Agra published its ninth annual social report this month, showcasing the firm’s social involvement in 2015 through contributions to the development of agriculture and communities across Namibia.
In the report Agra describes the farming conditions in the year under review as “very challenging with one of the worst droughts in years, the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease north of the Veterinary Cordon Fence and the animal health regulations that were put in place by South Africa affecting Namibia’s export of livestock to our neighbouring country.” Organised agriculture played an invaluable role in addressing these adversities by finding solutions to manage unfavourable conditions and Agra widely supported events organised and hosted by farmers associations, including information days, training initiatives or fundraising events.
The report also highlights a multitude of initiatives and efforts of several organisations in Namibia committed to developing the industry and local communities. Agra’s support for various events, projects and initiatives in the agricultural industry can be divided into knowledge and skills development, organised agriculture, agronomy, swakara and livestock, as well as support to other groups where Agra does business.
Agra experienced positive growth and invested largely in local infrastructure during the past two years. “Through involvement we strived to better the lives of the Namibian community, especially in a year where the agricultural industry had to face various challenges, of which the intense drought was a major factor,” the report stated.
Agra’s advisory services division, ProVision, played a major role in Agra’s contribution to knowledge and skills development. Through the services of this division, farmers were exposed to viable farming techniques, solutions and alternatives and supported to understand their role and increase their impact on the industry.
The report explains Agra’s product and service diversification to counter the risks and potential negative effects that the cyclical nature of agriculture has on Agra’s agriculture-centred business. Agra is involved in the agronomic and horticulture sector through the provision of supplies for plant production, as well as technical support by advisors within the industry. As food production and self-sufficiency become increasingly important and the industry grows, more initiatives are taken to support this industry.
Agra is the sole marketer of Swakara pelts through the Agra Pelt Centre, responsible to collect, sort, package and ship the pelts to the two international auctions in Copenhagen, Denmark. This industry, with its unique challenges forms an integral part of Agra and its activities and benefited from the company’s sponsorship and involvement in a number of events. As a major service provider in the livestock section of Namibian agriculture, this industry is close to Agra’s heart.
Namibia’s animal health status, the condition of Namibia’s animals and the genetic quality of our stud breeds are aspects in livestock farming that play a large role in Namibia’s position in the market and income derived from livestock. Through the inputs of Agra ProVision and the support of initiatives and events that contribute to the development of the livestock industry, Agra contributes widely.
“Given the pressing skills need in Namibia, Agra is passionate about developing the individual potential of its people and has a holistic approach in managing their staff corps. Staff members are also encouraged to participate in CSR initiatives and actions and thereby experience that these actions have an impact on attitude and level of awareness of employees and create a sense of direction, integrity, positive perception about their employer and themselves and contributes to good team spirit,” states the report.