Since it started operations in 2010 the Agro Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA) has marketed no less than 52 949 metric tonnes of grain to the National Strategic Food Reserve (NSFR).
That includes 50 339 tonnes of maize and 2 610 tonnes of mahangu. Every year, farmers who have surplus of maize and mahangu sell their produce to AMTA. The marketing season begins on May 1 and lasts till the end of October.
“At the moment only maize and mahangu are being marketed to NSFR and plans are underway to accommodate other grain, like wheat and beans in the near future. Producers willing to sell grains to NSFR, including the Green Schemes Projects that are the main suppliers, start delivering their products to the grain storage facilities (silo).
“The price for both mahangu and maize is determined by the industry each year and overseen by the Namibian Agronomic Board,” says corporate brands and marketing officer of AMTA, Meke Uushona.
AMTA was established as a specialised agency of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) to coordinate and manage the marketing and trading of agricultural produce in Namibia.
AMTA’s mandate is to manage the Fresh Produce Business Hubs (FPBHs) and National Strategic Food Reserve (NSFR) infrastructure, towards the attainment of food safety and security. In performing its role, AMTA works closely with AgriBusDev and the Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB).
Uushona says, in line with its mandate, NSFR responded to the request from the Office of the Prime Minister’s [OPM] Directorate of Disaster and Risk Management (DDRM) to release grain from the reserve to respond to the food shortage in the country due to drought.
As a result of the persistent droughts the country has been experiencing during the past few years, the DDRM requested the release of grain from the grain reserve to alleviate the food shortage in the country.
For this reason AMTA received five purchasing orders since last April to release total tonnage of 22 873.635 (508 tonnes of mahangu and 22 365.635 tonnes white maize).
Uushona says the infrastructure belongs to government and is managed by AMTA-NSFR. With the help of government through the MAWF the storage capacity at Okongo silos has been expanded from 500 metric tonnes (MT) to 4 500 MT. This brought the national grain storage capacity to 22 900 MT.
She notes that future infrastructure will include the expansion of Rundu silos to 20 000 MT and the construction of a grain storage facility in the Maize Triangle area of Kombat..
Crop to stored
Maize & Mahangu
Maize & Mahangu
Zambezi Katima 7400 Maize
Total 22 900
Comprehensive Drought Relief Programme Total
Mahangu 368 140 508
Maize 11522 10844 22366
Total 11890 10984 22874
* Maize price is based on the import parity or SAFEX price, while mahangu is based on the production costs.