Rundu-The Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa, has praised the two-day first food expo held in Rundu.
He said the food expo is an ideal public platform for various institutions and local agriculture, along with food production industries and farmers, to showcase their products and services, in addition to conducting market testing through first-hand feedback from consumers.
Mutorwa, during his keynote speech, noted that many Namibians depend on agricultural products like food, and also employment.
“Although the agriculture sector according to statistics contributes about 6% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the sector sustains the majority of the Namibian people, with more than 70 percent of the population relying on agricultural activities for income and daily existence.”
The two-day food expo was held in Rundu on Friday and Saturday. Various businesses in the agriculture and food sectors marketed their produce and some came from as far as Zimbabwe.
The expo was initiated by Food Namibia. “Last year we had an idea that we will have an impact on our nation and so we came up with the food expo without realising that we will come this far,” said Manfred Likoro, representing Food Namibia.
According to Likoro, after thinking of where to take this idea and craft it into a success event they realised that it needed to be in Kavango East, as the region is strategically located in terms of food production and because it has many government irrigation projects as well as many subsistence farmers, which influenced their decision to host it in Rundu.
“And since the office of the governor is also promoting food production through Operation Werengendje we saw it as a good opportunity to tie up the two – because Operation Werengendje is the farmers and from our side as Food Namibia it is just to bring the farmers together and bring them closer to the market, and that is what we are doing here,” Likoro said.
“We are not competing with anyone or any government institution – we are just citizens who are bringing up an idea to complement government programmes of food security,” he said.