Nakayale Agricultural Project
Already during the conceptualizing and planning of the Nakayale Private Academy at Etunda in the Omusati Region of Namibia, a private primary school, where tuition and boarding is free for marginalized children of the western part of the region, a decision was taken by the Dirk Mudge Trust to be the masters of our own destiny as far as funding the operations of the school.
The school opened its doors in January 2016 to 60 learners from Grades 0 to 2, a principal, hostel manager, 4 teachers, 11 kitchen- and cleaning staff members, 1 gardener, 3 maintenance and 4 security people. The facilities include an 8 class room school, boys hostel, girls hostel, hall, kitchen, laundry room and admin block.
The initial plan to establish an agricultural project on the same land as the school proved to be not feasible due to the poor soil quality. In June 2016 we acquired 80ha of agricultural land on the Olushandja Dam. We established irrigation infrastructure and immediately started to cultivate the land, of which 50% is already under production. To date we have harvested sweet potatoes, maize, green beans and gem squash, with 45 000 cabbage plants, 20 000 tomato plants, butternuts and another crop of maize currently in the ground. Next to go in is watermelons and sweet potatoes. A third 6.5ha pivot will be developed and a 18ha plot will be brought into production at the start of the rainy season.
The agricultural project is registered as a department of the Nakayale Private Academy, an Article 21 company not for gain, and all proceeds of the project will go towards funding the school. We are confident that we will be able, through careful management and successful marketing of our produce, to build up enough reserves to add another primary school to the existing facility, resulting in a junior primary school for 120 learners as well as a senior primary school for another 120 learners.
Already in the planning phase is the establishment of a farmers co-operative for small scale farmers around the dam, to share new farming methods, new varieties and marketing opportunities.