Namibia gets a ‘superfarm’ dairy

Namibia Dairies is developing a state-of-the-art dairy farm which will double its milk supply to the country and significantly reduce imports from South Africa.
/~The company, a subsidiary of the Olthaver and List Group, is Namibia’s largest dairy producer. The new ”superfarm” is under construction in the Hardap Irrigation Scheme near Mariental at an estimated capital expenditure of about $10m. When complete, it will consolidate the company’s farming operations and produce about 60,000 litres of milk per day, according to Ingo Stinnes, business improvement project manager of Namibia Dairies.
Latest technology in cow housing and milk parlour equipment will be imported from South Africa, Israel and other parts of the world to ensure maximum cow health and milk quality in the dry, hot Namibian climate. This includes the rotary system of milking, which delivers a detailed computerised report every time the cow steps onto the rotary platform for milking. The system modernises and simplifies dairy management significantly, says Stinnes. Cow housing is designed to keep the free-range cows as cool as possible with prevailing winds during the hot days and protected against mud in major downpours – both regular occurrences of the weather patterns in Mariental.
The farm will produce its own fodder, in conjunction with contract farmers from the area. A comprehensive waste management system is also planned. In the short term, manure will be used to fertilize pastures, but in the long term a biodigesting system is envisaged to produce electricity from manure. All dams are lined to avoid contamination of ground water.
The farm should be operational by mid-2009. The milk will be transported to Namibia Dairies’ factory in Windhoek for further processing. The increased milk supply will not be enough to make the country self-sufficient, but will lessen its dependency on South African imports, according to Stinnes.
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