The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform says although hydroponic fodder production plants at some green schemes were set up years ago, they are still not operational.
This is caused by the fact that green schemes were only transferred to the ministry in 2022, ministry spokesperson Jona Musheko says.
He was recently responding to Etunda green scheme manager Sacky Shilyomunhu saying the hydroponic fodder production plant at the green scheme is not operational due to the non-availability of barley.
Musheko said before 2022, green schemes were managed under a different entity, whose budget provision was not sufficient.
Green schemes were previously run by the Agricultural Business Development Agency (Agribusdev).
“After the green schemes were transferred to the ministry in 2022, to some extent we managed to put some of them into production, despite limited budget provision, as in 2023,” Musheko said.
He said once green scheme operations normalise, the ministry would consider setting up hydroponic facilities at the schemes in the next financial year, should its budget allow.
“Or else we will continue focusing mainly on maize production and horticulture, as it has been since 2022,” Musheko said.
Green schemes in Namibia were set up with the primary objectives of increasing agricultural production and promoting and diversifying agricultural production for domestic and export markets.
Towards the end of last month, Shilyomunhu told The Namibian the hydroponic fodder production plant, which was set up a few years ago, is not in production yet, as there is no barley to be able to produce fodder.
“We only rely on suppliers and there was nothing in the market,” he said.
Barley is a winter crop and is planted in open fields.
The hydroponic fodder production plan at Etunda was set up at a cost of N$1 million, and the aim was to produce animal fodder during drought periods in the country.
The Etunda green scheme was set up in 1992, just after independence.
Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –