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Grow your profits naturally

Manager of Greenfield Fertilizer cc, Johann le Riche (Photograph by Melba Chipepo).

Okahandja based Greenfield Fertilizer cc have come up with a unique way to increase and improve plant growth by specializing in the production of organic fertilizer, a practice done without the usage of chemicals, well known for reducing soil fertility over the long run.
The manure is made from combusted cow, chicken, horse manure and bark. The tree bark is collected at Osire refugee camp and is sterilized and treated using sterilizing fluid. The manure goes through a number of processes before organic carbon and nitrogen is added. “The organic carbon and nitrogen help improve root development on the plants, give the plant a greener colour and increase the size of the crop product,” explained manager of the green enterprise, Johann le Riche.

The production of organic manure by Greenfield Fertilizer is one of many projects funded by the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia, (EIF). Through EIF’s Green Concessional Loan that amounted to N$3.9 million, Greenfield now boasts a permanent staff of 26 which le Riche emphasized is a huge milestone from the six employees he started off with.
“If it was not for EIF we would not be here when I started this business, I had over a million in my account when I first started, and a year and a half later it was gone,” he said.
He added that the fertilizers also help improve water retention in soil, enhance plant health, improve absorption rate as well as good leaf coverage. The company boasts a production of 15 000 tonnes of manure per day (75 000 tonnes per week), and profits of N$2.2 million from Agra who they supply their products to.
Le Riche stressed that even though the company is making good profits, they sometimes face challenges, “When a mechanical part on one of our machines breaks we sometimes have to wait for a part from South Africa as some parts are not readily available in Namibia, another challenge we face is that most of our products are out in the open therefore the rain sometimes becomes a problem.
The only advantage we have over the rain is that it does not directly spoil our products as they are all organic and do not have any chemicals that can cause them to harden.”
Another challenge faced by the company is the reluctance to use their products by the older farmers as they prefer to use older methods of getting healthy plants and soil. “Most people say it wont work because it is organic, we do however understand that one cannot just turn away from using chemical manure. Using organic manure is not an overnight decision, one has to move gradually from the use of chemical manure to organic manure,” he said.
He further emphasized that their products are user friendly and can be used by anyone. The EIF continue to expand their green foot print. To date the fund has benefited close to 50 projects countrywide with an investment value of close to N$13 million, benefiting close to 18,985 people.
As the exclusive supplier of organic manure, potting soil, agricultural gypsum and lawn dressing to Agra, Greenfield is also acting as a distributor and wholesaler to greenhouses and schemes across the country. “We do not sell individual bags to farmers and plant lovers but supply Agra, Pupkewitz and to the green schemes in Etunda and Donga li nena.”

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