Strict rules for Green Scheme Projects in communal areas

Windhoek: The newly launched Green Scheme Policy makes provision for five farming models from which one may choose the preferred approach to be given development. One of these models is ideally suited for private development in communal areas and has already attracted the attention of potential developer.

Under this farming model an investor is not required to prescribe to any farm management structure of the Green Scheme Policy. Under the model, a private investor who has acquired or identified an area not less than 30 hectares and who intends to register his or her project as a Green Scheme must follow certain procedures.

Such an investor must obtain written consent from the relevant Traditional Authority, and after such consent the investor has to conduct a feasibility study in consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry and Ministry of Environment and Tourism, particularly on water rights and environmental impact assessment.

Once all the necessary rights have been obtained, an investor must submit an application for a leasehold to the relevant Regional Land Board for approval by the Ministry of Land Rerform.

Once the leasehold has been granted, an investor must present a written application and business pan to Agribusdev for consideration and possible registration of the project as a Green Scheme Project.

After approval by Agibusdev the investor was to develop the land as per approved business plan. The inclusion of a small scale irrigation farming component is not mandatory under this model but highly recommendable.

Under this model an investor will be required to adhere to good agricultural practices and implement hazard analysis and critical control point systems. He or she will have to ensure efficient and sustainable utilisation of land, water and other resources while at the same time enhancing occupational health and safety standards.