Thank you, once more, for joining the conversation on 27 April! We’re energised by our undertaking to create new pathways in agriculture together. As agreed, AvaGro will assume a coordinating role in this common effort, which will include providing information and updates on what’s happening in agri business in Namibia. Please share anything you feel could be useful with us.
AvaGro looks at agriculture projects as a whole; beyond greenhouse infrastructure. We start by looking at the environment. This involves soil and water analyses. From there, we look at the climate, i.e. the weather conditions (rainfall and temperatures) to determine what set up (open field cultivation or greenhouse infrastructure) would work best for a given space. We go on to consider the human capital available for successful project development (how many people are already on the farm, how many extra people should come on board, supervisory capacity, training required). Finally, we examine existing distribution channels and how these can be optimised.
This holistic approach allows us to take context-based decisions and develop customised solutions for every project we’re involved in.
We’re happy to visit your farm or plot to see how we can grow together!
AvaGro Namibia implements customised concepts for agricultural production in challenging environmental conditions. On 27 April, it hosted a conversation on fostering integrated and sustainable agricultural supply chains with its Dubai-based partner, Meet The Farmers Conference. The conversation took place at AvaGro’s flagship 8ha plot in the Namib desert where it produces flowers and vegetables on a commercial scale.
Local farmers, environmental agencies, entrepreneurs, education and funding agencies participated in the conversation, which considered the challenges and opportunities related to growing commercial, sustainable agricultural ventures in Namibia.
In particular, the conversation considered the factors required for implementing successful agri-businesses and how best to consolidate efforts to access diversified export markets.
Namibia is the driest country in sub-Saharan Africa and is severely affected by climate change, resulting in rising temperatures, rainfall variability and increased droughts and floods. Limited fertility and irrigation caused by desert soil require highly capital-intensive methods of production and limit crop production.
Climate-adapted cultivation methods are needed to secure sufficient food availability in the country and to develop export capabilities.
Namibian agro commodity producers have an opportunity to build sustainable businesses and business partnerships through platforms like the annual Meet The Farmers Conference, which invests in knowledge and skill transfer and building linkages between African farmers and buyers in the United Arab Emirates.
Every year, Africa exports over US$35 billion worth of agricultural produce to other parts of the world. Analysts believe that this figure will rise to US$400 billion by 2050. At present, the UAE imports about 80 per cent of its food and the market is estimated to be worth over US$100 billion.
A considered, coordinated effort can help Namibian farmers build the capacity required to gain from this opportunity.
The 27 April event agreed that there is a need to:
As a first step in moving beyond conversation, AvaGro Namibia undertook to act as coordinator and to provide support to potential exporters by:
AvaGro Namibia works with smallholder farmers, agri-preneurs and established large scale cultivators to develop bespoke production plans to advance food sovereignty.
Meet The Farmers Conference is a first of its kind, agro-trade and networking conference in Dubai. It aims to connect agro commodity producers to buyers. Stakeholders from Africa and the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) come together at its annual event to build partnerships across borders.