WINDHOEK – Farmers must follow and adhere to the government’s “Growth at Home Strategy” to accelerate growth in the agricultural sector through governance, productivity, and competitiveness, driven by close cooperation between the government, farmers, and businesses.
This is one of the recommendations contained in an overview report of the Werengendje Operation, the 2018 Food Conference and Expo, held at the Rundu Trade Fair Centre on September 5 - 8. “Farmers need to use ground water to irrigate crops and maximise the crop availability throughout the year,” read the report, released last Friday at the United Nations House. The conference provided a platform for representatives from government, food industry, academia, insurance, small holder farmers, and consumer organisations to identify and address emerging challenges of food production.
The conference ended with several recommendations: Farmers must focus on natural cultivation advantages and produce products that are suitable for their soil type; “All farmers should consider the use of technology mechanisation and modernisation in order to capitalise on productivity and profitability,” adds the report further, advising that locally produced goods should be sold and marketed locally, and stating that business people who get government tenders must be obliged to get products available locally before considering imports. The report adds that farmers’ associations of marginalised groups should be able to address their needs for inclusiveness in the local farming sectors. The recommendations are aimed at promoting food production, safety and nutrition, standard and market access, capacity building, and research and innovation in Agribusiness industry to identify and address problems in food production, processing, packaging, and the distribution and sale at the household and community level. Furthermore, it aims at facilitating food protection programmes governing the producers, retail store, vending segments of the food industry–thus adopting sound procedures that are accepted by food regulatory agencies and industry. This is to promote mutual respect and trust by establishing working liaison among governmental agencies, industry, academic institutions, professional associations, and consumer groups in food the industry.
Farmers must also consider linking their agricultural activities to the tourism value chains.
The Food ConfEx is a business platform where all major stakeholders in government, food and agricultural production meet, network and establish business ties in the country. At Food ConfEx, participants discover an effective platform for raising the agribusiness profile to the food and beverages industry, simultaneously capitalising on the best opportunity to discuss agribusiness, share information, discover the latest technology trends, or launch new products into the market.
This year, the event attracted close to 200 visitors from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, and about 5,000 participants locally.
New Era Reporter
2018-12-04 10:03:41 9 months ago