Staff Reporter WINDHOEK - Namibian food technologist Roderick Haraseb, the brain behind the highly innovative and nutritious animal fodder created out of cardboard boxes, says that his product could assist Namibia in becoming less dependent on expensive imported fodder. The fodder, that can greatly assist Namibian farmers especially during severe drought, does not contain any genetically modified products and is completely safe. The fodder is made out of boxes that contain traces of products safe for human and animal consumption and is relatively cheaper than other animal fodders. If everything goes according to plan, Haraseb wants his manufacturing plant set up by early next year. He is currently busy registering and patenting the product, having passed all requirements set by the Ministry of Agriculture. “I am ready to go into full production, however I need at least N$5 million to upset the plant,” he told us. The idea of creating the fodder out of cardboard boxes was birthed in 2013 when Haraseb took a picture of two goats chewing on a box and shared it on Facebook as a joke. “However, the picture triggered my interest afterwards, as I realised that none of the animals actually died,” he explained. Haraseb, who is employed at the Oshikuku Town Council in Omusati Region, approached several organisations to assist him in doing proper research to see if fodder made out of boxes can also be beneficial for farmers not only in terms of feeding but with the cost as well. “The Ministry of Urban and Rural Development then suggest that I go in partnership with the council as they couldn’t directly provide funding to me,” he said. According to Haraseb he has been intensively, researching and experimenting to refine the final product to meet the required standards set by the Agricultural Ministry. “The fodder we developed is highly nutritious, very safe and does not contain any lead. The boxes are grained in granule form.” He went on and explained that he is currently in the process of registering and patenting the product so that it excludes others from making the same product, However, he says that he will need close to N$5 million to set up a production plant as well as to get the right equipment to produce the product. My main aim is to make the product readily available so that farmers that cannot afford the traditional fodder types have cheaper alternatives that are also effective, he said. Haraseb was one of the Small and Medium Enterprises that was exhibiting at the Southern African Summit Week that started on Monday at the Safari conference centre. The aim of the summit week was to create a platform for SME’s youth and businesses in SADC to promote cross border trade.
New Era Reporter
2018-08-02 09:40:22 6 months ago