Uncertainty at Etunda green scheme – The Namibian

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Uncertainty at Etunda green scheme - The Namibian
Uncertainty at Etunda green scheme - The Namibian

Africa-PressNamibia. UNCERTAINTY surrounds the future of Etunda Irrigation Green Scheme near Epalela in Omusati region.

Governor Eriginus Endjala told The Namibian last Wednesday that last month employees and small-scale farmers held a demonstration and handed over petitions to him last month for a solution to their grievances.Endjala said the regional council fears that work at the green scheme might come to a halt as there are too many problems facing it.He explained small-scale farmers complained that Agribusdev, which runs all green schemes in Namibia had stopped providing them tractors, seeds and fertilisers.Endjala said this had made the work of the small-scale farmers difficult. “This made the small-scale farmers fail to produce much on their plots,” he said. In addition, employees of the Etunda green scheme presented him a petition in which they asked management to increase their salaries. He added that employees also complained that instructions from management are only given verbally instead of in writing and this causes confusion.“As a regional council, we feel a bit uncertain about the future of Etunda. And Etunda is our lifeline. We cannot survive without it,” said Endjala.He said the regional council looked at the two petitions and they still need more information from the two groups before they arrange a meeting with management. “We want to investigate and to compare their grievances with what management says before we recommend anything to the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform on what should be done,” said Endjala.The governor also announced that Albertus Viljoen had resigned as manager of Etunda green scheme which is now being headed by a caretaker manager. “He resigned last month and has already left,” Endjala added. When he visited Etunda scheme in November last year, agriculture minister Calle Schlettwein expressed concerned that not all the land was under production at the green schemes, suggesting that unused land could be used to grow citrus fruits and do cattle farming.Green schemes across the country have been struggling financially, especially with obtaining fertilisers, seeds and pesticides. Other green schemes in the country are Shadikongoro, Shitemo, Ndonga Linena, Muses, Uvunghu-Vunghu and the Orange River Irrigation Project.The green schemes programme is aimed at increasing food production in the country.

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