Exhibitors participating in the Amalgamated Rotational Annual Festival (ARAF) taking place in Omaruru have welcomed the platform availed to them to enable them to showcase their products.
ARAF is a collaborative initiative by the Omaruru, Karibib and Usakos Local Authority Councils (OKULAC), and will be rotationally hosted in the three different towns annually.
Mayor of the host town Vincent Kahua during the opening of the four-day festival expressed that the event is set to revive the economy and attract investment opportunities within the three towns, equalising small and medium enterprise growth and expansion for the betterment of the three towns’ livelihood.
Among the exhibitors is Gabriel Kambinda, a local farmer specialising in the production of vegetables.
Kambinda said the festival is a good platform for him to showcase his produce and promote his family business on the outskirts of Omaruru town.
“I am thankful for the opportunity to be allowed to also be part of it, although customers are not really many yet, it is understandable because it is still the first days of the festival, I believe more customers will come as time goes,” he stated.
Kambinda expressed that although the farm is faced with water shortage which sometimes affects production, his family have dug a man-made well to enable them to extract underground water to be able to water their crops.
“We have applied to the municipality for a prepaid card, which is what the municipality currently uses to supply water to the town’s residents, and we are hoping for a positive response soon because we want to grow our farm,” he said.
Another exhibitor Lawrence Nyambe, who travelled from Grootfontein in the Otjozondjupa Region said he saw the festival as an opportunity to market his upcoming catering business, Taste Buds, to the masses.
Nyambe commended the initiative, adding that platforms such as these should be provided often as they enable those who are unemployed to earn a little income.
“The unemployment rate is so high and often we sit and wait for something to be handed to us and nothing ever happens, so we are taking initiatives into our own hands. This business also enables me to be financially independent,” Nyambe expressed.
The local exhibitors also expressed the need for more platforms like these and permanent markets in the future to enable them to sell their products.
ARAF has attracted over 100 exhibitors including cooperates and SMEs, and ends on Saturday.
Source: The Namibia Press Agency