New Era (Windhoek)

20 November 2012

Namibia: Agri-Ministry Establishes Agro Venture

Windhoek — The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry has established a Section 21 Company, to be called 'Agribus Dev'.

The company was established to take over the employment obligation of project employees who are not part of the green scheme projects.

The company is registered to provide services and does not intend to make, or to be judged by, the profits that it may make.

The Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa, said agriculture should be viewed as a business enterprise.

"Indeed, the chain of activities, equipment needs and human expertise involved and required, from production to consumption or from the land to the kitchen, are many, complex, expensive and varied," Mutorwa said during the inauguration of the Agribus Dev Board of Directors yesterday.

The company will engage in harvesting, branding, storage, packaging, sorting, processing, distribution, transportation, trading, marketing and value addition to agricultural produce.

"Under the Fourth National Development Plan (NDP4), production goes beyond production to include large-scale development of the agri-business and agro-industrial sectors," the minister explained.

According to Mutorwa, the two sectors are vital in determining pathways to agriculture-led economic transformation in the country.

Many of the ministry's projects and programmes have been accomplished and some are on course to be accomplished.

"The public investments in the agricultural sector are yielding and must surely continue to yield results," Mutorwa said.

He said such public financial investments will eventually contribute meaningfully and visibly towards all national efforts and objectives to alleviate, if not totally eradicate, unemployment, poverty and underdevelopment.

Green scheme projects can be found in the Caprivi, Kavango, Karas, Kunene and Omusati regions.

Most of them are in the Kavango Region, while some like the Tandjieskopje and Neckertal Dam Irrigation Project are still to be developed or are being developed.

The deputy agriculture permanent secretary, Anna Shiweda, will chair the eight-member Agribus Dev Board.

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