Former President Hifikepunye Pohamba has challenged Paragon Seafood Products (PSP) to export its fish products to Spain and other African countries.
Pohamba said this during a recent visit to his office by Paragon Seafood Products Directors Lazarus Jacobs and Desmond Amunyela.
The two had visited the former president to brief him on the operations of the new company.
Pohamba praised Paragon for heeding the ‘Growth at Home’ strategy he made during his tenure as president.
“Namibia is a country that is a net importer of food but what you are doing right now is definitely the correct thing.
“You are adding value to our own products and goods, and this is highly commendable,” Pohamba said while holding a can of Tjao Fish.
Amunyela and Jacobs said they visited Pohamba to honour a promise they made to him during his first month in office nearly 10 years ago.
Amunyela said the fishing company had pumped most of its earnings received through its quota usage fees generated over the past two years into building a vertically integrated food production company and developing a new brand based on the catchy phrase, ‘Tjao’.
“The first product to roll out under the Tjao brand was a 1kg frozen horse mackerel consumer pack which was earmarked for distribution to lower income groups throughout the length and breadth of the country,” he said.
The businessman said the decision to roll out horse mackerel products was mainly to cater for the lower income households
“It is a vital source of protein at a fairly competitive price compared to other contemporary sources of protein such as chicken and red meat which are beyond the scope of most poor households.
“The product has already been identified by the World Health Programme, which advices the Namibian Government on nutritional intakes, as a very strong potential addition to the country’s school feeding basket.
“Also the extension of its shelf life from 18 months as a frozen glazed product to three years as a canned product makes it an ideal candidate for the national Food Bank,” he said.
Amunyela said discussions were currently taking place between the relevant parties to finalise the make-up of the Namibian School Feeding basket.
He said if canned Horse Mackerel is included in the basket, then Paragon Seafood Products would need a much larger quota to be able to supply the National School Feeding Program.
Amunyela and Jacobs first met with Pohamba more than 10 years ago when they only had two companies and employed 14 people.
Paragon now employs more than 200 people in seven business interests across sectors such as hospitality, marketing and advertising, energy, retail, publishing, property development, information technology and food products.