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How Ndonga Linena Green Scheme was killed

The first chairperson at the Ndonga Linena Green Scheme, Booysen Mutelo, said production was affected by greedy people.

Ndonga Linena was one of the first green schemes established in the Kavango regions. Debushing started in 2003 but production got off the ground in 2010.

The green scheme has 800 hectares and the water as well as electricity were installed way before production started.

At the time, Shikunino Trading Enterprises managed the green scheme on behalf of the government.

Speaking to Eagle FM, Mutelo said he was one of the 27 youth who was trained farming for a year in 2008.

Mutelo said the government paid for everything during the training after which they were sent to -Ndonga Linena.

Each farmer was given 6 hectares and a loan of N$362 000 from Agribank. Eighty per cent of the loan was from the government, while 20 per cent from Agribank.

According to Mutelo, the service provider transported and marketed the produce. He also said that the electricity and water charges were reasonable at the beginning.

He further said they did not have any issues with selling their produce.

This, he added, went on from 2010 until about 2014 when the service provider brought in new suppliers who hiked the prices of inputs.

The situation worsened when AgriBusDev came on board to manage the green scheme. AgriBusDev brought in more charges and additional 5% charge on top of the 4% the farmers were paying to Agribank.

Mutelo further said water and electricity charges also doubled, making it very difficult for the farmers to make a profit.

“For example, the transport cost doubled because the produce was not being taken to the nearest silos at Rundu but to Tsandi.

“The other thing was that Amta introduced agents to market the produce. The agents would ask us to reduce our prices so that they could put their own mark-up,” Mutelo said.

According to Mutelo, the farmers ended up selling for less while paying more for the inputs.

In the end, he said, farmers found it difficult to buy the inputs and to pay the Agribank loans.

The situation went bad when AgriBusDev started experiencing financial difficulties and could not manage to run the green scheme.

Ndonga Linena was one of the green schemes that were listed for leasing out to private companies.

 

 

 

Wonder Guchu

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