Staff Reporter Windhoek-Rows of colourful gazeebos lit up the dry Windhoek Showgrounds last week when the Dordabis Farmers Association (FA) became the first member of the Regional Agricultural Union (RAU) to stage an agricultural open day. A busload of University of Namibia (Unam) agricultural students and farmers, arriving from far and near, were testament to the instant success of the event, which is to become an annual showcase for both old and trusted farming patents as well as modern technology. The example set by Dordabis FA has ensured that all eight other members of the central RAU areas will follow suit and stage these highly informative and educational open days. Chairperson of Dordabis FA, René Krafft, of the farm Ibenstein says the idea originated from the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU). “Organised agriculture as the backbone of the agricultural sector is facing various problems after all the years of drought, the vast costs of rebuilding herds and the current financial crunch, as well as government withdrawing its subsidies to the NAU. This means we must encourage farmers to find new means of raising finances to fund expenses while sharing information and create a win-win situation for everyone. Judging by the very first open day we are on the right track,” he observes. Krafft adds that it is important that RAU finds ways to invite new members into the organisation that provides farmers with a steady platform. “We all worked together to put this wonderful day together but Dawid Krause and Robert Neumann of Feedmaster deserve special mention for making a dream come true,” he notes.Guest speakers were the president of AgriSA, Johannes Möller, and the president of NAU, Ryno van der Merwe. Various demonstrations and information sessions were held. The open days also provide farmers with increased networking and learning opportunities. “The bigger picture is that we do things that are good for the local economy. More money is spent in the local economy, and it circulates in the locality for longer and provides an outlet for local produce, helping to start new local businesses and expand existing ones. Consumers also benefit as they enjoy the atmosphere and experience of farmers’ open days,” Krafft says. Most important is that these open days strengthen communities – a key factor in the quality of life in Namibian farming.
2017-09-05 10:27:32 1 years ago