The Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Hon John Mutorwa officially launched the branded rice for the retail market. The rice is produced at the Kalimbeza National Rice Project, near the town of Katima Mulilo, in the Zambezi Region.
The minister said the first consignment volume is small but production is likely to double by next year.
Mutorwa also launched the commercial agricultural promoter, Agribusdev’s strategic plan and logo, saying that the constituent elements of the logo symbolize crop production under irrigation.
“This is indeed a true meaning of growth at home” Mutorwa said adding that all that remains is to claim the rightful market for the country’s first home grown rice. He assured consumers that the rice has been tested by the Namibia Standards Institution.
“Let us therefore take pride in Kalimbeza Rice by making it part of our daily shopping basket,” he urged. Currently the rice can be bought at any of the National Fresh Produce Hubs in Ongwediva and Rundu and at the Kalimbeza National Rice Project itself.
Marketing agreements with several retail outlets and small shops are in the process of being finalised and within July the rice will be available in many other locations. When these channels have been finalised, Agribusdev, together with AMTA, will make a formal announcement.
Mutorwa lauded the success of the project pointing out that naysayers have been proven wrong. “Scientific research, led by the University of Namibia on the possibility of producing rice in Namibia, has yielded convincing positive results, surpassing expectations.” The minister indicated that the acreage under rice will be increased significantly.