13 February 2018

Namibia: Thatch Grass Venture Ready for Business

Rundu — The Thatch Grass Logistics Centre at Rundu that aims at radically changing the thatch grass business for Kavango and Zambezi residents has been completed and is up for lease.

This centre will provide a platform to hundreds of Kavango and Zambezi residents, who make a living from selling thatch grass, to better trade in thatch grass, once it opens for business

The Multi-Purpose Trade Centre in Rundu, which includes the Rundu Convention Centre and the Thatch Grass Logistics Centre, was constructed by the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development through the Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) to fulfil its mandate to promote industrial development.

The facility is under the control and management of NDC and has now invited entrepreneurs to lease and manage the Thatch Grass Logistics Centre for the benefit of the thatch grass industry, not only in Kavango and Zambezi but in all of Namibia as this grass is used widely in all corners of the country.

"Yes, the property is being leased, applicants should bring their applications by March 2. Prospective tenants who wish to view the property can contact the NDC Rundu office," said the NDC Rundu property officer, Fernando Marungu.

The construction that started in February 2014 was completed last year by NDC with the focus on manufacturing and skills transfer, as well as in support of NDC's Thatch Grass Development Strategy.

According to the NDC, local small-scale harvesters will be able to sell their untreated thatch and other thatch-related materials directly to the centre for processing by the operator, unlike the current situation where the harvesters are forced by buyers to sell their thatch grass cheaply.

The private operator to lease the centre will be expected go to various harvesters to buy untreated grass and bring it to the centre where he/she will then do the final cleaning and treatment before the grass is transported to other regions.

This is also to limit foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) from being transmitted from one region to another as grass has been identified as one of the modes of transmission of FMD.

The centre will also give small-scale thatchers (people who construct thatch roofing) and harvesters training in sustainable harvesting and thatching methods.

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