Kae MaÞunÿu-Tjiparuro Windhoek-Farmers in the Otjinene Constituency have now been saved 40-160 kilometres which they needed to drive to access animal feed either at Summerdown, about 44 kilometres away or Gobabis, about 160 kilometres away. Thanks to the new fodder shop in their backyard in the settlement, which officially opened business to the public last month. And since, the shop has steadily seen growth. “Otjinene, being the biggest of the former Hereroland settlements, is growing at a tremendous pace, and saw both an opportunity and a market at the same time,” says Beau Kauta, co-owner of the shop, which eventually seems well on track after about two years of trial and error. “This initial venture went on for a while and did not succeed mostly because I wasn’t looking after it very well. I then attempted it again last year but the results were the same. This also taught me a very valuable lesson from the old adage that no matter how hard you try, as long as you keep doing the same things don’t expect different results, otherwise you are insane,” says he. Otjinene being a mainstay of cattle production in the Omaheke Region, one cannot see how and where the shop can go wrong. “Sixty of the heifers being sold to South Africa come from the communal areas and Otjinene is but one of the bigger communal settlements,” Kauta affirms the viability of his business venture. “The idea was to bring a solution closer to the community as the nearest place is Summerdown, which is some 44 km away. Now with the opening of Shoprite and Standard Bank Namibia, I saw it as an opportunity since our business would be complementary and solution-driven,” he adds, indicating there is more to the venture than just pure business. “The biggest difference would be the economic gain – that farmers would now be able to buy their farming needs in Otjinene. Imagine the lifespan of your own vehicle if you have to always load it to maximum capacity and the distance travelled! While any resident of the village now knows they can travel in the comfort of the knowledge that their farming needs will be catered for right in Otjinene,” he highlights the ultimate benefit to farmers. Karive Feed, as the shop has been named, stocks all kind of feed necessary for livestock in the area, with prices “very reasonable” for the range of services that it offers. These are initially products from Feedmaster and Nutrifeed, as well as all vaccines and other farming essentials. “Soon we will start importing from around the region, and we intend to expand by starting to have our own blend of mix, based on the testing of soil and water,” Kauta envisions. He promises farmers a total solution, not simply trading in feed. “Animal health is not simply feeding and vaccination. We are introducing a service, whereby the farmer can bring their soil and water for testing. This is a unique service and it will be done at cost,” he says. One of the biggest challenges of farmers in the area is lack of knowledge, especially regarding the environment. Hence the soil testing service for which advice will be provided free of charge. Additionally, Karive Feed will hold annual farmers’ information sessions, at least twice a year, in partnership with local farmers’ associations to teach and highlight the various farming techniques and latest innovations. “This would be another free service to the region of Otjinene, which I believe would add value to the community,” promises Kauta. With special arrangements with both Agra and Nutrifeed, supply is guaranteed. Also through the suggestion book available at the counter at the shop, farmers are encouraged to make suggestions. They can also order a minimum quantity that will be delivered within a specified period. For the future, the shop envisages mixing its own products that are direct solutions to the farming community. “I am also testing a system at my farm called ‘Bos to Kos’ – roughly translated Bush to Feed. My intention is to assist the farmers around Otjinene with debushing,” says Kauta. Karive Feed is also planning to diversify into the fuel business soon to provide a complete solution for the farmer. The Karive Feed fodder shop is a subsidiary of Anatech Agriculture, which is in the stable of Anatech Holdings as the parent company.
New Era Reporter
2017-12-19 09:49:11 10 months ago