• July 10th, 2020

Namibia’s drought, food insecurity could reverberate at the world’s biggest trade fair

Deon Schlechter

WINDHOEK – Namibia’s debilitating drought and escalating food insecurity will not go unnoticed when high-level talks between world leaders in agriculture take place from November 10 to November 16 at Agritechnica in Hanover, Germany. 

In an exclusive interview last week, the Chargé d’Affaires of the German Embassy in Windhoek, Ellen Gὅlz, told Farmers Forum that the embassy is in the proses of nominating a candidate to represent Namibia at the prestigious event to attend and report back on the latest developments and technologies in agriculture which will include talks on food insecurity, drought and climate change.

Agritechnica is the world’s leading trade fair for the global agricultural technology industry and a forum for future issues in plant production is also on the programme.

German Development Minister Gerd Müller visited the northern areas of Namibia last month to familiarise himself with the devastating drought.

Gὅlz says events like these link buyers to sellers, experts to laymen, and Namibia to the rest of the world, pointing out that: “As 60 to 70 per cent of Namibians depend on agriculture, these types of events are opportunities to reduce rural poverty. Diversification of the agricultural sector helps the inhabitants to deal with drought and create additional income for farmers and the country as a whole. Our engagement to nominate a candidate is further proof of our interest in improving rangeland and productivity of farming communities.” These comments fit in perfectly with this year’s theme of Agritechnica: “Global farming – Local responsibility”, she said.

Exhibitors from more than 50 countries and some 500 000 visitors from 130 countries will attend the event.
Journalists from around the globe will attend the opening event and a specialist event run by the DLG (Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft – German Agricultural Society).

Talks will focus with political actors such as the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development), professionals such as German Farmers’ Association, DLG (Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft – German Agricultural Society)), civil society (Germanwatch) and with people directly concerned on future issues and the opportunities and risks inherent in innovative agriculture (securing the global food supply through modern technology, sustainable management methods to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, potential of increased use of organic farming and ecological restoration, ensuring that small farms have access to agricultural innovations). 

Visits to (family-run) farms and to a machinery ring will be some of the highlights of the programme.
Agritechnica is the most important agricultural technology exhibitions worldwide. In addition to farm equipment and agricultural machinery, innovative products, cutting-edge solutions and new technologies for water and energy-saving cultivation and concepts for sustainable management and the future of plant production are shown. 

The growing demand for food and biomass promises good prospects for agriculture. Namibia is facing food insecurity in most regions while its biomass industry has reached new heights as was proven during the recent biomass technology expo in Otjiwarongo, attended by international experts such as Matthias von Senfft of Spanner Re2 in Germany who introduced a combined heat and power system. Biomass can be used to produce electricity and heat or cooling. A boiler like this is ideal for medium-scale industries, large farms or lodges. “I am very impressed with Namibia’s potential,” he commented”.

Under the umbrella of the Agritechnica, the Systems & Components will take place, the trade fair for systems, modules, components and accessories for agricultural machinery and related industries. 
Both exhibitions complement each other in their product offering and therefore represent the full range of agricultural technology. Furthermore both fairs, the Agritechnica as well as the Systems & Components, profit from the synergies regarding visitor numbers, business deals and expert dialogues.

Staff Reporter
2019-09-10 07:43:55 | 10 months ago

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