Saturday, October 12, 2013

Namibia Agriculture Union Weekly News: 11 October 2013

Namibia Agriculture Union: NAU
Disclaimer: Although everything has been done to ensure the accuracy of information, the NAU takes no responsibility for actions or losses that might occur due to the usage of this information.


In today’s newsletter:
·         First Agricultural Outlook Conference a big success
·         Confindence in NAU structures confirmed
·         Land valuations again discussed at the NAU congress
·         FA and other news

First Agricultural Outlook Conference a big success
The first Agricultural Outlook Conference which was held in Namibia and which coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Livestock Prodcuers Organisation (LPO), was a big success and was praised by different sources. The NAU personnel which acted as organisers ensured that everything went well and that prominent speakers were invited to this conference.
The current chairperson and ex-chairpersons of the LPO acted as chairpersons for the various sessions. A wide variety of subjects was covered by the speakers which included Government’s vision for agriculture and also agriculture as motive for industrialisation by the Minister of Agriculture, Water & Forestry and the Minister of Trade & Industry respectively. Both, micro and macro economic matters were addressed by well known economists such as Mr Dawie Roodt and Prof Nick Vink from the University of Stellenbosch. According to these economists it is clear that there is a shift in the economic powers in the world and that Africa will most probably be the future for the marketing of our primary and value additioned products.
The weather prophet, Dr Willem Landman’s forecast became true when Windhoek had a few drops of rain during the social function to conclude the Outlook Conference.
One of the highlights was when Dr Japie van Zyl, who was born in Opuwo and is currently involved at NASA, took the audience on a space trip to Mars.
Various reports about the conference were already published in the newspapers and the NAU will report about the lectures at the conference in their weekly newsletters.
The NAU will put the lectures on their website for persons who are intrested in the various subjects.
Confindence in NAU structures confirmed
A motion at the Livestock Producers Organisation (LPO) congress re-confirmed the confidence which NAU members have in the regional representatives and the management of the LPO. The regional representatives are annually elected by the 10 Regional Agricultural Unions to serve on the management of the LPO as well as on the Executive Council of the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU).

The motion was served due to the continued efforts of the LPO management and especially the representatives of the small stock producing regions to find a solution for the much debated Small Stock Marketing Scheme.

The motion furthermore rejects any actions outside the structure of the LPO and NAU which will lead to court cases to solve the Small Stock Marketing Scheme before all attempts of negotiations are not exhausted.

Furthermore Mr Derek Wright was re-elected as president of the NAU and Mr Mecki Schneider as chairperson of the LPO. The regional representatives were also all re-elected by the various Regional Agricultural Unions.

Land valuations again discussed at the NAU congress
The question of land tax and land valuations was again discussed at the NAU congress this year following the putting aside of the Valuation Court which should have been held in September.
However, the congress was concerned that the current model according to which land valuations were calculated are not sustainable and do not comply with the unique circumstances of Namibia. The controversiality of this model was already discussed at the 2012 NAU congress. On request of the 2012 congress the NAU management has discussed this matter with the Minister of Lands and other role players. The NAU’s request to land owners to also object caused that the 2012 provisional Valuation Rolls were eventually withdrawn. The large amount of objections against the current Valuation Roll again confirmed the controversiality of the current model.
The Valuation Court is a mechanism which was created by the Act for land owners to object if they are not satisfied with their land valuations. The NAU supports the land owners democratic right to make use of this opportunity in order to have a fair and affordable valuation created on which land tax is payable.
Former NAU president honoured with AgriSter
The former president of the NAU, Mr Ryno van der Merwe was honoured with the AgriSter, the highest award of the NAU during the official opening of the 2013 NAU congress. When presenting Mr van der Merwe with the AgriSter, the president of the NAU gave the quote which Minister John Mutorwa made last year when Mr van der Merwe retired as NAU president for his contribution to agriculture. The quote read as follows:
 “Presented to Mr Ryno van der Merwe in appreciation of visible contributions made to the development and growth of the Agricultural Sector of Namibia. Particularly from Oct 2008 to Oct 2012 as president of the NAU. Signed: John Mutorwa, Minister of Agriculture, Water & Forestry”.
NAU acknowledges achievers
At the official opening of the NAU congress which was held at the Heja Lodge this year, Mr Marco Seefeld and his wife Regine of the farm Silversand in the Seeis vicinity was awarded as the NAU / Mutual & Federal Young Farmer of the Year 2013. This young farmer is congratulated with the exceptional achievement and we trust that he, just as the 9 young farmers before him, will serve as example of agriculture in the country.
Feedmaster also gave a special award to Mr Johan de Jager of the farm Etna and member of the Sonop FA. Feedmaster plans to use Johan as reference farmer to do tests on arthrosis, a process with which Johan has already started.
Mrs Judie Wiese of the Farm Wiesesrus near Witvlei had a special honour to walk away with two awards. She has been awarded as the Agricultural Woman of the Year, an award  which is sponsored by SWAKARA and her well known Amos Meerkatskool project also received the award as Community Project of the Year which is sponsored by Feedmaster. Both these awards confirm her perserverance as agricultural woman and unselfish service to the community.
Further awards which were made include the Media Personality of the Year which was awarded to Mr Luton Koorts of Channel 7 and which was sponsored by Agra.
The awards for the most active Regional Agricultural Union which was sponsored by KaapAgri, was awarded to Keetmanshoop RAU and the most active Farmers Association which was also sponsored by KaapAgri to the Summerdown FA.
FA and other news
The 2013 Namibia Rangeland Forum will be held from October 16 – 18 at the Ngandu Safari Lodge, Rundu and will start at 08:00 on October 16. Speakers are inter alia Ms Sophia Kasheeta, Mr Colin Nott, Dr Helmke von Bach, Mr Gizaw Negussi, Ms Wiebke Volkmann, Dr Christian Huelsebusch and many more. Participants have to arrange their own transport and accomodation. The registration fee is N$200 per person and will have to be paid at registration. For further details and to register, please contact Ms Donneline Vermeulen, Tel 061 247245, Fax 061 247390,
Summerdown FA is holding a member meeting on October 16 at 14:00 at the FA hall. Guest speaker is Mr Horst Schommarz of the Roads Authority. Further information can be obtained from Sunette Blaauw, Tel 081 2935120,
Karasberge FA is holding its Annual General Meeting on October 17 at 15:00 at the FA hall. Members are encouraged to attend the meeting as important decisions have to be taken. For further details contact Retief von Wielligh, Tel 063 280801 or Amelia van Rooyen, Tel 063 280677,
The Namibian Environment & Wildlife Society is offering a tour through the Plastic Packaging Plant on October 19 from 09:00 – 11:30. For further details and for registration, please contact Mr John Pallett, Tel 081 2402528,
Osire-Waterberg FA is holding a farmers day on October 22 at 09:00 at Farm Penwood. Guest speakers are Messrs Janus Lepen, Willem Groenewaldt and Ian Galloway Jnr. During the women’s program Mrs Nicolene Groenewaldt will talk about colour analysis. The day is concluded with a Steak braai. Please register before October 14 with Mrs Anka Visher, Tel 067 306207, 081 4844128,
Witvlei FA is holding a general meeting on October 23 at 14:00 at Farm Gottesgabe of Georg and Sabine Friedrich. For further details contact Monica Bouwer, Tel 062 570317,
Steinhausen FA is holding a member meeting on Saturday, October 26 at 15:00 at Farm Otjisororindi of H & C Lichtenberg. Guest speaker is Mr J Groenewald. For further information contact Mayke Rumpf, Tel 062 561422,
Karibib FA is holding a meeting on November 23 at 17:00 at Kaltenhausen. Guest speakers are Dr Joggie Briedenhann of Hartebeesloop Bonsmara and Mr Dagh Calitz of Teltech who will talk about farm radios. For further details contact Mrs Gladis, Tel 061 248480,

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