EENHANA - Ohangwena governor Walde Ndevashiya has reiterated agriculture is and will continue to be an important sector, which is critical to the ‘Growth at Home’ strategy.
Ndevashiya said this during the official launch of the Ohangwena International Agri-Food expo at Eenhana on Monday.
It will be held from 10-13 August this year in Eenhana.
The expo will also provide opportunities to participants and the general public to interact and interface with government agencies, consumers, policymakers, captains of industry, and representatives of food organisations, business organisations, international exhibitors, financial institutions, venture capital funds, investors, consultants, academic institutions and other prominent personalities from various Namibian sectors.
Ndevashiya maintained the agricultural sector has proven to be the backbone of the Namibian economy as its biggest employer, and has over the years been one of the significant sectors that have contributed to the country’s GDP.
“The sector remains a crucial engine due to its nature of creating sources of income, food security, foreign earnings and the provision of raw material to the manufacturing industry,” he stated.
The governor stressed it is against this background the leadership of Ohangwena came up with the initiative to host the first ever agri-food expo.
“We want a conversation to explore innovative and transformation solutions to hunger and malnutrition, women’s rights, the marginalised and poorest, investment in smallholder farming and food sectors, ensuring public health outcomes linked to more diverse and nutritious food diets. For example, subsidies for a healthy and sustainable food production, taxing of unhealthy foods,” he stated. “Therefore, this International Agri-Food expo will be a unique opportunity for MSMEs, agripreneurs, and eventually large companies to establish contacts with each other.”
He added the smallholder producers will get an opportunity to exhibit, exchange information about new business opportunities, import, export, joint ventures, collaborations, create associations, unions, technology transfers, value addition through manufacturing and other various business activities in the agricultural sector.
“I am therefore inviting all potential sponsors, especially corporate entities and government offices or ministries and agencies, as well as business personalities to come on board and financially support this noble initiative to ensure its success,” he added.
The livestock and crop farmers, technology service providers, nutritionists and value addition providers are expected to take part.