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Govt reiterates intentions to prop up irrigation farming

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Government is eager to continue to implement irrigation projects along main perennial rivers and dams.

The ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry said the irrigation schemes will ensure food security for the country.

“As outlined in the Fifth National Development Plan and the Harambee Prosperity Plan, the agriculture sector is expected to put 27 000 hectares under irrigation by the year 2030 through the implementation of the green scheme programme,” said Percy Misika permanent secretary for the ministry.

Already existing rojects are in Sikondo and Musese in the Kavango West Region, Shadikongoro, Vhungu-Vhungu, Ndonga-Linena, Mashare and Shitemo irrigation projects in the Kavango East Region.

Other projects are the Etunda, Hardap and Orange River irrigation projects in the //Kharas region.

Misika said currently 11 500 hectares are under irrigation countrywide and the remaining 15 500 hectares need to be placed under irrigation over the next 12 years.

This is expected to cost government about N$5.4 billion.

Misika said the development of other irrigation projects such as at Katima/Liselo in Zambezi, Tandjeskoppe in //Kharas and Etunda phases 7 and 8 in the Omusati Region are well on track.

These developments, he said, are made with a view to increase the land under irrigation and subsequently, increase food production.

In addition, there are new projects in the pipeline that will be implemented by the ministry, including the Climate Resilient Agriculture Project which will be implemented in the three vulnerable extreme northern crop growing regions of Kavango East, Kavango West and Zambezi.

The project was launched in December 2017 and funded by the Green Climate Fund to the tune of N$135 million through the Environmental Investment Fund.

Another project is the Namibia Agricultural Mechanisation and Seed Improvement Project which is funded by the Africa Development Bank to the tune of N$1.42 billion and has been approved for implementation.

The third project is the support to the livestock sector in the northern communal areas in the country funded by the European Union under the 11th European Development Fund to the tune of N$ 300 million.