Otjozondjupa is one of the leading food-producing regions in Namibia.
The vast region boasts a large number of commercial and communal farmers, practising cattle and small livestock farming, charcoal production as well as crop production.
To address the current food insecurity, the office of the governor saw it fit to tap into its rich resources by educating its community on value additions to production through a festival, themed: ‘Celebrating Diversity and Sustainability Through Value Addition’.
Otjozondjupa governor James Uerikua said the objective of the festival is to grow the regional economy, increase the sustainability of the local food system and build regional identity, based on local ingredients.
This, he believes, will promote participation and market access and create an appreciation for the regional unique selling proposition of its beef.
Equally, the event aims to promote economic development opportunities for local micro, small and medium entrepreneurs – and attract investors, visitors and participants for business exchange, among others.
The festival is expected to take place on 29 October to 5 November 2022.
The beef and horse racing festival will follow a family-friendly event setup that will cater to all age groups.
“The festival will offer a diverse range of activities, ranging from the regional products, with an emphasis on the regional beef, horticulture, arts and culture. For example, beef is diverse cuisine; taste and enjoy a variety of food made from beef. There will be demonstrations of different meals prepared with beef,” Uerikua said.
Stalls will be equally availed to residents, including farmers, for kapana, big beef pot and boerewors competitions, to name a few.
According to the governor, people enjoy learning new ways of cooking food; hence, education around how to prepare meals, and use local ingredients, increases awareness.
Livestock breeders will be invited to showcase and compete amongst the regional and national breeders under different categories.
A platform for local arts and crafts entrepreneurs to showcase and sell their handmade products, ranging from leather products, such as shoes and handbags.
Others include traditional clothes, jewellery, wire products, wood and metal.
The market will include, among others, showcasing horticulture, biomass and charcoal projects.
Another platform aims to preserve intangible cultural heritage, revive diminishing traditions and showcase the region’s rich cultural diversity.
Traditional authorities in the region will be invited to showcase their customs and traditions through song and dance, storytelling, arts and crafts, traditional attire and cuisine.
A horseracing event will also be staged.
Uerikua said the Namibia racing industry is continuing to make steady and sustainable progress.
However, it requires major changes, such as the development of up-to-standard tracks around Namibia and investments in people.
He said the race will assist in the development of this lucrative sport for all ages.
Regional and national farmers, the business community, government institutions, parastatals and associations are all welcome to partake.
The office of the governor, together with Otjiwarongo municipality, planned to stage the event on an annual
The funds generated would be used for the sustainability of the event and to assist the regional communities with business development initiatives.
Uerikua said the target is to have over 500 exhibitors, ranging from corporate stalls, farmers, arts and crafts, artist – performances and visuals.
Otjiwarongo municipality will showcase its services to the residents.
The leadership plans to host the event yearly – and should the resources permit, the aim is to rotate it in the region.
He confirmed the sponsorship drive is in full swing with lots of interest shown among the business community.
Currently, the office of the governor and the Otjiwarongo municipality is spearheading the festival.
The festival will be held at the Paresis showgrounds in Otjiwarongo.
“The event is for Otjozondjupa by the Otjozondjupa people and preferences are given to them although all Namibians are welcome to partake,” he clarified.