This year, the National Horticulture Day will take place on September 26 and producers invited to submit entries for the title of 2018 Horticultural Producer of the Year across three different categories:
Large Scale Horticulture Producer of the Year, where the production takes place on an area of 10 or more hectares per annum.
Medium Scale Producer of the Year, where the production takes place on an area between three and 10 hectares per annum.
Small Scale Producer of the Year, where production takes place on three hectares or less per annum.
To stand a chance to win, producers from across Namibia are encouraged to submit their applications, either through the representative of the National Association of Horticultural Producers (NAHOP), or directly to the Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB).
Entries close on April 27, 2018, and farm evaluation visits are scheduled during the period May 14-24, 2018. This will be done by a panel of judges comprising representatives from NAB, NAHOP, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF), Agro Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA), AGRIBUSDEV and previous winners of the award.
There are a few occasions where farmers gather to truly celebrate their achievements, and share lessons learnt in an effort to better their farming activities. One such occasion is the National Horticulture Day (NHD) organised during September each year by NAB, in collaboration with various partners. The Horticultural Producer of the Year awards ceremony is held at the same juncture, when local producers of horticultural fresh fruit and vegetables from across the country converge on the farm of the winning producer.
The Horticultural Producer of the Year Award recognises the extraordinary breed of horticulture producers who have made a success of their farming business through sheer determination, dedication and foresight. Honouring such achievements, is one important effort aimed at encouraging local supply of fresh produce, whilst decreasing our dependence on imports – or import substitution as it is known in the industry.
The horticultural industry in Namibia is regulated through the Market Share Promotion scheme, or MSP, where all importers of fresh fruit and vegetables in Namibia are required to buy a minimum percentage of their fresh produce from Namibian producers – before they are granted a permit to import fresh produce from outside the country. Currently, this minimum stands at 44 percent, up from a mere 5 percent at the inception of the MSP scheme during 2005.
As a result of this voluntary agreement between producers and traders, the local horticultural industry in Namibia continues to grow. NAB plays a crucial role in facilitating and overseeing the implementation of this agreement, which is implemented by the AMTA, the agent appointed by the NAB.
Entry forms are available either through the NAHOP area committee representatives, or may be downloaded from the NAB website at www.nab.com.na or call the NAB on (061) 379 500 for further information.