production and the achievement of food self-sufficiency by the year 2030.
Iyambo is expected to visit all other green scheme projects and to conduct meetings with community members from both Kavango regions as well as the Hompas (kings) of various traditional authorities.