Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

Namibia: Ministry Sets Up Own Labour-Hire Outfit

The Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Hon. John Mutorwa, recently inaugurated the new board of directors for a Section 21 company called Agribus Dev. The board of directors consists of staff members within the ministry as well as other line ministries. This company is tasked to handle employment of project employees, not on the payroll of the ministry's permanent staff complement.

The board of directors consists of eight staff members within the ministry as well as other line ministries and is headed by Anna Shiweda, the Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry. Other members on the board include Abraham Nehemia, Desmond Tshikesho, Sophia Kasheeta and Albertina-Taina Nankela all from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry. Three members are yet to be chosen from the National Planning Commission, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The establishment of a Section 21 Company was approved by government to take over the employment obligation of project employees who are not part of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, at the ministry's Green Scheme Projects. Mutorwa called on the board members to urgently appoint managers for each Green Scheme Project to manage such projects as independent cost units.

The Green Scheme is an initiative of the Ministry that encourages the development of irrigation based agronomic production with the aim of increasing the contribution of agriculture to the country's economic output and to boost the social development and upliftment of communities located within suitable irrigation areas. The Agro production unit, headed by Petrus Uugwanga , is responsible for linking the scheme's headquarters with operations at production level.

The minister also unveiled the Agricultural and Marketing Trade Agency (AMTA) logo, which will professionally manage fresh produce hubs in the country. Mutorwa said that all local products grown by the Green Scheme hubs will bear the AMTA logo.

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