Kalimbeza Rice targets 350 tonnes
This cropping season the Kalimbeza national rice project is targeting to plant 150 hectares and expects a yield of more than 350 metric tonnes, according to Kalimbeza Rice farm manager, Patrick Kompeli.
During the first planting season in April 2015, the project planted 76ha including the fields for small scale farmers and from that land 120 metric tonnes were harvested.
Kompeli said that the possibility is high for Namibia to supply the whole nation countrywide, as research has already shown that rice can be grown successfully in the Caprivi and the Traditional Authority has already availed enough land for the project to expand.
He said the rice which is now available for commercial sale, has seen locals and the Chinese in the country place orders.
“We received orders of more than 1 ton from the Chinese who prefer to eat paddy rice instead of parboiled rice, and so far retailer, Spar and the Ministry of Defence has shown interest in buying our rice,” he added.
A manager of a local restaurant confirmed that most of her clientele is now accustomed to the Kalimbeza rice which she said offers a different taste for the consumers, which has led her to order up to 10 tons of the locally produced rice.
Kompeli said the challenges that have been hampering the rice project are receiving attention and are being addressed.
“We are trying to get herbicides for the weeds, that will help to eradicate the sedge in the field, and for the nursery equipment we are in the processing of procuring some through the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) South to South Cooperation programme” he added.
The first Namibian-grown, processed and packaged rice, under the Kalimbeza Rice label, entered commercial trading last year and was launched at a ceremony at the Polytechnic Hotel School by the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Hon. John Mutorwa.