In the heart of Namibia’s picturesque Kavango East region lies a thriving community of over 300 small-scale farmers who are changing the landscape of agronomy and horticulture. These dedicated individuals have made remarkable strides in agricultural production, contributing significantly to Namibia’s food security. The 2023 National Agronomic and Horticulture Awards (NAHA) ceremony held at the Mashare Blueberries Green Scheme celebrated their remarkable achievements. This article delves into the promising future of Okavango Region’s small-scale farmers and their crucial role in Namibia’s agriculture.
The Agricultural Powerhouse of Okavango Region:
Kavango East Governor Bonifatius Wakudumo proudly declared that his region is home to a dynamic community of small-scale farmers, primarily focusing on controlled agronomic and horticultural crops such as white maize, pearl millet, green peppers, tomatoes, and leafy vegetables. This region boasts some of Namibia’s most productive green scheme irrigation projects, including Uvungu Vungu and Ndonga Linena irrigation projects. Governor Wakudumo highlighted a significant milestone, with 17% of locally harvested white maize grain in Namibia originating from Kavango East. This remarkable achievement reflects the region’s immense potential for growth and development.
Unlocking Opportunities Through Investment:
Governor Wakudumo emphasized that Okavango Region holds untapped opportunities waiting to be explored through strategic investments. These investments could not only bolster the region’s socioeconomic status but also create employment opportunities, enhance capacity building, and scale up agricultural production. The potential for growth in this region is undeniable, and the commitment to realizing it is unwavering.
The Namibia Agronomic Board’s Vision:
Fidelis Mwazi, CEO of the Namibia Agronomic Board, shared the board’s mission to empower local farmers, enabling them to increase yields and ensure Namibia’s food self-sufficiency. The board plays a pivotal role in promoting the agronomic industry while facilitating the production, processing, storage, and marketing of controlled agricultural products within the country. This commitment aligns perfectly with the aspirations of small-scale farmers in the Okavango Region.
The NAHA ceremony was not just a gathering; it was a celebration of excellence. Awards were presented across various categories, with honors such as the Naha agronomy awards for the best maize, mahangu, and wheat producers of the year. The highlight was the presentation of N$30,000 vouchers to the Best Agronomy Award of the Year winner and the Best Horticulture Producer of the Year. These rewards acknowledge the relentless dedication of farmers who tirelessly strive for excellence.
A Sustainable Vision: Avagro Group’s Success Story:
Among the recipients of the prestigious NAHA awards was the Avagro Group from Swakopmund, recognized as the Master Crop Value Chain Actor. Their dedication to sustainable agricultural solutions earned them a substantial N$60,000 prize. The company’s founder, [Founder’s Name], expressed their commitment to innovation, emphasizing the importance of a dedicated team working tirelessly to revolutionize Namibia’s agricultural landscape. The Avagro Group, which started as a humble olive oil field in 2014, has now expanded to over three hectares, overcoming harsh climate conditions and unsuitable soil through the power of technology. Their success story serves as a beacon of hope for Namibian agriculture, with products reaching markets as far as South Africa.
The small-scale farmers of the Okavango Region are not just cultivators of crops; they are champions of progress and sustainability. Their unwavering commitment to agricultural excellence is transforming Namibia’s agronomic and horticultural landscape. As investments pour in and innovation takes center stage, the future holds even greater promise for this thriving community. The 2023 NAHA ceremony was not just a celebration of their past achievements; it was a glimpse into a future where the Okavango Region’s small-scale farmers lead Namibia towards agricultural prosperity and self-sufficiency.
Stay updated with the latest farming tips and agriculture industry news from Africa by subscribing to our newsletter. Don’t miss out on valuable insights and updates. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to join our farming community and stay connected with us.