Inaugurated in late January this year, The National Agriculture Technology Centre (NATC) in Rundu is about to start operations soon
The centre was inaugurated by Agricultural Business Development (AGRIBUSDEV), an agency of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry and has been setting up equipment and other machinery, as well as recruiting staff. It will soon offer farm machinery repair services to commercial and communal farmers and also manufacture nuts and bolts. A local engineer, Reinhold Nsinano has been appointed manager and along with other engineers, starts work this week.
The facility was started with the objective of setting up a comprehensive system for farm machinery and equipment management, in order to support farmers. The centre will be involved in repair, maintenance and assembling of agricultural machinery and will also conduct research and development with the aim of manufacturing and creation of new technologies suitable to agriculture in the country.
During the launch event in January, John Murtowa, minister of agriculture, water and forestry, said, “There is indeed no doubt that, with this centre in operation, farmers will be more appropriately assisted in terms of their precious time and valuable money that they had to spend in travelling long distances to receive those essential services.” He had added that AGRIBUSDEV would work closely with other agencies of the ministry to ensure proper coordination and supervision of the centre’s activities and functions.
NATC was set up at the cost of about US$3mn and took 19 months to be built. Another similar facility is being constructed at Ongwediva in the Oshana region and is expected to be ready by November this year.