By Johannes Hangula and
ETUNDA and Uvhungu-Vhungu irrigation schemes recorded combined losses of over N$15 million between 2013 and 2015 the annual report of the two produced by AGRIBUSDEV reveals.
According to the report, Etunda, one of the biggest green schemes in the country recorded a loss of closer to N$10 million during the 2014/15 financial year.
Situated in Ruacana constituency in the Omusati region; Etunda which is also one of the irrigation projects hardest hit by the deleterious caterpillars and it is likely to lose another N$5 million due to the infestation; also lost N$4.6 million in in the 2013/14 financial year.
Uvhungu-Vhungu, in the Kavango East region recorded a loss of N$504 161 in 2014/15 financial years and N$82 294 in 2013/14.
The losses, according to the report are mainly associated with high cost of electricity, fertilizer, chemicals and lower productivity.
“In total, the aggregated losses of the six irrigation farms amounted to N$1 931 683 in financial year 2014/15, and N$ 1931 683 in 2013/14 financial year. This shows a significant decrease of N$549 804 in losses from 2013/14 to 2014/15 financial year,” AGRIBUSDEV revealed.
AGRIBUSDEV is responsible for overseeing the development and management of the agriculture ministry’s 11 Green Scheme Irrigation Projects, and is currently developing a 10 000 hectares irrigation project in Noordoewer in the //Kharas region. Another irrigation project is earmarked for Tsumeb in the Oshikoto region. The farm is approximately 140 hectares.
The irrigation projects also face challenges such as limited budget that impedes envisaged activities, high cost of production at farm level and limited local skills to manage production at these green scheme farms.
On the other hand Sikondo and Shadikongoro irrigation projects posted profits of N$1 262 276 and N$2 288 783, respectively in 2013/14.
During the financial year 2014/15 AGRIBUSDEV received a grant from the line ministry of N$14 543 188 earmarked for the operational budget.
“The expenditure of the budget stood at N$11 500 209, representing an execution rate of 79 percent. In the same vein, the operational budget for the financial year 2013/14 was N$10 834 061, the expenditure level was N$3 070 637, representing an execution rate of 28 percent.”
The low expenditure rate in year 2013/14 is associated with the infancy status of the institution because most internal policies had not been drafted to guide the operational activities of the company. It is also worthwhile to note that the company personnel remunerations structure by then was not market-related; hence most of the positions were vacant at the time.
During the financial year 2014/15, the grant from MAWF was N$51 4595. The expenditure level for same budget was N$ 34 109 337, representing an execution rate of 66 percent. However, in the previous financial year, 2013/14, no capital budget was granted to AGRIBUSDEV.
Queried about issues emanating from the report yesterday, Agriculture Minister John Mutorwa referred the questions to AGRIBUSDEV mananging director Petrus Uugwanga.
“Those are technical figures. Ask Mr Uugwanga, I am not hiding anything he must explain that to you,” said Mutorwa. Uugwanga could also not comment as he was apparently in a meeting and asked to be called later.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015