GOBABIS - The Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA) recently opened a distribution centre in Gobabis after their visit earlier this year, where they engaged farmers and other stakeholders in the region.
At the beginning of this year, AMTA launched a road show campaign to visit regions and were in Omaheke in February, with the purpose of engaging farmers for the possible supply of contracts and linking them to markets.
It was during this visit that the call was made to expand AMTA’s operations and set up a visible centre in the region, which was inaugurated in Gobabis by regional governor Pijoo Nganate.
Speaking during the inauguration, AMTA’s board member Jason Hailonga said the region should be assured that they are ready to supply fresh produce and grain products to and contribute to local value-addition, the development of skills, employment-creation and local economic growth, which will subsequently improve the country’s GDP.
“As AMTA, we are pleased to partner with stakeholders in the Omaheke region so that we can realise our mandate as per the government’s set goals and objectives to address the issue of food security, poverty, income inequality and overall economic growth for all Namibians.”
He thus called upon residents to utilise the facility to benefit from the services brought closer to them.
“Thank you, honourable governor, for coordinating with stakeholders for AMTA to take a decision to extend its services to the Omaheke region. Now, it is upon the residents, especially farmers and their families, to make use of this facility so that they can benefit from the services brought closer to them”, observed Hailonga.
On his part, governor Nganate said with the vast land in the region, he is challenging farmers to invest and diversify farming to include crop farming as a substitute to livestock farming - a measure he said will mitigate the effects of climate change.
He added that his office and other key stakeholders are working on rebranding the region.
“I am content that Omaheke is indeed capable, and together we can feed ourselves and the nation at large. On that note, allow me to inform you that my office is currently busy working with key stakeholders for the rebranding of the Omaheke region from the well-known ‘Cattle Country’ to becoming the agro-processing and innovation hub of Namibia,” Nganate noted.
He further thanked AMTA for establishing the Gobabis centre, and urged stakeholders to keep supporting it.
“Finally, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation for the hard work shown by AMTA so far in establishing and operationalising the distribution centre, and would like to urge the stakeholders to continue supporting AMTA in making their strategic objectives a reality. I further wish to direct the officials responsible for operating this centre to ensure that there is always sufficient stock for customers as well as for distribution to the surrounding communities at affordable but sustainable prices,” he stated.
The distribution centre will serve different purposes, including the supply and selling of fresh produce to locals, supplying fish, meat, poultry and dairy products as well as the provision of transport logistics for farmers in the surrounding areas.
*Hileni Mwandingi is an Information Officer in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) based at Gobabis in Omaheke.