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Farm Management – Are the green schemes being poorly managed?

Farm management involve a holistic approach for various management strategies and methods that are used to keep a farm productive and profitable. Hence, a farm manager should ensure that the  farm operates in full swing for maximum production  and profit. For a farm to be managed successfully, it requires expertise on plant and animal sciences for information on fertilizer, seeds , soils, insects and disease, breeding, on agricultural engineering for information on farm buildings, machinery, irrigation, erosion control systems, agricultural policy and the list goes on. For a farm to be successful the farm manager have to integrate a variety of processes and information from the biological, physical and social sciences.

According to sources, underfunding, lack of expertise and a limited local market for produce are crippling the government’s green scheme projects.Agribusdev, the agency that manages the 11 green schemes, haven`t been  receiving proper funding  and this has led to a cycle of most projects at the green schemes not reaching their full productivity. The agency have been requesting up to N$ 1 billion over the past five years for the green schemes, but they fell short by only receiving an amount of N$ 90 million between the 2014/15 and 2018/19 budget years. This amount of money that the agency has received wasn`t enough and has led to most projects being affected; which include the uvhungu-vhungu, shadikongoro, the Rundu ATC, Hardap, Etunda, Kalimbeza, Ndonga Linea, Sikondo and operation being carried out at the Orange River.

The Agriculture executive director percymisika has instructed Agribus dev to choose only four green scheme projects to which the government can commit funding. The rest of the green schemes will be  leased out to the private sector to reduce the exorbitant costs that comes with running and managing the projects. Some of the farm managers at the green schemes are agreeing that the issues that is affecting the scheme on the ground is adequate funding. However, another issue that is affecting the green scheme is the marketing process.

The marketing plays a very critical role in any entity. The question remains, how are the green schemes supposed to deliver and get their final product to the consumers out there? According to one of the manager, managing one of the green scheme he claims that  there are only a few buyers of their grain, which include the Agro-marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA) and the millers. AMTA is the main buyer, and by speculation , they are concern  that it does not have sufficient  funds to pay for the grain, forcing them to sell to millers at lower prices. Is good farm management practices really being done at the green scheme ? How long should they be run counting on the government to bail them out ? Aren`t they supposed to be run profitable and self-sufficient ?

It is high time that the green scheme start to be operated, strategically and with the aim of making a profit. Proper marketing system also needs to be in place to ensure that the commodities that is being  produced at the green scheme are distributed throughout the entire country. Based on Agribusdev`s 2017 annual report, it is stated that 80% of the green schemes products are sold in their primary form, with little or no value added. This situation makes the green scheme less competitive. Basically, it’s such gaps and loopholes that needs to be given attention hence the green schemes need to come up withways on how they can add value to these products, either in terms of packaging, labelling or other  means to maximize profits.