Shitemo lease gets 20 years lifeline
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, the Namibia Development Cooperation (NDC) and the Agricultural Professional Services (Agri Pro) signed a tripartite lease agreement for the Shitemo Green Irrigation Project late last month.
During a public information sharing session, it was concluded that the Shitemo Farm shall be fully developed and operated in line with the provision of the Green Scheme Policy and other applicable operation guidelines that support the policy.
The agreement that was signed, unless otherwise terminated by either party shall be in force for a period of 20 years.
During the session the most outstanding features of the agreement were disclosed to all shareholders. Agri Pro will develop the commercial component while the government will develop the area designated for the small scale farmers. At the session it was pointed out that the area earmarked for Small Scale Farmers is the area measuring approximately 60 hectares on the north-western corner of the farm in addition to the existing area lying on the northern side of the road. A consensus was reached for a need to relocate families should a need arise. A consultative transparent process would be employed in the best interests of the affected parties, with a fair compensation stemming from losses incurred.
As part of the Green Policy requirement and as per the obligation contained in this agreement Agri Pro will also required to render services to Small Scale Farmers who shall be identified and placed by the government.
In order to ensure compliance by all parties involved, the Agricultural Business Development Agency (AGRIBUSDEV) will be monitoring the operation of the farmer through established structures.
The Project Steering Committee that shall be meeting every quarter to review the progress being made.
The Committee will comprise of officials from AGRIBUSDEV, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Regional Council (Ndiyona Constituency), Small Scale Farmer‘s representative, Representative of the Traditional Authority [who will only attend on invitation], AGRI PRO and Namibia Development Corporation.
Meanwhile as per the policy directive issued by the MAWF and as contained in the Green Scheme Implementation Manual currently in print, all the Green Scheme Projects located in the communal area shall pay the loyalty to the Traditional Authority, which at the moment stands at N$50 per hectare irrigable. Shitemo Green Scheme Project shall be no exemption.