Rice from the Kalimbeza project in the Zambezi region will soon be ready for the local market.
The agribusiness investment and consulting firm, AgriBusDev, says Namibia’s home-grown rice will be branded and available on local supermarket shelves by August 10 at the latest.
More than 70 metric tonnes of rice from the Kalimbeza National Rice Project near Katima Mulilo in Zambezi will be distributed to local commercial outlets, AgriBusDev’s managing director, Petrus Uugwanga confirmed to New Era on Monday. He said they are currently finalising the logistics and are committed to doubling their output over the next year: “It is our commitment and engagement to double this amount. Come next year, it should be 140 tonnes and above, or even triple this amount.”
The supply of Kalimbeza rice to the local market comes shortly after the launch of the first-ever strategic plan for AgriBusDev and the official launch of the commercialisation of Namibia’s home-grown rice in June this year. Officially launching the project, the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa, said he is hopeful the amount would double, or even triple by 2016.
Mutorwa said the availability of this locally-grown rice product comes with the assurance to consumers and the general public at large that the product has been tested by the Namibian Standards Institution (NSI). The product contains no pesticides, or any other harmful chemical residue and is thus fit for human consumption, he said.
Regarding laboratory tests on the rice, the minister said it is important to note that no pesticides or any other harmful chemical residues were detected: “This rice is very safe. Let us therefore take pride in Kalimbeza rice by making it part of our daily shopping basket.”
AgriBusDev is currently working together with the Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency of Namibia to conclude deals with various consumer outlets to stock the locally grown rice. At present, it is available only at National Fresh Produce hubs in Ongwediva and Rundu and at the Kalimbeza National Rice Project.