Green schemes roped in for barley farming

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Windhoek

Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) and Agribusdev yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the production of barley at some of the country’s green scheme projects.

The MoU, inked in the capital, could see Namibia’s dependence on the annual importation of 45 000 tonnes of malted barley shrink by next winter.

At the signing ceremony the Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF), Abraham Nehemia, said the agreement was the result of successful trials conducted at Shadikongoro in Kavango last year.

The trials were executed by the University of Namibia (Unam) and MAWF. Nehemia stressed the importance of MAWF exercising its mandate of increasing food security, crop diversification and enhancing barley growth capability.

He said the common intention of the three parties that signed the MoU is to promote, commit to and implement a 10-year Barley Industry Development Plan to broaden Namibia’s industrial base, boost local crop production, capacitate beverage manufacturing through local sourcing, support growth and create additional employment.

The managing director of NBL, Wessie van der Westhuizen, said the project could create an additional 2 500 jobs in the long term and contribute considerably toward Vision 2030. He said the barley would be used in a variety of products such as non-alcoholic beers, and NBL is also excited about new product lines it is busy working on for which the barley will also be used.

MD of Agribusdev, Petrus Uugwanga, said it will be a long-term project and that a project agreement between the parties will be signed before the start of the next winter crop season in May/June 2016.

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