By: Nghiinomenwa Erastus
The country’s 11 green schemes are up for grabs and were offered to foreign investors during the president and his ministers’ trip to the Dubai Expo.
After dumping Agribusdev, which has been run by a board of directors mainly from the ministry of agriculture, the government has decided to outsource the operation of the country’s 11 green schemes to the private sector.
In his speech, the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Calle Schlettwein, said the government would use competitive outsourcing as the first option to give away the green schemes.
The Green Schemes approximately cover 9,000 hectares along the perennial rivers bordering Namibia.
He explained that the decision is to leverage private capital and ensure sustained production and productivity of the Green Schemes.
“The government has now decided to lease out the 11 Green Schemes through competitive outsourcing as the first option and PPPs as may be appropriate,” said Schlettwein.
Through the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, the government intends to issue the Request for Proposals (RFPs) by June 2022 to the market for competitive bidding by July 2022.
The schemes will be leased as is.
The 11 Green Schemes are located in the northeastern and southern parts of the country along the perennial rivers.
One of the projects up for grab highlighted by Schlettwein is the Uvhungu Vhungu Dairy Farm and Irrigation Project in the Kavango East.
The project is perfect for integrated agriculture, with a dairy farm component with an estimated capacity of 600 cows and an irrigation scheme comprising 825 hectares.
Schwlettein told those who attended the Expo that access to land is secured, and the government has made reasonable capital injections in the project.
The decision to attract private capital and private operators are their efficiencies; the government intends to lease out the project, just like all other 10 greenfield projects.
An important note to those who intend to lease the Uvhungu Vhungu project is that significant investments will be required; affordable power generation such as renewable energy power generation plants, water pumps and irrigation technology.
Schlettwein appetised the investors that the dairy investment would be an important component of the domestic dairy industry since the country is a net importer of milk, cheese and other dairy products.
The minister added that it would also enable domestic value chains in related dairy products and create jobs.
The irrigation component of the project is destined to contribute to national food and nutrition security and enable increased export earnings from the high-value produce.
The agricultural policymaker said integration allows for multiplier effects across the dairy and irrigation activities.
The estimated investment required for the Uvhungu Vhungu is about USD 10 million (N$145,3 million) for capital costs.
The investment includes a pump station, pipeline, storage reservoirs and renewable power plant to bring the project components to full capacity utilisation.
In addition, the government is also offering four greenfield projects, which require development and hold potential for growth and jobs.
The four projects are the Neckartal Dam irrigation scheme (5000 ha), Zone (1000 ha), Tanjieskoppe (500 ha) (in the southern part of Namibia) and Katima-Liselo (1000 ha) in northeastern Namibia.
The envisaged Neckartal Irrigation project would utilise the Neckartal Dam holding 830 million cubic meters of water.
The dam was built as an irrigation dam and was commissioned by the government in 2020.
The brownfields are envisioned to be developed through a Public-Private Partnership and competitive outsourcing.