Mutorwa stresses importance of fresh fruit and veggie producers

Windhoek: The Namibian Market Share Promotion – or MSP as it is known in the horticulture industry – is a concept that is critical in the development and growth of the horticultural sector in the Republic of Namibia.

The MSP was implemented in 2005 whereby all traders in horticultural fresh fruit and vegetables were required to purchase at least 5% of all their fruit and vegetables from local producers. This minimum percentage has increased steadily over the past ten years to its current level of 41.5%. In his keynote address at this year’s National Horticulture Day, delivered by Sirkka Iilka, Chairperson of the Namibian Agronomic Board, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF), John Mutorwa, said about the 41.5% MSP, “It is the industry organisational structures that have enabled this remarkable feat. The progress in this sector has been tremendous and from a government perspective, this translates into huge strides because it means that as a nation, we are in a position to become increasingly food secure and food self-sufficient and less dependent on food imports to sustain our population,” said Mutorwa. He added that the objective is to offer Namibian citizens fresh fruit and vegetables that have been proudly produced in Namibia. Produce that is not only better and fresher but produce that helps stimulate employment and our economy.

“It is critical to build a strong marketing mechanism that bridges the gap between producers to consumers in ways that are cost effective, efficient, regulated and properly managed. The process of supplying fresh produce from the land and onto the tables of Namibian consumers comprises a value chain of producers, traders and consumers that makes up a vibrant and strong agronomic industry within our borders,” Mutorwa said. The Chairperson of the Namibia Agricultural Board (NAB),Iileka told the gathering that “the objective of the Namibian Agronomic Board – to promote a vibrant and dynamic agronomic industry that is inclusive of all its stakeholders,” adding that the NAB – facilitates the collaboration between producers’, and traders’ associations, for vibrant stakeholder engagement required to serve the needs of the industry.