THE entire maize crop harvested on three of Agribusdev’s Green Scheme irrigation farms along the Kavango River will be sold to the highest bidder to pay the state-owned enterprise’s debt to a supplier of fertilizer.
The state-owned company owes Kynoch, a South African company, in excess of N$10 million.
The dire state of affairs was confirmed by a senior official of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform, as well as a Rundu court official.
Kynoch has obtained a court order to lay claim on the maize harvest produced on the Ndonga Lilena Green Scheme irrigation farm, the Shadikongoro Green Scheme irrigation farm and the Sikondo Green Scheme irrigation farm.
The maize will be sold in execution of the order.
All the silos on the state-owned farms are currently under lock and key while Agribusdev has approached the Ministry of Public Enterprises with yet another request for a bailout that will have to be funded by the taxpayers.
The seizure of the harvested maize is set to have an adverse effect on the food security of various communities in all the regions of the country.
The maize is usually milled and distributed by various state actors to vulnerable communities, but if the harvest is sold on auction to the highest bidder, the government will be forced to buy maize meal from elsewhere or wait for donations from Good Samaritans to feed the more than 700 000 people in Namibia that do not enjoy the luxury of food security.
Unless Agribusdev secures the funds from the Ministry of Finance through its line ministry, vulnerable people will be left with no choice but to fend for themselves, which could prove difficult in an economy that is already devastated by the stringent measure implemented by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19.