Entering its second phase, the Buy Local, Grow Namibia campaign has shone a light on various local products, such as locally manufactured Omuriro firelighters.
Omuriro Manufacturing CC, based at Omaruru, has been producing handmade waterproof firelighters from invader bush since 2017.
According to the company's marketing manager, Wallie Roux, they were not part of the first phase [of the campaign] but they are hopeful that being involved will bring a measure of recognition and expansion.
“We were not part of phase one of this campaign. It is our sincere hope that being on board now will bring tangible results in the not too distant future,” said Roux speaking to The Namibian.
He credits Peter Till as the person behind the concept and Omuriro's main partner. Till was previously involved in the charcoal business, and this is how the idea came to life:
“He observed that after harvesting invader bush, the three main products were charcoal, braai wood (larger pieces) and 'bush-feed' for animals (smallest pieces). However, there were some leftovers that were too small for charcoal production or braai wood, but too large to produce 'bush-feed',” said Roux.
Roux said Till started working on ideas to utilise these leftovers and came up with the concept of a 100% natural firelighter.
However, Covid-19 has had a negative effect on the business.
“The factory at Omaruru was closed, because it could not obtain an essential services permit, thus subsequently distribution came to a halt.
“This was a severe blow to us, given that the South African authorities recognised firelighters as an essential item during the lockdown, hence imports continued and we lost our market share footprint against South African petroleum-type firelighters,” he added.
Another result of the pandemic is the company losing all their clients in the tourism industry, said Roux.
Despite this, Roux encouraged other local businesses to be part of the Buy Local/Grow Namibia campaign as it provides much needed exposure.
“Given my brief encounter during the launch of phase two, and the willingness of multiple partnering organisations to promote locally manufactured products, I would recommend that (specifically) SME producers should get on board given a well endorsed exposure platform,” he added.
On the occasion of the presentation of the activities for the Buy Local/Grow Namibia campaign, minister of trade industrialisation and trade Lucia Iipumbu said the campaign is crucial in ensuring that local businesses are part and parcel of Namibia's economic recovery plan from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We all can play our roles in our individual capacities to achieve a common goal. I call on each and every Namibian to support this campaign through local purchases of our locally made products,” said Iipumbu.
Full credit to Puyeipawa Nakashole from The Namibian Newspaper for this article. Original article available at: https://www.namibian.com.na/index.php?page=read&id=105776
We thank The Namibian for their partnership in the Buy Local, Grow Namibia campaign. To read more about this event, visit this link: https://namibia.un.org/en/146835-buy-local-grow-namibia-phase-2-builds-…