21 May 2012

Namibia: Meatco Foundation Drills Boreholes in Kavango

Windhoek — The Meatco Foundation has made it possible for eight smallholder farmers in the Mbunza area in the Kavango Region to now have access to water.

According to a media statement issued by Meatco on Friday, the project, which comprised the drilling of two boreholes to supply water, was made possible with funds secured by Meatco Namibia, Meatco United Kingdom (UK), Meatco Foundation from FDB and Global Protein solutions.

FDB is a consumers' cooperative based in Denmark that serves as the holding company for Danish Co-op, one of the biggest retailers in Denmark and a Meatco client.

The Mbunza area is known for the vast distances farmers are required to travel to reach water points, which serve as a major challenge for agricultural development in the area.

At the handing-over on May 9 in the same area, Kavango Regional Governor Maurus Nekaro said 940 190 hectares of land suitable for commercial agriculture lies unutilised or under-utilised in the region.

He blamed this situation on poor water infrastructure in the area.

"Although the Kavango Region is blessed with the Kavango River, this particular resource is only accessible to a few of us living on the borderline," he noted.

A total of 516 small-scale commercial farms have been identified as being in need of infrastructural development in the region and 116 of those units fall within the Mbunza area.

Since the development of farms in the area was in its infancy, it was quite good timing for the Meatco Foundation to come on board, Nekaro enthused.

He called on other developmental partners to follow suit.

Nekaro noted that Meatco has established itself as a reliable market in the region for communal producers. However, transport costs, the issue of the Red Line and outbreaks of diseases are still limiting factors to the marketing process.

Head of Department for Corporate Social Responsibility at FDB, Thomas Roland, was quoted in the statement as saying that the foundation views the project as the first step in a long journey to aid the development of the commercial potential in the northern communal areas.

He said because FDB is a consumer-owned cooperative, Danish consumers helped to fund the boreholes.

"The beneficiaries will be more successful farmers because of the project and one day, in the future, consumers in Denmark will be able to enjoy meat from the northern regions as well," noted Roland. - Nampa

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