Kalimbeza Rice now available commercially

30 June 2015 | Agriculture

More than 70 metric tons of rice from the Kalimbeza National Rice Project in the Zambezi Region was dispatched into the local commercial market this past Friday. This was announced by Agriculture, Water and Forestry Minister, John Mutorwa, at the launch of the Agricultural Business Development (AgriBusDev) strategic plan and logo, where the commercialisation of Kalimbeza Rice was also confirmed. Mutorwa said the 70 metric tons of rice will hopefully double or even triple by next year. He said the dispatching of the rice into the market goes with assurance to consumers and the general public at large that it has been tested by the Namibian Standards Institution (NSI) in the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development. Nutritional and other essential information are affixed to the product. “From the laboratory results, it is significant to point out that no pesticides or any other harmful chemical residue was detected,” said Mutorwa. He added that the rice is very safe, from a food safety point of view. “Let us therefore take pride in Kalimbeza Rice, by making it part of our daily shopping basket,” he said. Deals with many outlets and retailers are currently being sealed. Mutorwa added that through national collective interventions, milestones have been recorded in the quest for national food security. According to him, in 2013 sufficient volumes of maize grains had been produced and government did not import any of the that were distributed to the affected and needy beneficiaries under the drought relief programme during that year. He said the grains were all sourced from the government’s National Strategic Food Reserves and green scheme irrigation projects which supplied more than 95% of the stock. “During 2015, which is also a year of drought, the annual average national maize production countrywide unfortunately dropped significantly, from approximately 60 000 metric tons, to roughly 30 000 metric tons.” Mutorwa, however, added that approximately 18 000 metric tons of the 30 000 metric tons comes from green scheme projects. He said the Sikondo Green Scheme Irrigation Project, which was inaugurated in March last year, scooped the Agronomic Producer award for 2015 and also the Major Supplier of Vegetables to the Fresh Produce Hubs award in 2014. WINDHOEK ELLANIE SMIT

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