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Top Swakara producers awarded

(From left to right) Dagmar Honsbein, GM of Agra ProVision; LJ Kotze of Kleinbegin; P Steenkamp of Aukam; Mr Strauss of The Rossouw Strauss Trust; MM Steyn of A-Hingas; PHK Maritz of Hudap; Meyer Boerdery, Perdevlei and Mr and Mrs de Jager of Swartkop Farming.

(From left to right) Dagmar Honsbein, GM of Agra ProVision; LJ Kotze of Kleinbegin; P Steenkamp of Aukam; Mr Strauss of The Rossouw Strauss Trust; MM Steyn of A-Hingas; PHK Maritz of Hudap; Meyer Boerdery, Perdevlei and Mr and Mrs de Jager of Swartkop Farming.

Swakara farmers were treated to a week of Swakara activites in Keetmanshoop last week, starting with the AGM of the breeders association and concluding with a board meeting of the Karakul Board.
Swakara is the indigenous breed of sheep derived from the Karakul imported from the Caucasus more than a hundred years ago.
At the first Swakara Industry Forum (SIF) that took place on Tuesday, different speakers informed the producers on recent developments in the industry. One of the speakers, Jaco van Zyl, Agra ProVision’s Technical Advisor: Swakara Production Systems, presented a study on “The importance of the Swakara Industry and Opportunities for Growth.”
At the same event, Dagmar Honsbein, General Manager of Agra ProVision presented the “Possibilities and Opportunities for the Swakara Industry to grow.” “It is of utmost importance that we safeguard the interests of this unique industry. Therefore, we must walk together to protect the national heritage by registering Swakara (separately from Karakul) as an indigenous breed and according to international taxonomy norms,” she said. Another important guest to the Forum was Dr. Erold Naomab, HOD: Chemistry and Biochemistry at Keetmanshoop UNAM. He said  the university will do everything in its ability to support the Swakara Industry.
Mr. Torben Nielsen, CEO of Kopenhagen Fur where all Swakara pelts are sold, told the producers that there is a growing demand for pelts. The challenge is to produce more high-quality furs.
At a Swakara fashion show and awards ceremony, hosted by the Karakul Board, the top ten producers were named and awarded.  Nikola Conradie scooped the Swakara Young Designers Award, which includes a week-long trip to Copenhagen to the annual Swakara pelt auction.
Two Golden Lamb Awards were given to the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry and to Kopenhagen Fur respectively. Nielsen received the award on behalf of Kopenhagen Fur and Desmond Tshikesho on behalf of the ministry. The Golden Lamb is awarded to outstanding institutions or persons with the interest of the Swakara industry at heart. The award has been presented annually since 1979.
The next day, at the elite ram auction at the Canyon Hotel. Tienie de Witt from Zamenkomst Farm near Koës, paid the highest price of N$30,000 for a white ram. The highest price for a black Swakara ram of N$25,000, was paid by Lovedale Farming cc.

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