The trade and industrialisation ministry (MIT), in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), has invited interest from national, regional and continental private entities to operate an invader bush processing plant.
Through a project, called ‘Promoting Sustainable Bush-Processing Value Chains in Namibia’, the collaborative effort seeks a private operator to manage the Otjiwarongo-based plant on pure commercial principles.
According to deputy executive director of the trade ministry Michael Humavindu, the successful private operator will enter into a contract with the ministry and will, through ministerial supervision and technical assistance from UNIDO, ensure the preparedness and maintenance of the bush-processing plant.
Amongst various expected tasks, the successful operator should also provide technical support to ensure appropriate ground conditions, as well the setting up, testing and commissioning of a feed mill and charcoal retorts.
Additional tasks for the private operator include developing a plan for harvesting and storing good quality raw material for animal feed and developing training work plans for personnel.
The joint project, which also involves other key stakeholders and partners, supports the sustainable use and management of resources to stimulate inclusive and sustainable industrial development. In the framework of Vision 2030 and the fifth National Development Plan (NDP 5), the project aims to contribute to domestic economic development, environmental protection and an increase in food security.
“In particular, the project assists in addressing the challenge of bush encroachment through conducting feasibility and market intelligence analyses, to transfer technologies and knowhow appropriate for harvesting and development of end-use products, and to support capacity development for the establishment of viable and sustainable bush-processing value chains,” Humavindu stated.
The project’s main phase includes the transfer of know-how and technologies to national beneficiaries for manufacturing products using encroacher bush.
The processing plant facility will have production targets similar to a commercial operating entity and will focus on enhanced employment opportunities for the youth, local communities, women and farmers.
Humavindu explained: “This phase of the project involves local stakeholders for capacity development, exposure to cleaner technology and an efficient production system as well as to generate interest from entrepreneurs for future investment”.
To enable establishing the pilot production entity, the MIT-UNIDO facilitated the procurement and delivery of the technologies and machinery appropriate for the production of animal feed and charcoal, and suitable to Namibian conditions.
The pilot production entity, established at Otjiwarongo, will focus on producing animal feed and biochar from encroacher bush.