THE Immanuel Sheefeni AIDS Foundation is developing a fish farm at Outapi to produce shrimps, tilapia and a mix of vegetables for local and regional food markets.
The foundation, started by Namibia HIV activist and motivational speaker Immanuel Sheefeni, is developing the farming system through a special trust, Immanuel Sheefeni Fish Farm Trust.
"The Immanuel Sheefeni Fish Farm is developing one of Africa's largest aquaponics systems, to produce 3 000 tonnes of shrimps per annum and 7 000 tonnes of tilapia per annum," stated Sheefeni.
Aquaponics is a combination of farming of fish, known as aquaculture, and growing plants without making use of soil, known as hydroponics, in one connected system.
"Aquaponics is an old practice that has been around for centuries, but it is now being done with new technology," said Sheefeni.
Sheefeni also announced that he has signed an agreement with Simonis Storm Securities, a Namibian brokerage firm, to be the financial adviser and brokerage firm for raising N$100 million in equity for the farm project.
"The Immanuel Sheefeni Fish Farm Trust is raising N$100 million for the development and engineering of the aquaponics system through the issuance of a series of debenture notes ranging from N$5 000 to N$10 million, with the maturity time of 10 years at 17% interest per annum, payable twice each year," elaborated Sheefeni.
He expressed hope that Namibians will get involved and be part of the initiative.
According to a press release, the trust has put together a team of local, as well as international professionals to undertake the development of the farm at the Anamulenge constituency in the Omasati region.
Namibian company Oluzizi Construction and Engineering will be the main contractor for the development.
"I am very happy for our construction company, Oluzizi Construction, one of Namibia's largest general contractors, to support this great initiative as the main contractor," stated Simon Andjamba, managing director and founder of Oluzizi World of Commerce.
According to Sheefeni, construction of infrastructure at the farm will start later this year, employing an estimated 600 workers.
The farm is set to create about 3 000 permanent employment opportunities, specifically for those either infected or affected by HIV and AIDS to have a chance to contribute to food security in the country.