THE minister of Information, Stanely Simataa, yesterday announced Cabinet’s approval of the Namibia Oriental Tobacco Close Corporation right of leasehold application for tobacco and maize plantation in the Zambezi Region.
Simattaa also said that the terms and conditions of the project will be finalised through the cabinet committee on trade and economic development.
Namibia Oriental Tobacco is co-owned by Swapo Regional Coordinator for the Oshikoto Region, Armas Amukwiyu.
Armas applied in 2015 and his victory comes after his application was initially rejected by the region’s communal land board.
The application came at an estimated cost of N$14 billion.
“When the project materialises, it will not only create employment, but will have a component for small scale farmers in the region to participate not in the production of tobacco but in the maize production and wheat, a project that will also have a component of a feedlot. Keep in mind that the Zambezi Region, because of the foot and mouth disease, is almost like an island so there’s a need for a feedlot there so that farmers can take advantage of this,” Simataa said at a media briefing.
The health minister at the time of initial proposal, Richard Kamwi, critisised the project, saying it would cause more harm to Namibians in terms of health.