More Shops Opt for Local Is Lekker

Namibia’s Market Share Promotion (MSP) has grown to 41.5 percent since its implementation in 2005 when retailers, traders, and caterers where only required to source at least 5 percent of their total fresh produce from the local market before opting to import.

This was revealed at the National Horticulture Day celebration held in Outapi last week on Thursday.

Decorated with fresh produce produced locally, the Omusati Regional Council Hall was filled with farmers, who had joined the Namibian Agronomic Board, National Horticulture Task Team, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry.

Others at the event was the Agro-Marketing Trade Agency and Agribank of Namibia.

The event was hosted to celebrate the achievements made to improve local production of horticulture fresh fruit and vegetables.

Speaking at the event the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry, Joseph Iita, alluded to the fact horticulture’s overall objective is to stimulate and increase local production of horticulture fresh fruit and vegetables. He said its aim is also to decrease dependence on the importation of commodities that could be produced locally.

“In an effort to create an approach based on inclusivity and equal opportunity in the agronomic sector, the government embarked on the Green Scheme programme, a programme aimed at investing in and increasing food production through irrigation,” stated Iita.

Iita encouraged retailers who are part of the South African retail chains to source their produce locally and import commodities that are not cultivated in Namibia.

He encouraged consumers to buy local products emphasising that buying local help to create jobs.

“By buying local, you help to create jobs, you play your part in stimulating a major economic driver in our country and you help create the demand for more,” emphasised Iita.

Also speaking at the celebration Agribank Regional Branch Manager in Oshakati John Nekwaya said the ingredient of success in farming is training in farming techniques to transfer skills in line with the changing market.

He said his institution is aware is aware that the major constraint is access to credit facilities with minimum collateral requirement.

“Agribank is hard at work to investigate the introduction of asset financing which should provide the much needed relief,” said Nekwaya.

The Oshikoto fresh fruit and vegetable scooped the large-scale producer award, while Johannes Kalenga walked away with the medium scale winning producer and Epafras Hilengwa scooped the emerging horticulture producer award.

Source : New Era