Although Namibia is one of the driest countries in sub-Saharan Africa, it is possible to produce staple food grains such as pearl millet or mahangu, white maize and wheat.
Namibia also has a steadily growing horticultural sector that produces crops that include potatoes, onions, tomatoes and carrots. Most of these crops are cultivated under rain fed conditions resulting in fluctuating yield and profitability for producers.
Controlled grain crops under the NAB’s jurisdiction are white maize and products thereof, wheat and products thereof and mahangu.
The private sector has over the years constructed silos to meet the needs of commercial millers. Much later, state-owned silos were built across northern Namibia to ensure that the government is able to meet its main objective of building up a minimum strategic reserve. Presently, these silos store both mahangu and white maize and may in future also be used to store wheat and cowpeas.
These silos are strategically positioned in Katima Mulilo, Rundu, Okongo, Omuthiya and Tsandi.
There are currently 17 government owned silos across these five sites, with a current storage capacity of 15 400 tons. The capacity in the future for these silos is envisaged to be 20 400 tons.
Currently, these silos store both maize and mahangu. There are 41 commercial millers registered with the NAB, 15 of whom process mahangu grains and 19 who process white maize. Of the remaining seven millers, two process both mahangu and white maize and five process both maize and wheat.
Producers sell their surplus grain to the registered millers who mill and package the meal/ flour to sell to the general public as well as to government institutions, especially in the regions where mahangu is a staple food.
These institutions include school hostels, hospitals, the ministry of defence and the ministry of health.