Zambezi needs N$1 bn for green schemes

KATIMA MULILO – The Zambezi region, which is home to the evergreen Caprivi Strip, needs a NS1-billion injection to finance green scheme projects in a bid to become Namibia’s breadbasket, create employment and fight poverty.

This was the fervent appeal by the region’s governor, Lawrence Sampofu, to central government and potential investors during an interview with this agency on Tuesday.

“You cannot go wrong in terms of agriculture in Zambezi,” he said.

According to him, 25 000 hectares of land have already been made available by various traditional authorities for this purpose.

The establishment of green schemes in the region is the governor’s chief priority for the 2020/21 financial year.

“We have talked to the government and also we are trying to attract investors to come. We have more than 25 000 hectares given to us by traditional authorities,” he said.

So far, there is only one green scheme project, which is the Kalimbeza Rice Project, which has failed to yield desired results since its inception in 2009.

The other green scheme, which is currently underway, is the Katima Farm.

Potential

To have one green scheme 30 years after independence is a disappointment to inhabitants of Zambezi. The region boasts enormous agricultural potential which is evidenced by good annual rainfalls, underground water reservoirs and a perennial river, he conceded.

“All these hectares that I am informing you [about], we have been informing the ministry of agriculture and National Planning Commission to start planning for these green schemes in the Zambezi region. This region could be one of the breadbaskets of Namibia if properly funded and also to fight poverty and unemployment,” he said.

So far, the government has 11 green scheme irrigation projects.

Zambezi’s neighbour, Kavango East, is the green scheme capital of Namibia, with seven green scheme projects.

Omusati, Hardap and //Kharas each have one green scheme. – Nampa