The abundance of fresh produce in areas around Tsumeb, which has for many years existed without a relatively stable market, will be promoted by the construction of a tomato processing factory here.
The factory will be processing tomatoes into canned puree, canned concentrate, canned peeled tomato sauces in pouches and processing of pineapples into pineapple juice concentrates.
The factory will be set up by Oshikoto Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. The envisaged project is expected to create employment during the construction and operational phases.
This idea was welcomed by Tsumeb Municipality’s chief executive officer, Alfeus Benjamin, who said he is determined to drive the town to prosperity and economic development.
“We have developed these areas for industrial purposes and land is readily available for development. It’s just a matter of investors [needed] to come and do business” said Benjamin.
According to documents seen by this reporter, the construction of the factory was halted due to the magnitude of the project, which resulted in the piece of land allocated to Oshikoto Fresh Fruit and Vegetables requiring a swap.
The land allocated measured 2 932.86 square metre (m2), which was considered small, thus the investors requested a more suitable size – at least 6 000 m2. However, the alternative piece of land, measuring 6 380.05 m2, to be swapped belonged to Namibia Development Corporation (NDC).
The proposal was then forwarded to NDC in September last year, but NDC could not grant permission, as they needed approval from the Ministry of Trade and SME Development, who had to seek the attorney general’s legal opinion.
The letter indicates that the process was only completed in February, whereby the ministry directed the two parties to proceed and negotiate options of swapping and paying the differences, or leasing the land.
The project will receive the go-ahead once council approves the exchange of the two erven.