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Government acquires two farms for Neckartal Dam Irrigation Scheme to start in 2023

Government acquires two farms for Neckartal Dam Irrigation Scheme to start in 2023

Staff Reporter

THE long-envisaged plans to produce a valley of green lush land near the Neckartal Dam to accelerate food security and job creation in the //Kharas Region are coming into fruition, with government announcing that it has acquired two farms near the dam for the irrigation scheme.

Speaking at the tabling of the National Budget this week, the Minister of Finance and Public enterprises, Iipumbu Shiimi, said that the ministry has acquired two farms near the Neckartal Dam, with a combined size of more than 11,000 hectares (ha), to contribute to the area envisaged to develop the Neckartal Dam Irrigation Project.

Accordingly, a budget allocation of N$10 million has been availed to start with the development in FY2023/24, Shiimi said.
In an interview last year with local media, the Deputy Executive Director of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Penda Ithindi, said that the government required 5 000ha of land for an economically viable scheme, of which 477ha has already been bought and the land ownership transferred. The government paid over N$298 000 for the first 477ha.
Nicknamed the Desert Dragon, the Neckartal Dam, which is located in the dry Nama Karoo, was constructed at the cost of N$5,6 billion and is currently the biggest dam in the country at a capacity of 800 million cubic metres (m3).

 

File photo for illustrative purposes only.

The construction of the dam officially started on 11 September 2013, with the dam envisaged to increase agriculture production, food security and self-sufficiency as a country and to diversify into high-value crops as well as employment creation.

The finance minister also added that the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform is evaluating the applications received from the private sector for the Ndonga Linena, Uvhungu Vhungu and Orange River Green Scheme Irrigation Projects, while the Uvhungu Vhungu Dairy Project was recently awarded.

“The Ministry further aims to re-advertise the brownfields, for which no expression of interest was previously received. In the meantime, winter crops (wheat) were planted at the Shadikongoro and Sikondo Green Schemes, while summer crops (maize) are planted at Etunda, Sikondo and Shadikongoro Green Schemes to maintain production activities while the leasing process unfolds,” Shiimi said.

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