Okamatapi Show in Otjiwarongo Promises to Be Bigger and Better

The 2014 Okamatapati Annual Industrial and Agricultural Show will be hosted by the Ongombe Farmers Association in Otjiwarongo from August 25 to August 30.

A very excited chief organiser of the show, Albert Tjihero, promises a bigger and better event with all Namibia’s top communal and emerging farmers having indicated that they will attend. More than 200 cattle and some 350 sheep and goats are expected at the show while the organisers are still waiting for confirmation from farmers in Kenya to showcase and sell their Boran cattle for the first time in Namibia. “But much bigger things are in the pipeline for next year,” says Tjihero. “I have just completed a series of discussions with the Otjiwarongo Show Society and we have decided in principle that the Ongombe Shop and the Otjiwarongo Show should become one show as from 2015. It just makes economic sense our show is at the end of August and the Otjiwarongo Show starts on September 11. If we combine the two shows, we will save farmers a lot of money on transport costs and we will attract much bigger crowds if the shows are combined. Our show is 90 percent agricultural and the Otjiwarongo Show puts much more emphasis on the industrial sector. So, if we combine the two, we will have the ultimate show,” says Tjihero.

“We did very well with the inaugural show last year when communal and emerging farmers drove hundreds of kilometres to lay the foundations for a show which was bound to become an annual event. If you look at what we achieved last year under very unfavourable conditions and in the middle of a severe drought, he notes.

An upbeat Tjihero says the bitter disappointment of the Windhoek Show Society (WSS) refusing permission for the show to be held in Windhoek again this year, was soon replaced with joy after learning about the new venue in Otjiwarongo. “Last year our communal and emerging farmers were tested to the limit to deliver their animals in Windhoek while the drought was raging through the country. Transport costs will this year be reduced considerably with Otjiwarongo being a more practical destination for many of our members.” He says some famers are still struggling to get back on their feet after selling vast quantities of their stock and they are still reeling from the financial implications of the drought but there is hope and this will be proved during the upcoming Okamatapati Show.

Tjihero appeals to commercial farmers and all role players in the meat industry to support the OFA in its endeavour to stage the show annually and make it an event Namibians will be proud of. “Last year we struggled to get financial support from sponsors but times were tough for everyone and I think we will do much better this year,” he says confidently. Tjihero, a well-known White Brahman breeder and community leader, says all 636 members of the Ongombe FA have been asked to gear up for the show. The OFA was established in July 1983, and has been a major influence as mouthpiece for communal farmers ever since.

Tjihero says the current show committee, of which he is also a member, has worked very hard to make another dream come true for the Ongombe Farmers’ Association with the show being staged in Otjiwarongo. “We are also very excited about some Boran cattle breeders from Kenya attending the show and putting some of their best animals up for sale at the auction.”

“While at the show grounds, we are completely self-sufficient and supply all meals for the whole week. Last year community members surprised us with their colourful displays and stalls selling delicious meals and traditional dishes,” Tjihero adds.

Apart from his renowned White Brahman, some of the finest Red Brahman and Simmentaler from various farmers from surrounding areas will be showcased. Small stock farmers will be present with the big variety of Boer Goats, and van Rooy and Damara sheep.

Captions:

1 Albert Tjihero, the chief organiser of the Okamatapati Industrial and Agricultural Show, to be staged in Otjiwarongo this year on August 25-30.

2 Boran cattle, a firm favourite in Kenya, will be displayed for the first time ever in Namibia at the Okamatapati Industrial and Agricultural Show in Otjiwarongo on August 25-30.

Source : New Era

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