Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

30 November 2012

Namibia: Agricity Concept Viable for Growing Micro Crops

According to Kennedy Shindodi, a Young and Innovative Social preneur, as he describes himself, there is opportunity to turn the small-scale production of organic food into a growth industry.

"Namibia should exploit the advantages it has over other countries, to take the lead in growing organic food" he said.

"The last economic bubble was in social media and the next one will be in food. Therefore we must push to make profits out of organic food."

He said that as a developing country, the focus should be on food production as it connects to all other sectors in the economy. "The primary sector is immensely important and what we did wrong so far is jumping the primary sector. When the South African trucks were not leaving for Namibia, food stuff such as beans were decreasing on the shelves and there was no supply for that period of time, and these are things that we can produce ourselves. Why should we rely on outsiders when we are fully capable of feeding our own people."

Very recently, Shindodi was awarded the Meet Alliance Award and will be representing the country alongside other top young innovators from all over Africa for the Junior Achievement winner of the Meet Alliance Award. He will compete against other young innovators from the continent and will represent Namibia at the South African Meet Alliance Competition, 2013.

Shindodi is the founder of Brain-Child Technologies, established in 2011 incorporating several other business brands.

In line with many European countries such as Sweden and Norway, Shindodi envisions a green technology for Namibia. "I like to think of myself as someone with a flair for investment, and this concept is possible in a few years from now."

"My aim is to bring city farming to Namibia. Imagine if food is available right in the town, that means that retailers save on transportation and logistics, which at the end of the day decreases food prices in the store and in turn many people can stay healthy as they can afford food."

He said that the reason why food is so expensive is merely a result of the fact that manufacturing sites are far, but if farming takes place within the city, consumers can afford food that is nutritious leading to a much healthier urban population.

Shindodi said he is against machinery being used to increase agricultural production. He foresees reduced unemployment as many people will be self-employed if the concept takes off. He says the only setback with this concept is financing as it is a costly project but results will be fruitful. "Therefore it will only take place in future and we are still conducting research on the idea. As a small county we do not need mass production, all we need is high quality produce by our own people, for our people. If we let machinery do all the work, we are not empowering anyone and we do not have the nation's interest at heart."

He said that the time will come when we will have more educated people and we move into the secondary sector but for now, agriculture is still our main livelihood.

Shindodi argues that other countries have succeeded with the concept and Namibia can also be leader in food production, even for export but it will need the assistance of the government.

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