The Karakul Board of Namibia (KBN) revealed that it had sold karakul pelts to the value of N$729 million in the last two years through Agra Ltd, which is its marketing and administrative service provider.
In 2014 a total of 119 566 pelts were sold at N$560.40 per pelt compared to 2015 were 115 921 pelts were sold on N$445 per pelt The Villager learned.
Agra, a farmers’ cooperative, collects and sorts Swakara raw pelts for exporting and sale in Denmark.
Agra is the sole exporter of Swakara pelts since the inception of the co-operative and works closely with the Karakul Board of Namibia (KBN) in marketing and promoting this special product worldwide.
“Swakara is only produced in Namibia and on a smaller scale in South Africa and Botswana. There are over 600 farmers who are Swakara producers in Namibia alone,” Jenny Korner, Swakara administrator and a board member of the KBN said.
Namibia produces approximately 140 000 karakul pelts per annum that are sold under the Swakara brand at Copenhagen fur festival in Denmark twice a year.
The Villager understands that more farmers are needed to enter the lucrative karakul farming industry to fill the gap for a growing demand for pelts in the international market.
“We will continue focusing on the professional marketing of Swakara pelts, developing and implementing strategies for growing the industry, imparting knowledge and directly supporting the farmers in their strive to grow the industry,” Korner said.
According to the manager of KBN, Wessel Visser, the board appointed a marketing agent Agra LTD for collecting, sorting in various grades, export and handling of the post auction payments and reports.
“The board’s main function is to promote the use of Swakara fur internationally and by that create buyers for the Namibian pelts at the auctions. The board collects a statutory levy on all pelts sold,” Visser said.
All pelts are bar coded to identify the different farmers and then inter-sorted.
From the pelts sold in Denmark, high fashion garments and accessories products are produced.
Early this year, Agra’s Pelt Centre dispatched a consignment of 56 138 pelts destined to Copenhagen, Denmark for the international pelt auction while Agra facilitated two international pelt auctions last year.
The auctions brought together a total of 115 918 pelts under the hammer at Kopenhagen Fur in Denmark. At the April 2015 auction, a total of 60 910 Swakara pelts were offered, of which 56 693 were sold at an average price of N$461.23 (DKK 266.72), representing a 93% sale of the total offer.
At the September auction, all 59,225 pelts on offer were sold. It achieved an average price of N$428.58 which is a decrease of 7.08% on the N$461.23 achieved at the April 2015 auction.