Farm Oliewenhof – Only a few individuals would choose to dedicate themselves to spending most of their life in the wilderness instead of enjoying the bright lights of the cities and cool air in an office with a rolling chair.
But behind the shining success story of Farm Oliewenhof Onambabi, situated some 27 kilometres from Grootfontein, is Edward Hwara, a Zimbabwean national who says he has dedicated his life to managing farms. Hwara has been in the business of farming for the past 18 years in various countries, including Zambia and Namibia. He says he only came to Namibia for one mission, which is to run the farm like a business and for it to prosper.
Although indicating that each location has presented him with different challenges, he has been committed to overcoming them.
Hwara holds a diploma in agriculture from the agricultural college in Zimbabwe where he was trained to manage a farming set-up as a business unit to get the best returns.
“I was trained in farm crops, animal husbandry, pest management and disease control for both crops and animals. I have eighteen years’ experience as a manager and that’s what I have been doing all my life, in fact that’s the only thing I know,” explains Hwara, who has been working at the farm for two years now.
Farm Oliewenhof was virgin land, a breeding ground for a few wild animals and nothing else. Little were owners aware of the vast riches of the land, not until 2012 when Dr David Namwandi bought the farm. He has now turned it into a mixed production farm producing maize and beef and where trophy hunting also takes place.
Namwandi attributed the success of the farm to his employees, saying: “When you don’t know anything, you cannot claim to know, that is how I brought this man (Hwara) who has the skills and expertise to assist, and I was also able to learn quickly.”
“We do regular inspections of the animals and crops and that is how we manage to detect any disease or pest outbreaks, and act responsively. We also have a beef calendar whereby end of every season we dose and deworm the cattle, as well as do random observations when giving supplements,” says Hwara.