Transformation needed in Omaheke agriculture sector

23 Aug 2013 09:50
WINDHOEK, 23 AUG (NAMPA) - The Omaheke Region is determined to see its agriculture sector transformed from being mainly focused on subsistence farming to being more commercial and market-oriented.
The governor of the region, Festus Ueitele made this statement during the official launch of the Omaheke Trade Fair in the capital on Thursday.
The second annual Omaheke Trade Fair will be held under the theme ‘Promoting Unity in Diversity and Prosperity’.
“This event provides an opportunity for all actors in the agricultural and trade value chain to interact, share ideas and establish business linkages, thus it is my hope that all stakeholders will make the best use of this event,” Ueitele said.
He went on to say the theme is particularly appropriate at this time as the country is facing challenges brought about by the drought situation.
It is also consistent with efforts to develop agriculture as a sector which will contribute significantly to the region’s transformation.
“I am convinced that all of us share a common desire to see our country achieve high and sustained economic growth, and it is for this reason that we all are gathered here to support the Omaheke Region today,” the governor noted.
Ueitele expressed concern about the current drought situation, saying it is ‘alarming’.
“There may be troubled times ahead, especially with respect to the livestock farming industry,” he noted.
He said the sector remains an important role player in the country’s economy and that its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), whether directly and indirectly, is very significant.
Ueitele also noted that Government is committed to supporting the continued growth of the agricultural sector.
“Equally, I urge the business community countrywide to embark on massive processing and value addition for our agricultural products as a first step towards widespread industrialisation in our country,” he appealed.
The Governor pointed out that development must be multiplied several-fold in order to aid in how the twin problems of rural unemployment and poverty are dealt with.
The trade fair will take place from 24 to 29 September this year.
Some of the entertainment lined up for the event will include boxing, a horse-racing tournament, the Miss Omaheke Trade Fair pageant, and musical performances by artists such as Gazza and The Dogg.