Goodbye Kazmaier, hallo Klein

The new Chief Executive of Agra Ltd, Arnold Klein has ambitious plans to take the former agricultural cooperative to the next level. Speaking at the farewell of his predecessor, Peter Kazmaier, Klein said he is proud to have been part of the management team under the previous CEO. “I can look back and take pride in what we have achieved as a team lead by Peter as our CEO and I am committed to take Agra to even greater heights” he said.

Klein grew up on a farm between Maltahöhe and Helmeringhausen, an experience which made him uniquely qualified to lead the country’s leading agri-business. Conditions in the south are notoriously difficult and harsh demanding of farmers a large measure of tenacity but also endurance and innovation.

Klein qualified as an agricultural economist with an honours degree he completed in 1991. In his career he gained extensive experience in the agricultural sector, focusing on agricultural policies, production economics, food security and international trade as agricultural economist in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry and as Manager: Executive Council Affairs at the Namibia Agricultural Union. With a passion for the agribusiness environment, he is very familiar with the challenges and opportunities in the agricultural sector through his interaction with producers, suppliers, government institutions and parastatals.

He entered the world of agribusiness as General Manager of Hardap Co-operative in 1996 and held the position for seven years before becoming the General Manager: Retail and Wholesale at Agra.

Klein joined Agra in October 2003 as General Manager: Retail and Wholesale for the full period until his appointment as CEO earlier this year. In this period of 12 years, the Agra Retail and Wholesale division had to address various challenges and take a number of difficult decisions and drastic steps to ensure the future of Agra as business and important role player in agriculture.

The recruitment process for the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer for Agra began November last year and in June this year the Board of Directors announced his appointment.

First on the agenda for the new CEO is the opening of a retail branch in Rundu and several DIY depots in other centra.

“Agra’s strategic focus and core business will remain our service to the agricultural industry” he said reiterating their commitment to support and growth. “Working towards the point where Agra’s value and achievements are reflected in our share price, I want the current share holders of Agra, who are mainly the agricultural producers, to enjoy the benefits of a growing Agra and a growing share price” he said.