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By: Nghiinomenwa Erastus

One of the various farmers and upcoming food processors outcries is the lack of market for their products and off-take agreement.

Despite the challenge farmers face, two of the social sector ministries have just used the emergency procurement route to get food and related stuff worth almost N$100 million (N$99,9 million).

The Central Procurement Board of Namibia (CPB) announced yesterday at a media briefing- which detailed the board activity for six months (1 April- 30 September 2021).

The food will be procured for the remaining five months to the 2021/22 financial year, while some have already started.

The two ministries are the Ministry of Education, Art and Culture and the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare.

The education and culture ministry used emergency procurement through the CPB to provide maize meal, blending and transportation to regional warehouses.

The tender is worth N$31,4 million and was awarded, but the CPB did not include the successful bidders during the presentation.

The second food-related tender for the ministry is for providing the protein blend, sugar and salt, including the transportation to the regional warehouse.

The tender is worth N$31,4 million and was done through emergency procurement. The successful bidder was announced during the presentations.

All the two tenders are part of the Namibia School Feeding Programme (NSFP).

The ministry of gender and poverty eradication rushed to the CPB in emergency procurement to procure food parcels for the food bank programme during the period under review.

The tender is worth N$20,3 million, and the successful bidder was not revealed at the event.

The same ministry also used emergency procurement to acquire N$16,9 million worth of food for the marginalized programme.

Even though the preferred method to use competitive bidding to acquire goods or services, the two ministries have bypassed it, allowing them to go to specific companies only even though plenty of supplies qualify for competitive bidding.

The emergency reasons given by the two ministries for abandoning the preferred procurement approach were not given.

These two ministries are the biggest beneficiary of the national budget, taking up a chunk of the collected funds.

Despite this, the country’s producers have been complaining that there is no market for their produces, while institutions like Agribank ask farmers to have off-take agreements to access credit.

Another food tender in government that also serve as a potential market for the country’s crop and meat production is the health catering tender- which is ever being extended.

During the last six months, the tender was again extended for another six more months.

The CPB has also awarded more tenders (six) using direct procurement- which is used only by a few known providers/supplies in the country.

During the period under review, the biggest beneficiary of this procurement method was the Namibia Institute of Pathology, which benefited from work worth N$1,5 billion from the health ministry.

Another big beneficiary is the church-owned hospitals (Lutheran, Catholic, and Anglican churches) who received almost a billion (N$863,1 million) of work during the period.

Notable is that only the ministry of health used direct procurement during this period.

Through competitive bidding, only five tenders were awarded during the six months, worth N$520,0 million (half a billion).

Nampower dominates with the design and construction of the Kunene and Omatando Substation, worth N$340,8 million. Email: erastus@thevillager.

Julia Heita

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