Kalimbeza green scheme receives N$8m

The Kalimbeza rice project at Katima Mulilo has been allocated N$8 million by the government for the revival of the project.

This was announced by president Nangolo Mbumba during the country’s 34th Independence Day celebrations in the Zambezi region last week.

“I am pleased to announce that the government has made N$8 million available to revive the Kalimbeza National Rice project,” he said.

Mbumba said the government has approved a sugar plantation to be established as part of the project, as well as a sugar-processing plan at Katima Mulilo.

“These are but a few of the projects going on to bring much-needed development and jobs to the Zambezi region, apart from others in housing, school infrastructure and the provision of water, which are in progress,” he said.

Jona Musheko, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform spokesperson, says most green scheme projects came to a halt in 2020 when the Agriculture Business Development Agency (AgriBusDev) was dissolved.

“All the green schemes were being operated under AgriBusDev and in 2022, it was dissolved back to the ministry of agriculture.

“By that time, few green schemes were operational.”

Musheko says although the projects existed, they were not productive.

“The last production, I think, was around 2020. So, when we got back the green schemes, we mobilised funds.

“So we received production with at least six or five of the projects, excluding the Kalimbeza rice project, because it required a lot of money and we didn’t have a budget provision for that,” Musheko says.

When the projects went back to the ministry, they required extra money, including for staff members.

“We got no extra money from the government to take care of all this, but we mobilised money internally.

“There is a lot of stuff to be done on the irrigation system and some machinery that need to be fixed, so when the president says N$8 million is allocated to reviving it, it’s just to say at least there are some funds made available,” he says.

Musheko says the ministry will be following what the president has said regarding the sugar plantation.

“So we are just going to follow what he says. But following his words means we need to put in efforts to mobilise more money if it’s required.

“We need to use the resources made available to do what the president has directed,” he says.

The Kalimbeza project grows three varieties of rice, namely Supa, Irga and Angola.

The project covers an area of 222 hectares.

It was declared a national project by former president Hifikepunye Pohamba in 2009.

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