N$160 million dairy farm for Rundu
A new commercial-scale dairy farm is being constructed at the government’s agricultural experimental farm, Vungu Vungu in the Kavango East Region.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry revealed this week that progress on the construction of the dairy infrastructure is on schedule. The farm is expected to come into production in the second semester of next year, serving the northern communities and increasing output as the herd matures.
Vungu Vungu is a 290 hectare government facility on the banks of the Okavango River. It is used for experimental cultivation of crops under irrigation. It lends itself ideally to produce fodder to sustain the milk cows. 230 hectares will be used to grow fodder under irrigation.
The new dairy is classified as a Green Scheme project guided by the agricultural ministry’s recently launched new Strategic Plan.
The ultimate goal of the dairy Green Scheme project is “to meet local demand as supplementary to national dairy production which ultimately contribute to national food security” Business Analyst for Agricultural Business Development (AgriBusDev), Evaristus Titus said.
Titus said that the N$160 million is sourced from funds earmarked by the ministry for Green Scheme projects.
The dairy is expected to be completed next year. He noted that it is early days in determining when the farm will be fully operational. “All capital undertakings for the project are expected to be completed by mid 2015.
Once all those are in place, the actual production will set in thereafter,” he explained.
Once completed the project will be handed over to AgriBusDev to manage all of its operations through a contractual agreement with the appointed farm manager. Titus said AgriBusDev will manage the project at all levels.
AgriBusDev is a non-profit entity which is responsible for the implementation of the government’s Green Scheme policy. He indicated that most of the construction work is set to be completed by the end of the year. “There will be continuous training for all staff to maintain and improve the quality of our products.” So far “boundary fencing and bulk earth works as well as roads and drainage have been completed. Other infrastructure like the milk processing plant is expected to be completed by mid/last quarter of 2015” the former Chief Economist for the Ministry of Finance said.
Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) was initially tasked with the project’s co-ordination on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture in managing the funds and the signing of contractual agreements with contractors working on the project. N$160 million is required over a three-year construction and implementation programme, excluding working capital which ranges from N$25 million to N$62 million, the project’s feasibility report states. Since construction 300 to 350 permanent and temporary jobs have been created with 100 permanent The marketing of the fresh dairy products as well as derivatives will be done through the Agricultural Marketing Trade Agency (AMTA).