The broader farming community from both communal and commercial areas will participate in these auctions, with competitive buyers from Namibia and neighbouring countries. The annual Agra Weaner Championships Series will kick-off its sales on Wednesday, 8 July. With the animals being sold in lots of 12 or more, a total of 18 auctions will take place in this year's Series. In 2019, the Series held 15 auctions, while 2018 saw a total of 17 auctions.
Bank Windhoek's support towards the annual Agra Weaner Championships Series started back in 2011. "As Bank Windhoek, we are proud to be a sponsor of the annual Agra Weaner Championships Series once again. As we all know, the agriculture sector is vital to the country and its economy. To all of those that will be taking part in this competition, we would like to wish you all the best," said Bank Windhoek's Chief Financial Officer and incumbent Chief Executive of Retail Banking Services, James Chapman.
In his remarks, Agra's Chief Executive Officer, Arnold Klein, said that the Championships is also a chance for the Namibian market to gauge its performance against South Africa and give critical exposure for local producers to that market. “Our appreciation goes out to our main sponsor, Bank Windhoek, for coming on board once again," he said.
Klein added that the annual Agra Weaner Championships Series similarly offers young and emerging farmers a platform to measure themselves and gauge their progress against national standards.
The judging panel comprises experienced Agra and Feedmaster representatives. The weaners compete on the following criteria: fertility, growth ability, capacity to produce meat, farming practices, which includes brand marking, dehorning, and mass uniformity. Prizes for sellers are in three different categories. Tollie calves are judged for feedlot and veld potential, while heifers compete on their breeding potential.
Agra's General Manager of Auctions and Key Clients, Paul Klein, said that in a time where COVID-19 has impacted many of traditional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contributors, agriculture is fortunate to have been mostly unaffected by the outbreak. “With the good rainfall experienced in 2019, we also expect that size will be positively affected this year. So far, everything indicates that it will be a very successful Series," he said.
This year, Agra has introduced new prize categories, particularly to acknowledge buyers. They included a prize for the highest monetary spend during the Series, as well as an award for the most significant number of total animals bought during the Series. The annual Agra Weaner Championships Series will conclude on Wednesday, 2 September 2020.