Enormous potential to be major supplier of agri-products
Added Kaalund, “I think Namibia is a land of opportunities. When we visited local farmers, we witnessed the special kind of energy and passion they put into their production. If maintained, that kind of energy and passion will take Namibia very far in terms of food production. If you have that, you can develop, produce and create a future that is wonderful.
We have lost that kind of passion and energy in Europe.”
During their visit to farms in Namibia last week, Kaalund said she was happy to see the professional way in which farmers treat their livestock, as well as the professional production systems they operate. She is of the opinion that bigger commercial farmers should reach out to small-scale farmers in the communal areas. “There’s a need for skills transfer from commercial farmers to communal farmers. There’s need for working together” she said. “The assumption is right that Namibia has the potential to produce food for the world in future. I see the passion, courage and future vision. I have travelled to other parts of the world and people are not normally as committed and driven as what I have seen in Namibia. Namibia’s future is big,” Kaalund said.
Carsten Lingren, another delegate from the Danish Coop, echoed Kaalund’s sentiments saying, “I particularly like the environment which Namibian farmers create to operate their production systems and the way they accept each other. There is however a need for them to collaborate more. There is a huge future in farming in the country but it requires some reflection on the direction the country wants to take. Furthermore, if Namibia could export more beef, it would improve your economy.”
Benedikte Kaalund is the CEO of the Danish Coop, a leading retailer with about 1200 supermarkets, hypermarkets, and discount stores throughout Denmark. The Danish retailer boasts a 38% market share and continues to grow. It is owned by the cooperative FDB (Fællesforeningen For Danmarks Brugsforeninger) which comprises 1.7 million members of the Danish Consumers’ Cooperative Society. The Danish Coop is a major supporter of Meatco’s developmental initiatives in the rural areas by way of the Meatco Foundation.