N$12 Million Facility Unveiled

The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry last week on Thursday inaugurated agricultural control facilities and accommodation for its employees at Noordoewer Border Post. The facilities are worth over N$12 million.

At the occasion, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Lempy Lukas, said the facilities are part of the first phase of three other such facilities at Ariamsvlei, Buitepos and Oshikango border posts. The second phase, which is currently under construction, involves similar facilities at Swartbooisdrift, Oronditi, Mahenene, Kasamane, Katwitwi, Wenela and Dobe.

Lukas said the control of agricultural commodities at the country’s ports of entry is part of the national animal and plant health and food safety strategy and is in fulfilment of Namibia’s obligations under the World Trade Organisation Sanitary and Phytosanitary agreements.

“The aim is to ensure that trade in agricultural products is conducted in an orderly and safe manner to protect human, animal and plant health. These standards also pertain to commodities in transit through Namibia to other countries,” said Lukas.

She said it is the obligation of all stakeholders to ensure all commodities exported to other countries meet the various requirements. She said over the past eight years employees of the ministry had to carry out their duties under very difficult circumstances. However, this situation has now been addressed with the construction of 12 houses of which eleven are two-bedroomed and one is three-bedroomed. An office complex comprising of offices, a boardroom, cold storage room and mini laboratory were also commissioned.

Lukas said an animal handling facility with watering and feeding equipments was built to assist exporters of animals on the hoof. The animals will be kraaled at the facility before they cross the border.

Noordoewer handles about 40 per cent of Namibia’s land imports and exports and therefore the ministry’s g presence at the town cannot be overemphasised, she said. The Regional Councillor of Karasburg Constituency, Paulus Ephraim, at the same occasion praised the agriculture ministry for bringing many developments to the area. He cited the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of a water pipe direct from the Orange River to Aussenkehr and the facilities at Noordoewer as shining examples. When completed, the water pipe at Aussenkehr will bring relief to the about 25 000 people currently living at the fast growing town.

Source : New Era