Much more than just a co-op
In its latest social report, released last week, Agra Ltd describes farming conditions in 2015 as “very challenging with one of the worst droughts in years, the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease north of the Veterinary Cordon Fence and the animal health regulations that were put in place by South Africa affecting Namibia’s export of livestock to our neighbouring country.”
Besides sharing Agra’s inputs as a major role player in the agriculture industry, the report also highlights a multitude of initiatives and efforts of several organisations committed to develop both agriculture and local communities.
Agra said it’s support to various events, projects and initiatives can be divided into knowledge and skills development; organised agriculture; agronomy; swakara and livestock as well as support to other groups where Agra does business as a diverse product and service provider. The report also shares Agra’s inputs into the development of their employees.
Agra experienced positive growth and was privileged to be able to invest largely in local infrastructure during the past two years. Besides the economic impact of Agra’s business, 2015 was again a year in which the company aimed to address the social aspect of the communities in which they do business. The report stated: “Through involvement we strived to better the lives of the Namibian community, especially in a year where the agricultural industry had to face various challenges of which the intense drought was a major factor.”
Agra’s advisory services division, ProVision, played a major role in Agra’s contribution to knowledge and skills development. Through the services of this division, farmers were once again exposed to viable farming techniques, solutions and alternatives and supported to understand their important role and increase their impact on the growth of the industry. Within the industry and organised agriculture, various groups take initiatives to organise events to share information and skills, focusing on specific needs or current issues. Agra supported these initiatives through sponsorships, financially or in kind and through physical assistance and involvement.
Several training courses and interactive breakfast sessions were presented by ProVision covering topics such as animal health, optimised production, rangeland management in dry seasons; financial viability of livestock farming and financial & risk management for optimised dryland agronomy.