Ambassadors, Heads and representatives of Diplomatic Missions of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member countries, visited the Riela Company, a large family-owned company that has existed since 1972, which is also present in Eastern Europe and Africa. Osnabrück is the well-known town, home to the Central station of “villages” and households in the surrounding area, which is also located in Lower Saxony, but the company is located in Püsselberg, North-Rhine-Westphalia.
This joint mission aims at promoting the interest of the member countries by multiplying the meetings and diversifying the partners for the purposes of programs / projects carrying and touching the vulnerable majority.
There is no need to reiterate the importance of agriculture in the development of SADC member countries and of Africa in general, and Riela’s pragmatism and efficient crop management (at its current level) rhyme perfectly with this goal. In fact, it is logical to first find solutions to reduce post-harvest losses (estimated at about 60%) by providing machines for drying and preserving products, training young people, transferring technologies, before starting any “big green revolution”.
The ultimate goal is to ensure Africa’s food self-sufficiency and to do so, it will be necessary to meet the needs of local people instead of exporting to Europe, resulting in considerable losses and additional costs on packaging and export procedures.
For the future, the Group seeks to negotiate pilot projects in each country, to demonstrate that a type of “bottom-up” and “pragmatic” development can work with resource persons and actors on the ground on both sides. With this in mind, Centers embracing three functions: transfer of knowledge and training, agri-shops with a starting point for access to mechanization, Innovation Centers as incubators of management models will be implemented. Riela is a true model of large-scale demonstration. During factory visits, and the delivery of manufactured goods, Mr. Karl-Heinz Knoop, the owner, also expressed his ambition to see more “trucks loaded” to go to Africa. During his visits to some African countries since 15 years now, he will go to the countryside, where the “real” needs are most felt. Indeed, Riela (Rieseberg Landmaschinen) is not a business like any other, if only through the example of its generous contributions to the development of a Training Center in Tanzania. It joins however the new business-model aiming at going beyond sole profit.