NDF officers travel all the way from Okahandja to Karasburg for training by NDF
The date producer in the south, Namibia Desert Fruit, was chosen as case study by the defence training college in Okahandja to teach senior officers the intricacies of the Namibian economy and the individual roles of single entities in the larger mix.
Eighteen senior officers from the Namibia Command and Staff College in Okahandja travelled a thousand kilometres to Karasburg last week, led by the college’s commanding officer, Brigadier General Mathew Shipulwa, to experience first-hand Desert Fruit’s participation in the immediate regional economy, and its contribution to the larger national economy.
According to the college, this internal industrial study tour was an important part of the course curriculum and provided an insight into existing social-economic and infrastructure development of the country. “The tour was meant to acquaint the officers with Desert Fruit Namibia’s operational capability and to ascertain its contribution to Namibian food security. Most importantly, it was also meant to gather adequate information on how dates production contributes to the growth of the national economy. The outcome objectives of this study will culminate in research to determine how the agricultural sector influences national security.” The officers also learned for the first time that Desert Fruit exports its entire harvest, thus not contributing in any way to local food security.
The officers complimented Desert Fruit Managing Director, Seth Holmes and his staff for the in-depth knowledge imparted. “There were many insightful moments, but the most outstanding is the social responsibility aspect by Desert Fruit through the construction of the crèche and playground for the workers’ children at the farm. That was a pleasing gesture and we encourage [them] to keep up the good work by facilitating the education of a Namibian child,” said Wing Commander Thomas Imbili.
Holmes mirrored the appreciation, saying that the visit was a great success. “We prepared a presentation as requested by the Defence Force on the organisational structure, values, goals and objectives, operational facilities and contribution to the economy. We were impressed with the questions asked and the eagerness which the Defence Force staff expressed in learning and gathering knowledge.”
The study tour formed part of a course to develop senior Defence Force officers to take up command and staff appointments and equip them with the necessary leadership skills and knowledge to be successful.