Press Releases

• August 17, 2010 - Novelle Consulting Launches New Website
• August 16, 2010 - Erich Hinrichs and John Musser Join Novelle Consulting
• August 1, 2006 - Novelle Principal Awarded Presidential Volunteer Service Award
• December 20, 2005- Sonora State, Mexico Completes Phase I of Development Plan
• April 26, 2005 - PMA Addresses Consumption, Industry Trends with Retailers, Growers in Mexico
• April 18, 2005 - Novelle Assists State of Sonora in Five Year Plan
• June 3, 2004 - BC Hot House Chairman Al Vangelos Elected Russian Farm Project's Chairman of the Board

Novelle in the media

• April 22, 2009, The Packer - Vangelos named Produce Man for All Seasons
• April 10, 2006, The Produce News - Novelle Takes on Winogrond and Obregon as Two Senior Principals
• April 6, 2006, FreshPlaza - Novelle Adds Two New Senior Principals; Obregon and Winogrond
• July, 2005, Productores de Hortalizas - Agronegocios en Sonora
• May 1, 2005, The Produce News - Symposium Shines Spotlight on Sonora Agriculture

on the move

Novelle and Food Safety in Southeast Asia
Novelle and the Gates Foundation
Novelle and the World Bank in Malaysia
Novelle in Southern Sudan
Novelle in Georgia
Novelle in Indonesia
Novelle in Egypt
Novelle in Guatemala
Novelle in Central America
Novelle Consulting in Zambia
Novelle Consulting in the Balkans
Novelle's Indonesian Assignment
Novelle in Southern Africa
Novelle in former Soviet Union
Novelle and Work in Colombia
Bananas in Bangladesh
Vegetables in Moldova
Packing Plant in Moldova
Quality Control in Moldova

white papers

Fairtrade
Novelle Consulting and EUREPGAP
Moscow Supermarket Industry
The 5-Year Agricultural Business Development Plan for Sonora, Mexico
Marketing of Horticultural Produce in Asia-From Sonora Symposium

News


Novelle in Southern Africa

As part of a broad effort to alleviate poverty and raise living standards in the continent of Africa, the U.S. government has been allocating increasingly large amounts of money to various regions, working in the areas of education, health, proper governance, and economic development. Working primarily through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), recent programs have been initiated to promote both internal and external trade. After the successful development of a Trade Hub in West Africa, based in Accra, Ghana, a new Trade Hub for Southern Africa was formed in Gabarone, Botswana at the beginning of 2005, with the goal of focusing on the development of tourism, textiles, and horticulture in the region.

The primary contract for this work was given to Abt Associates, based in Bethesda, MD., and Abt in turn sub-contracted the position of Horticulture Team Leader to Novelle principal, Henry Winogrond. The work was initiated in early 2005 with an extensive survey of the potential for horticultural development in Zambia, Mozambique, and the north-eastern sector of South Africa. Traveling with a team of other experts, Mr. Winogrond and his colleagues met with over 60 private sector firms, trade associations, and government representatives in the first few weeks of 2005. The actual development work to be done for the next 4-5 years will be based upon the results of this initial survey.

The work in Zambia focused on the cut flower sector. A nascent cut flower business had been started in Zambia about 15 years ago, but due to a poor selection of flower varieties, inappropriate levels of capital investment, and counter-productive government export policies, the industry had begun to contract in the last few years.

In the visit to Zambia, Mr. Winogrond met with the owners of over 80% of the production capacity of the country, and identified several areas where the Botswana Trade Hub could assist the Zambia flower growers. First, to assist both the flower growers and the government of Zambia in the improvement of export policies and procedures, an expert from Zimbabwe was brought to Zambia. This individual was very familiar with the very successful development of the cut flower sector in Zambia, and he was able to suggest several areas where the export procedures could be made much more efficient, at virtually no cost to the government of Zambia. Second, in order to assist the growers in making the move to more productive and profitable flower varieties, an expert with a deep background in cut flower production in eastern Africa was brought to Zambia, and he began with a compete survey of the local growing conditions. Several new flower varieties were then recommended to the local growers, and a complete financial analysis of the prospects for each of these varieties was provided to the growers, so that they could make their own choices for future investments.

The next challenge for the Trade Hub was found in the nexus between Mozambique and South Africa. Mozambique is an immense country, with extensive areas suitable for nearly any form of tropical or sub-tropical production. However, it has suffered for many decades, through an inefficient colonial power, a destructive revolutionary period, and then a period of communist rule that stopped all development. It was left with a weak government structure, a very poor infrastructure, and little capitalist heritage. However, the new government has a sincere interest in moving forward, and international donor agencies have been supporting Mozambique very strongly.

South Africa, on the other hand, is by far the most developed country in the continent, representing over 40% of the GDP of the entire continent. The north-eastern sector, called the “lowveld”, which borders on Mozambique and lies just north of Swaziland, is the very productive area where the production of the sub-tropical fruits are concentrated. Here are found extensive cultivations of mangos, papayas, litchis, macadamia nuts, as well as ornamental plants and foliage, with very sophisticated processing and exporting operations. The problems facing these operations are the new “Land Claim” laws, which essentially rule that 50% of the land must be turned back over to the local tribes in the next few years. While there are some possibilities of maintaining the current production areas as efficient supply sources, the greater likelihood is that the South African exporters will lose these areas as reliable fruit sources.

It became obvious that there were very interesting opportunities available here, if the common interests of the farmers in Mozambique and the processors/exporters of South Africa could be brought together. Over the course of 2005, active investigations have been conducted, most specifically in the areas of mangos, litchis, and foliage plants, with the aim of identifying specific growing areas, finding the investors and the operating expertise, and initiating new production investments in Mozambique that will ship product into southern Africa. This has made excellent progress, with two ventures already initiated, and more in the discussion stage. In addition, the Trade Hub has added Swaziland to the mix, and this small, land-locked country will receive a great deal of focus in 2006.