Omaheke salutes Louis van der Merwe

The death of prominent farmer Louis van der Merwe drew tributes from everywhere, especially from his home region of Omaheke, where he was held in high esteem. He died on Sunday from an illness.

Van der Merwe has farmed in the Omaheke region for many years and has worked tirelessly to improve livestock standards in the region through action, while he was a strong advocate of high market prices for livestock in the region.

As the agricultural sector mourns his death, ordinary residents of Omaheke also grapple with his death, as they remember the late farmer’s economic contribution to the town and region as a whole.

For many of them, farmer Brahman will be engraved in their hearts for making and erecting the white Brahman bull statue at the entrance to the eastern town of Gobabis, which in turn has become a landmark important for the city and the region.

Omaheke Governor Pio Nganate wrote: “The region has lost one of its great sons, Comrade Louis van der Merwe, the man who selflessly erected the Brahman bull which has become the symbol of this great region, and has caused the region to be affectionately known as “cattle country”. We will remember him for his economic and social contribution.

“Every time we walk into Gobabis we will know he is always with us because the bull he erected will forever speak of his heritage. He was a true farmer who believed in quality and did everything possible to ensure quality is maintained in the production of his livestock,” said Felix Hambira, who farms in the communal area of ​​Epukiro.

For PDM leader McHenry Venaani, who is also a farmer in the Omaheke region, Van der Merwe’s death is a blow for agriculture. He said that as a weaned farmer, the late farmer had great human relations with his fellow farmers and was always ready to share his knowledge of the industry when invited.

“I remember him as one of the hardest working farmers. His St Blaize farm is a sign of the hard work he has put in over the years when you look at how it has been developed over the years. He is clearly a pioneer in agriculture, and his contribution to the sector will be sorely missed. We will especially remember his stoic contribution to the sector.

Van der Merwe was a lover of the Brahman race; but not just any Brahman – the White Brahman, to be precise, which he considered to be of higher meat quality and high carcass weight compared to its red cousin.

St Blaize Brahman Stud had its humble beginnings in 1971 when Van der Merwe purchased three top quality pregnant Brahman cows. As a farmer and herder, but also a livestock agent, he traveled extensively in Namibia and was impressed by the great impact these beautiful humped breeds had had on the national herd in the short time since their first importation. in the South at the time. West Africa.

After these first cows followed purchases of females from some of the best Brahman herds in Namibia and South Africa. Today, the female St Blaize Brahman herd consists of approximately 220 breeding females, and the herd has been closed for 20 years. The females have a certain look and are well adapted to the harsh African climate.

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2022-08-16 Charles Tjatindi

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