GOBABIS: Plans to set up a dairy processing and packaging plant in the Omaheke Region are on track.
Regional Governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua told Nampa on Wednesday that the Regional Council has made steady progress in its plans to bring this large-scale development to Omaheke.
She said the Regional Council has had constant briefing sessions with the Office of the President, relevant Ministries and members of the community at large, where updates on progress aregiven.
An Advisory Committee which will guide and advise on the progress and the logistics during the formative process, has also been formed.
McLeod-Katjirua said the Regional Council, in consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, is readying itself for the formalisation of a feasibility study and a business plan for the initiative.
“We have visited the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry to brief him on the progress made so far. The minister, Honourable John Mutorwa, assured us of his support, and committed researchers and analysts to our guests from India,” she said.
The Regional Council has also gone out of its way to mobilise the community, and create awareness for their ‘buy-in’ into the milk-processing venture.
“The resuscitation of the dairy industry in the Omaheke Region will address one of the most critical challenges facing our region, and indeed the whole country – the problem of unemployment. An urgent need for the creation of employment opportunities, therefore, exists,” she noted.
McLeod-Katjirua, accompanied by farmers and other experts in the dairy field, travelled to India in May this year to familiarise themselves with dairy production in that country, at the invitation of that country’s National Dairy Development Board NDDB).
The NDDB is known for the production and processing of milk through the Amul-Anand pattern, the world’s largest pouched milk brand.
Considered as a formidable hub for livestock farming, Omaheke became ideal as host region for this venture.
With more than 600 000 head of cattle and where 60 per cent of the inhabitants are livestock farmers, the region is well-placed to establish a dairy project.
The project is expected to cost N.dollars 6 million during its initial stages.