All set for third Omaheke Trade Fair

04 Sep 2014 18:00pm
GOBABIS, 04 SEP (NAMPA) - All roads will lead to the Omaheke Region when the third edition of the Omaheke Trade Fairs takes place from 20 to 27 September.
Peter-Hain Uakii Kazapua, who is in charge of logistics during the organisation of the trade fair, told Nampa on Thursday that most of the logistics have been put in place to accommodate the anticipated large number of visitors expected to flock the fair venue.
“We have been working around the clock to ensure that all logistics are met in preparation for the annual trade fair. At the moment, we are pleased with progress made towards the realisation of this year's event,” he said.
Originally billed as a unification platform for all trade and agricultural shows, the third Omaheke Trade Fair will be held in a much more favourable environment, compared to the previous two editions of the regional trade event which was beset with mainly logistical challenges.
The absence of a main sponsor for the event, ill marketing and turning the Legare Sports Stadium into a trade fair ground had presented challenges in the past, especially during the maiden version of the event.
According to the Omaheke Trade Fair Website, the event attracted a record 7 999 visitors over five days in 2013.
Besides the obvious attractions of cattle and small livestock parades, the fair will also showcase a Miss Omaheke beauty pageant, a horse racing challenge and numerous cultural activities.
A new 'Culture Village', which will feature traditional dishes and cuisine amongst others, will also be officially opened during the event.
The Omaheke Trade Fair will however still be hosted without the support of the more established Gobabis Show Society (GSS), which pulled out of the trade event at the 11th hour in 2010.
Prominent livestock auctioneer Floris van Niekerk opted to go on his own, and host the annual Gobabis Agricultural Show under the auspices of the GSS.
The GSS cited irreconcilable differences, the apparent slow pace of progress on the side of the Omaheke Trade Fair, and a lack of funds to drive the initiative as grounds for its withdrawal.
It also emerged that many of the white commercial farmers in the region did not buy into the idea of the trade fair, but rather preferred the annual agricultural show hosted by the Gobabis Show Society, which they have been participating in since its inception close to 50 years ago.
Most of the farmers’ cooperatives and farmers' unions however chose to support the Omaheke Trade Fair.
The Office of the Governor had stood by the initiative to host the trade event - which it described as a success - during its maiden showing in September 2012.