Agribusdev to know fate by year-end

15 October 2021 | Agriculture

OGONE TLHAGE



WINDHOEK

Government will pronounce itself on the future of embattled public entity Agribusdev before the end of the year, public enterprises minister Leon Jooste has said.

Namibian Sun asked Jooste whether the entity would operate in limbo like the Roads Contractor Company, whose future the state must still decide on despite suggesting that it go into judicial management back in 2016.

“The Agribusdev consultations are ongoing and a final decision will be made before year-end,” Jooste said.

Agriculture minister Calle Schlettwein made a 10-page submission detailing his reasons for Agribusdev to be dissolved, Namibian Sun reported in September.

“Farming decisions and operational matters were decided from head office with great delays; financial decisions from head offices deprived green schemes from getting required inputs in time, if at all,” he said.

He further listed poor management of the operations, assets and finances of the green schemes as well as a “restrictive” management model as the biggest challenges.

Outsource it

Schlettwein proposed that green schemes be outsourced to private operators and that they must operate as separate business entities, each with a dedicated steering committee to oversee the management of projects.

He also wants project managers for each project, who will be responsible for day-to-day operations.

The minister accused Agribusdev of charging small-scale farmers exorbitant lease fees, at times more than N$11 000 monthly. They also pay a 5% administration fee to Agribusdev.

“Small-scale farmers are prohibited from making use of unused land lying fallow because management has not leased the unoccupied plots to the farmers,” he said.

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