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Home / AvaGro wins big at NAHA awards… as young farmers shine

AvaGro wins big at NAHA awards… as young farmers shine

2023-09-19  John Muyamba

AvaGro wins big at NAHA awards… as young farmers shine

MASHA R E – AvaGro, a leading agricultural entity that works with smallholder farmers, agripreneurs and larger-scale cultivators, was the biggest winner at the recent Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) National Agronomy and Horticulture Awards, held at the Mashare Irrigation Project in the Kavango East region.

Thecoastal - based organisation scooped both the Master Crop Value Chain Actor of the Year and the Horticulture Innovator of the Year awards during a well-attended ceremony that attracted over 43 actors from various facets of the local agriculture sector. The awards ceremony honoured and recognised the various innovations and contributions made by local crop value chain actors towards the growth of the agronomy and horticulture industries.

AvaGro’s co-founder Leonie Hartmann said they are thrilled with the recognition they received through the awards, saying they are motivated to work even harder to ensure the country’s agriculture sector becomes self-sustainable. “We are absolutely honoured and thrilled that we won two big awards at this prestigious award ceremony. We didn’t expect it; we came a long way from Swakopmund with this amazing team of ours and we are absolutely excited that we can be part of this journey for Namibia to become a leading horticulture producer in the southern African region,’’ she said. Hartmann thanked her team for always going the extra mile to come up with new and innovative products for the local market.

“We are innovating every day. We try very hard to develop niche products and develop new value chains that can really bring Namibia’s agriculture development to the forefront. We bought the farm in 2014, and it was more of an open-field farm for olives and asparagus. We come from humble beginnings and continue to grow from strength to strength. Now we have over three hectares of land under cover,” she added. It has not been an easy journey, she shared, as they had to overcome challenges, such as growing crops in the harshest climatic conditions and lack of suitable water for the crops – but through the use of technology, they have managed to thrive.

“We like to say if we can do it here, we can do it anywhere; that is because we would like to take our skills into each area of Namibia, especially to grow unique crops that we have already tried and tested in the Namib desert where we are based.” South Africa is currently the lead export destination for their products, as they grow high-end products like specialty tomatoes, papers, cucumbers and flowers, which are all earmarked for high-end supermarkets in South Africa.

Other winners

Meanwhile, other winners on the day included Eric van Druten, who was awarded the White Maize Producer of the Year accolade, while the Outstanding Wheat Producer of the Year went to Ernst van Biljon and the Horticulture Producer of the Year award went to Jan Cronje.

A small-scale farmer at the Etunda irrigation project, Aina Imalwa, scooped the Outstanding Youth Horticulture Award. “I’m happy that I got a cheque that I am going to invest in my garden so that I can produce more. I became a farmer after receiving training at the Mashare Agriculture College in 2015 – and in 2020, I took up farming as a serious business. I started seeing that farming is impactful and I want to make it look sexy so that I inspire fellow youths to join the industry and produce for the nation,” said Imalwa. In the Agronomy Crop Value Chain Actors awards, Emerging White Maize Producer of the Year was awarded to Clemence Masasa Makumbi from the Zambezi Production Zone, while the Emerging Wheat Producer of the Year went to Floris Smith from the Uvungu Vungu area in the Kavango East region. Outstanding Pearl Millet Producer of the Year was given to Anne Nora from the Ohangwena region, and Immanuel Hedimbi from Oshikoto region won the Emerging Pearl Millet Producer of the Year award.

Out s tanding Youth Producer of the Year and Outstanding Innovator Producer of the Year awards went to Elizabeth Haruwodi from the Kavango West region, while the Outstanding Small-scale Producer of the Year was awarded to Tomas Angula from the Ndonga Linena irrigation project in the Kavango East region Kamunu Mills from Zambezi region won the Outstanding Grain Processor of the Year award, and the Emerging Grain Processor of the Year category went to the Agriculture Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA), while Outstanding Grain Exporter of the Year was given to NamibMills In the category of Horticulture Crop  Value Chain Actors, the Outstanding Horticulture Producer of the Year was awarded to Jan Cronje, and Emerging Horticulture Producer of the Year to Ludwig Kampingana.


2023-09-19  John Muyamba

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