The agriculture ministry is currently trying to secure 1 200 hectares needed for Neckartal Dam’s phase two that involves agricultural production.
Line minister Calle Schlettwein in a statement yesterday said the ministry has managed to acquire 3 800 hectares of 5 000 hectares needed.
Crops envisaged for the land include dates, grapes, grains, horticulture and lucerne.
Phase one, which is the construction of the dam, was completed in November 2019 at a cost of N$ 5.7 billion.
The dam has a holding capacity of 857 million cubic metres of water, making it Namibia’s largest dam to date. Government envisioned using its own resources to complete phase two – but due to recent global and national economic headwinds that negatively affected government’s fiscal position, it is no longer possible.
Thus, the ministry, in collaboration with public-private partnership (PPP) unit at the finance ministry, has initiated the process to operationalise the Neckartal Dam Irrigation Project.
“The PPP Unit is currently busy screening the project for PPP suitability after which all other activities will follow suit. The timeframes of the activities will be communicated to the public once the PPP Unit has concluded the screening process,” explained Schlettwein.
Although there are proposals to hold a conference to discuss the implementation of phase two, he said it is premature to entertain and engage in a parallel process, while a similar process is already being carried out by the government through the line ministry.
“The government will therefore continue to explore PPP for the development and operation of green schemes, especially the commercial components thereof, including through venture capital funding and other funding avenues that may be available,” said Schlettwein.