Tuesday 18 May 2021
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15 Tractors missing at Agri-ministry

Five months later, the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry is yet to receive 15 of the 50 tractors it has procured for its Dry Land Crop Production Programme, to be delivered to the intended recipients.
The ministry forked out over N$22 million for 50 tractors for the program but only 35 were handed over in June 2018.
The 50 tractors are supposed to be an addition to the 132 tractor fleet the Ministry already has.
During the handover ceremony in June, the Ministry stated that the remaining tractors were to be delivered at a later stage, but did not specify when exactly.
Ministerial officials informed The Patriot this week that the tractors are yet to be delivered and indicated that the ministerial leadership has been silent on the matter.
Attempts to get comments from the ministry’s Permanent Secretary Percy Misika were futile as calls made to the PS were not answered. He however responded by SMS that he would get back to this reporter soonest, but failed to do so before going to print.
The unexplained delay has cause panic among the intended beneficiaries with farmers querying when the remaining tractors will be the handed over to them.
The programme, which is implemented in the crop growing regions of Kavango East, Kavango West, Zambezi, Kunene North, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Otjozondjupa and Omaheke is aimed to increasing food production and enhance household food security.
The minister’s speech on the day made reference to the Windhoeker Maschinen Fabrik as one of the companies the ministry procured the tractors from, but makes no mention from where the remaining tractors, already paid for, will come.
“These tractors, which I have the honour to officially distribute to the regions today, consist of 35, 4×4-66kW New Hollands tractors while the other 15 tractors will be distributed at a later stage,” reads the speech. Sources within the ministry say the ministry seems to be waiting on the tractors to arrive from China, but there are bottlenecks in the process expressing fear as to how these Chinese tractors would be fixed should they encounter mechanical troubles.
“It is perplexing that there was no mention of where the remaining tractors were going to come from and when the tractors will be delivered.
We understand that that August 26 Holdings Company has a hand in the remaining tractors because they were at the handover and recognized as per protocol.
But that as it may, the ministry should answer to this,” said a source within the ministry.
On the minister’s acknowledgement list, he acknowledged August 26 CEO George Kaxuxuena, and two Brigadiers- general for being present at the event.
The agriculture sector remains central to the lives of the majority of the Namibian population, directly and indirectly supporting over 70 percent of the country’s population for sustenance, income and livelihood.

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