• September 23rd, 2018
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Popya with Alan de Bever: Changing the agricultural industry for the better

Youth Corner, Popya
Youth Corner, Popya

Pinehas Nakaziko WINDHOEK - Alan de Bever, (33), is a budding local entrepreneur working hard to promote the agricultural industry in Namibia.   Recently, he established a company, Garden Guys Landscaping, an independent business operating in and around Windhoek. He is aware of the prevailing drought, thus he decided to focus on water-wise gardening. Bever says with his company, numerous clients have been successfully assisted with installations and plant choices, to make their gardens a remarkable aspect of their homes while efficiently using water. One of the main objectives of Garden Guys Landscaping is promoting water wise gardens, and using one’s garden /outdoors space as an escape from the urban hassle and bustle. “Namibia is a dry country as we all know and it’s our collective responsibility to use water wisely,” says Bever, encouraging urban dwellers to relax and spend time with their families. “My role in the business consists of managing projects concerning garden maintenance, garden layout and design, arboriculture (tree pruning, removals and planting), irrigation systems, artificial turf, supplying of garden consumables such as fertilisers, compost and insecticides, paving, vegetable gardens, horticulture, commercial and residential garden maintenance, staff training and development.” Growing up in Windhoek, Bever’s early challenges was always finding himself and his family in debts, and has to do everything to overcome such challenges. This drove him to establish Garden Guys Landscaping to help himself and family, as well as to employ un-employed youth. “Becoming independent and keeping my business in this Namibian hard economics have also not been an easy task for me,” says Bever. Bever followed a course in Horticulture, were he obtained a Master’s in Technology at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. “My course included doing a dissertation on the effectiveness of invasive water plants as nitrogen fertilisers for food production, where I published articles in the Journals of International Physical Sciences and African Journal of Biotechnology respectively,” explains Bever. Other subjects he completed were Landscape Technology, Growth Media Technology and Plant Propagation. “I have always been helping out in gardens and on the farm when I was growing up. A perfect combination of theory and practical experience.” Coming to the business world, Bever says his favourite part of his job is successfully completing a project and seeing the smile on his client’s face. “Secondly, making customers know I am always there for them even after I have completed a project. I take pride in providing genuine after sales service. Driving passing gardens, and projects that we have finished in the past, and which still look great, always put a big smile on my face. We contribute to the beauty of the surroundings in a small way.” In the next five years, Bever sees his business diversifying into wider fields, namely vertical urban hydroponic vegetable farming, consulting, environmental impact assessments and wholesale plant production. “Ensuring that the company is a good employer for my dedicated and hard-working staff,” he says. He encourages young people who to want pursue a career in gardening to be passionate. “The landscaping and horticulture industry requires a significant amount of hard work.  Be ready to work with people whether it is your staff or clients as you will not be successful if you are unable to facilitate good working relationships. Lastly, love the outdoors, plants and Mother Nature, as your world will revolve around this. Most importantly, you can’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.” He adds that, gardening career is a career that would expand one’s skill set significantly, and broaden one’s opportunities in life. “I have found this field has made me grow as a person and become stronger facing adversity. The landscaping and horticulture sector has room for great expansion in Namibia, namely growing our own plants and vegetables for our gardens and for our own consumption. I am sure once we achieve this, Namibia will be several steps closer to being self-sustainable.”
2018-07-18 10:05:21 2 months ago
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