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Namibian fresh produce hits market

Windhoek – The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry’s Green Scheme projects are starting to bear fruit – literally.

Recently, the Ndonga Linena Irrigation Project near Rundu in the Kavango region, under management by the service provider Shikunino Trading Enterprises has been delivering fresh produce including watermelons, sweet potatoes, sweet corn and butternuts to Fruit and Veg City as well as FreshMark (which supplies retailers such as Shoprite/Checkers with fresh produce) on a weekly basis.

These included the following produce to each of the abovementioned clients:

- Eight (8) tonnes of potatoes
- 18,000 cobs/heads of sweet corn
- 11,000 ten kilogramme bags of butternuts and
- 10,000 water melons Three loads of 34 tonnes each of fresh produce has also been delivered to Swakopmund during the past few weeks.

It has also delivered eight loads of 34 tonnes each of onions to Oshikango while there are still more than 1000 tonnes of onions on site at the Ndonga Linena project waiting to be transhipped to the markets.

The project further supplies the local catering companies (which cater for schools, the police and army) with weekly fresh produce whilst the local retailers in Rundu also benefit from fresh fruit and vegetables from just around the corner.

The project, which has 200 hectares under production by Shikunino Trading Enterprises and a similar number of hectares by small-scale farmers is currently harvesting more than 25 hectares of onions; 7.5 ha of potatoes; 50 ha of wheat; 5 ha of pumpkins; 4 ha of sweet melons; 1 ha of green beans and 11.5 ha each of water melons and butternuts. In addition, the project plants 1 hectare of sweet corn per week and 5 hectares of sweet potatoes per month.

The Managing Director of Shikunino Trading Enterprises, Mr Hans Nghixulifa says that that their recent supply of fresh produce to the Namibian market shows that local producers are making headway towards ensuring that they meet the demands of the market place.”Our recent showing proves that Namibia can indeed meet the demands of the market place and we urge Namibians to start supporting local produce, increase demand and surely we can endeavour to meet that demand,” Mr Nghixulifa said.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Mr Andrew Ndishishi says that the project has shown how effective public/private partnerships can be in managing the Green Scheme projects. “Ndonga Linena Irrigation Project’s performance clearly testifies that the Green Scheme Projects can and do work and surely sends a clear message to our detractors. We remain confident that with the completion of our fresh produce hubs in Rundu, Ongwediva and Windhoek, our producers will find additional and easier markets for their produce, while Namibian consumers can now have access to fresh Namibian produce,” Ndishishi says.

“There are still tremendous opportunities for Namibian business people to tap into the Green Scheme projects such as transportation of fresh produce, distribution, packaging, warehousing and storage and even in the production itself such as the one happening at Ndonga Linena,” Ndishishi concluded.


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Windhoek, Katutura