Govt acquires Neckartal farmland

The government has bought about 5 000 hectares of farmland around the Neckartal Dam for the development of an irrigation scheme.

19 December 2018 | Agriculture

The government has bought land around the Neckartal Dam that will be used for irrigation farming.

Agriculture ministry spokesperson Jona Musheko says purchase agreements for 5 000 hectares of privately owned land have been finalised. All that is now left is for the land to be transferred to the government.

“The [Neckartal] project team has already submitted the request letter to the Office of the Attorney General for the transfer of the commercial land to the government. The commercial farmers have already signed sale agreements with the government,” he said.

Irrigation activities will start as soon as the land has been transferred.

“Once the land is transferred to and registered as government property, AgriBusDev will spearhead the commencement of the project's phase two, which involves the irrigation scheme,” Musheko says.

The Windhoek Observer reported in April this year that government would probably have to pay a premium for the land in order to start an envisaged 5 000-hectare irrigation project that will be facilitated by AgriBusDev.

The government is said to have paid N$955 727 in compensation to 18 communal farmers who occupied 3 900 hectares of grazing land around the Neckartal Dam site, the Windhoek Observer reported.

“The 18 communal farmers have since been successfully relocated or resettled and paid under the Compensation Policy Guidelines for Communal Land as approved in terms of Cabinet Decision,” agriculture ministry permanent secretary Percy Misika said at the time.

The dam will supply water to a 5 000-hectare irrigation scheme, to grow mainly fruit, and is expected to employ close to 800 people permanently and about 1 000 more seasonal workers during harvesting.

It was built at a cost of over N$5.6 billion.

OGONE TLHAGE

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