27 Jun 2019 18:10pm
RUNDU, 27 JUN (NAMPA) - Ndonga Linena Irrigation Project farm manager, Titus Andreas, on Thursday advised the government to invest more in production than the development of infrastructure at green schemes.
Andreas made the statement during the visit of Vice President Nangolo Mbumba and his delegation to the green scheme.
He informed the vice president that 29 small-scale and some commercial farmers could not produce enough food to cover their input costs due to various challenges such as armyworms and high input costs.
Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, has spent a lot of money on green scheme projects and much of these funds were used for the development of new projects or development of infrastructure, he said.
The majority of the funds is spent on infrastructure such as silos, pump stations, warehouses, milling machines and replacing old machinery, while less was spent on maximising production on the green schemes.
Andreas further said in 2016, Ndonga Linena produced 1 200 metric tonnes (MT) of maize, 326 MT of wheat and 846 MT of barley.
In 2017, 1 800 MT of maize was produced, while 350 MT of potatoes, 350 MT of onions and 2 000 MT of maize were produced in 2018.
Andreas said the green scheme covers an area of 1 000 hectares, of which 174 hectares is covered by small-scale farmers, with 80 hectares earmarked for medium-scale farmers.
The tender for medium-scale plots is currently running and will be awarded by the end of July this year, the farm manager said.
He further informed the delegation that the commercial component of the green scheme covers 424 hectares and is being leased out.
The tender for leasing out this component is currently also running and the tender is also expected to be awarded by the end of July.
Andreas said the green scheme also has 5 000 bales of grass from uncultivated land that it is selling.