Vocational Training in Organic farming for marginalised Namibian youths

Das kompetente Trainerteam der Ausbildungssfarm

The competent trainer team of the farm

Eine junge Frau der Khoisan Community, die begeistert ihr eigenes Beet bestellt

A young Khoisan woman, cultivating her field

Our Managing Director Dr. Heinrich Heinrichs travelled to Namibia for the second time this year to accompany the setting-up of a vocational training center in collaboration with the Namibian Training Authority (NTA) and the Komeho Development Agency. The training center is located in the Omaheke region in the East of the country and is accompanied on site by the africrops! vocational trainer for organic farming (Landwirtschaftsmeister) Hartmut Blömker.

Goal of the training center is to give young Namibians the opportunity complete a solid vocational training in the agricultural sector and earn a secure income. The trainees have been selected by the local authorities and stem from various marginalized communities, such as the Khoisan, who often encounter only limited opportunities for professional development.

Hartmut Blömker explains the concept for organic composting to the NTA inspector

Hartmut Blömker explains the concept for organic composting to the NTA inspector

Already in June 2018 the training farm was inspected by the Namibia Training Authority (NTA) and will be officially registered and funded as a vocational training center.

Dr. Heinrich Heinrichs mit Auszubildenden der Trainingsfarm

Dr. Heinrich Heinrichs with some of the trainees

africrops! has been playing a central role in the development of the training farm. Dr. Heinrichs and our africrops! agricultural expert and vocational trainer Hartmut Blömker developed an organic farming curriculum based on Namibian government specifications, so that the graduates of the training center will receive an official Namibian vocational training certificate. The implementation leans on the German model for dual education and training, whereby practical training is done directly on a functioning production site to generate an income from the sales of the produce. Mr. Blömker accompanies the build-up and start-up phase. The theoretical part takes place in the well-equipped seminar rooms of the center.

Dr. Heinrich Heinrichs mit Komeho-Leiterin Nelago Kasuto und Minister für Armutsbekämpfung Dr. Zephania Kameeta

Dr. Heinrichs with Komeho director Nelago Kasuto and Minister for Poverty Eradication Dr. Kameeta

Initially the trainees learn how to cultivate vegetables and Moringa oleifera. africrops! plays a significant role in this. As a buyer of moringa, we open a path for these products into global markets. To successfully compete in global markets and offer organically certified products, the organic certification of the training farm is envisaged for this year. At the same time, the development of local markets is also supported: The farm is not only intended to cover its own needs for vegetables, but aims at creating a sustainable income through the sale of high-value organic vegetables on the local market.

The Namibian government has welcomed the training farm with enthusiasm. The Ministry for Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare has been inspired by this unique approach and aims to replicate the model in other parts of the country. The opening of the training farm is a further example of what can be achieved through developmental collaboration with local partners on eye-level!

africrops! cooperates with Kolping for a new moringa project in Tanzania

Our Managing Director Dr. Andreas Wesselmann and East Africa Director Dr. Gelase Rugaimukamu together with the District Commissioner and representatives of Kolping Tanzania

Our Managing Director Dr. Andreas Wesselmann and East Africa Director Dr. Gelase Rugaimukamu together with the District Commissioner and representatives of Kolping Tanzania

Thanks to our expertise in the field of moringa cultivation, africrops! was approached by Kolping Germany with a request to conduct a feasibility study on moringa cultivation in Tanzania.

In recent years, the Kolping Vocational Training Institute in Hettstedt (Germany) has developed a caffeinated soft drink with moringa and baobab among the ingredients. In order to obtain high quality moringa in the long term, a joint project with Kolping Tanzania was initiated to set up a moringa farm in Tanzania. Kolping comprises a worldwide network of about 400,000 members in more than 60 countries. According to their own statements, Kolping members actively promote a socially just change in society.

The project in Tanzania comprises a number of objectives, including the development of moringa farmland and a so-called Center of Excellence. The center includes all basic steps in the production of moringa powder, such as harvesting, drying and grinding the moringa leaves. In addition, it will also serve as a training center where members of the Kolping family are trained in moringa cultivation, harvesting and processing. To ensure the sustainability of such a center by local trainers, the project includes a “training of trainers” programme.

The project is a typical example of the work of africrops!: our unique approach does not only focus on the purchase of raw materials, but also entails the active participation in setting up local production chains in Africa.


German Ambassador Dr. Detlef Wächter together with our East Africa Director Dr. Rugaimukamu

German Ambassador Dr. Detlef Wächter together with our East Africa Director Dr. Rugaimukamu

africrops! was represented at this year’s Saba Saba trade fair together with the certification authority Kiwa BCS at the German joint stand. The stand was supported by the Federal Ministry of Economics. With almost 2,500 exhibitors and around 500,000 visitors, Saba Saba is Tanzania’s largest international trade fair. It took place for the 42nd time in Dar-es-Salam from 28 June to 8 July 2018.

Our joint stand enjoyed great interest among the visitors

Our joint stand enjoyed great interest among the visitors

The agricultural sector in Tanzania and East Africa in general is growing steadily. In addition to the local market, many producers are seeking opportunities to export high-quality agricultural products to Europe. Organic certification according to European standards serves as a door-opener to access these new markets. In addition, the higher selling prices for organic produce benefits local farmers.

As a company that offers advice to local farmers and at the same time imports organically grown plant products, africrops! considers cooperation with a reputable certification body as very important. The joint appearance with Kiwa BCS served the primary goal to illustrate the organic certification process to visitors using the example of moringa and baobab. At the same time, the special business approach of africrops! and the work in Tanzania was presented.

The German Ambassador to Tanzania, Dr. Detlef Wächter, was also very interested in the africrops! approach and the cooperation with Kiwa BCS. The presence of German companies in Tanzania is highly appreciated by representatives of the Tanzanian politicians and the business community. The “German Pavilion” was named the best foreign stand at the Saba Saba trade fair by the Tanzanian Prime Minister.

africrops! at the World Food Convention 2018

This year’s World Food Convention was organized by the Tagesspiegel publishing house and focused on the key question: “How can we feed the world without destroying it?”. Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture Julia Klöckner and Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller were among the speakers of a high-level programme.

Our stand at the World Food Convention 2018

Our stand at the World Food Convention 2018

Special attention was paid to Africa and the topic of food security – areas in which africrops! is active right from its inception. For years, we have been promoting sustainable agriculture that cultivates high-quality agricultural products and creates new sales markets. In his speech, Federal Minister Müller called for fair trade and fair prices for African producers. We share this demand and are convinced that long-term business relationships can only be established and continued through fair trade at eye level with our African partners.

Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture Julia Klöckner Foto: Susanne Aschenkersbaumer, Tagesspiegel

Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture Julia Klöckner
Photo: Susanne Aschenkersbaumer, Tagesspiegel

Another topic of discussion was global malnutrition and the need to develop solutions to tackle it. Especially Moringa and Baobab offer a whole range of possibilities to counteract malnutrition in the affected countries. Thanks to its special nutritional profile, Moringa is already being used in some of our projects to combat malnutrition in Tanzania, Gambia and Namibia.

At our stand the nearly 500 participants were not only able to taste our delicious and healthy smoothies, but also learn a lot about the africrops! approach and the many projects on the African continent. Once again, we have proven that Baobab and Moringa are African premium products that are enjoying increasing popularity in both Africa and Germany.