Oranjemund’s agriculture project thrives

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Background

OMDis Town Transform Agency “OMDis” was established in August of 2019 as an S21 Company by NAMDEB Diamond Corporation with the sole purpose of proactively accelerating the diversification of the Oranjemund economy, alongside the efforts of other town stakeholders. The goal of the agency is to transform the Town’s economic future beyond mining.

To ensure town sustainability, OMDis need to implement projects that will stimulate the local economy.  The project is called Town Transformation, and includes such stakeholders such as Oranjemund Town Council, OMDis and OMD 2030. A transformed town provides livelihoods for residents, a sense of belonging, and a future for the community. Oranjemund has had one economic driver for the last 84 years: diamond mining. Therefore, OMDis wants to stimulate the economy through an array of projects in Tourism, Healthcare, Agriculture, SME Development, Education, Renewable Energy, and Property Development.

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OMDis’ business objectives include:

  • Support existing businesses to become more sustainable
  • Develop new SMEs and a culture of entrepreneurship
  • Create large new industry platforms that can support the economy alongside or instead of mining

Namdeb in 2015, under the Town Transformation and Sustainability department, started a pilot agriculture project with the aim to do research and development on the viability of crop production in Oranjemund. This project was implemented on 2.5 hectares and utilizes water from the town that is charged at agriculture rates. This project is one of the numerous projects for the future economic diversification of Oranjemund.

Since 2015, numerous trials were run, and the most feasible crops were determined. Apart from the existing fruit trees that have been planted, we are currently producing  tomatoes (Esty and Durene), English cucumbers (Delft), Green beans,  Cherry tomatoes (Tinker), Strawberries,  Green peppers (Duke), Chilies, Garlic, Onions, Pumpkin, Gem squash, Butternuts, Cabbage, Ginger, Turmeric, Baby marrows and Watermelon.

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Currently, the project employs 20 local people. The capital investment into the project consists of the development and operational costs of N$15million over a period of 5 years.

The stage of research and development is now completed, and the project is now ready to be commercialised. Expansion activities include:

  • Swartskop Expansion (6 hectares) for vegetables and tourism activities
  • Root plantation of garlic, ginger on a 12hectre plot
  • Food processing inclusive of packaging and distribution to the markets
  • Olives in Salty Pans (Briskish water)
  • Grass Fodder Production
  • Indigenous Herbs

Additionally, there are 500 hectares along the Orange River that are ideal for large scale agriculture. The land is currently under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Environment, Tourism, and Forestry. It is critically important to avail of this land for the agriculture expansion and hence to contribute towards food security of the //Kharas Region and Namibia at large.
For more information, please contact the Business Development Manager, Aunie Gideon at 063-234344, cell:0811271988 and email at aunie@omdis.co.

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