Through the vision and wisdom of the Founder and Chairman of the Onguma Group, strategic plans were made to ensure the ongoing sustainability of the Onguma Nature Reserve. Amongst numerous aspects, he correctly foresaw the major threat to practical sustainability would be hungry people.
Sustainability on Onguma...
“Onguma should offer the local community the opportunity of having meaningful and productive lives by allowing residents of the area to economically benefit from operations based on the Onguma Reserve. This will curb them from destroying the habitat to eke out a living.”
“The main aim is to provide jobs and income – not to act as a charitable institution.”
One of our major objectives was to create jobs on a large scale for the local Oshivelo community and to this effect, local professional farmers, Jan and Lizette Cronje, in association with Onguma Nature Reserve, founded the Sustainability project known as Oshivelo Farming, in August 2012.
Oshivelo Farming is a 500-hectare vegetable farm located on the borders of Etosha, Oshivelo township and Onguma. Currently 94 hectares are under irrigation and Oshivelo Farming aims at developing another 150 hectares in the foreseeable future. Water is sourced from strong boreholes on the property.
Starting from nothing but overgrown bush, Jan and Lizette developed the farm to the extent that it is currently one of the top five vegetable producers in Namibia.
Oshivelo Farming produces carrots year round, beetroot, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, cabbage, maize, butternut and broccoli as well as papayas. Four hundred tons of vegetable is currently sold monthly into the Namibian market. Clients range from major supermarket groups like Woolworths, Spar, Checkers and Food Lovers Market, to the informal traders through an outlet at Oshivelo.
Oshivelo Farming currently employs 180 local people on a permanent basis of which 80% are women. Up to 100 additional people are employed seasonally. All of these individuals were previously unemployed, eking out an existence in Oshivelo.
In addition to the creation of sustainable jobs, Oshivelo Farming also regularly subsidizes vegetables to where there is a need. Assistance has also been given to the local school, in the form of fencing around the school and to acquire tables and chairs for the scholars. Assistance has also been given to the local community in building a soccer field.
Jan and Lizette’s goal is to meaningfully assist and contribute to the upliftment of the community of Oshivelo and the surrounding district. Their passion for and commitment to their community is clearly visible in every aspect of the Oshivelo Township, their business and their personal lives. You won’t easily find two humbler people, with great pride in their country, their workers, the farm and the quality of their products. They have a passionate belief in the future and the spirit of working together to leave this world a better place than how they found it.
Onguma is very proud to be a part of this initiative. We believe that Onguma, together with Oshivelo Farming, contributes positively to the lives of the Oshivelo community – both young and old…
To find out more about Jan and Lizette, visit Oshivelo Farm to experience the passion and pride that took them from nothing to where Oshivelo Farming is today, in six short years – driven by intelligent hard work and long hours.