Norges Vel is a nonprofit and independent membership organisation that works for the development of thriving local communities in Norway and internationally. Nature and culture based business development, knowledge sharing and organisation run like a guiding thread through our long history.
Employment of the future must be made
Thriving local communities are characterized by a certain population base and job opportunities in a geographical area where people liv and feel social belonging. For many communities depopulation is an issue. Places of employment close down, local businesses get bought out and local production gets outsourced to low cost countries, and revenue is then taken out of the region. This development must be turned around. Creating jobs is the key to success.
Climate change is necessitating that more sustainable businesses must take over for the oil industry as it will inevitably wind down. This requires restructuring and Norges Vel sees that the bio-economy and green sectors like food production and renewable energy will create jobs and wealth for local communities in the future. A circular economy is also an important part of the green shift and will make a big difference to local communities both economically and in terms of resources.
Agriculture and aquaculture will be vital sectors during the green shift
Agriculture and food production are cornerstones of a thriving community, and are an important part of our commitment and our history. Active farms create optimism, places of employment, exciting food experiences for the consumer and self sufficiency for the country. It also contributes to keeping a vibrant cultural landscape alive, encourages new businesses and are key for attractive tourist destinations. Agriculture also has good opportunities for producing renewable energy, primarily for its own use but also as a provider of environmental solutions for the rest of the community.
Norges Vel also believes strongly in Norway's aquaculture. About 80 percent of the population in Norway lives less than 10 kilometers from the ocean, and the sea and fjords have already provided countless resources, employment and culture for Norway. The coast is important for commercial fishing and there are many areas well suited to varied types of aquaculture, for example the farming of kelp. It is also an important recreational area and a provider of amazing experiences.
Aid work that stands out
Through the UN's sustainability goals world leaders have set themselves the goal of eliminating world hunger, reducing poverty, obtaining food security, and advancing sustainable agriculture and food production by 2030. Norges Vel contributes to this through our commitments in a number of developing countries, first and foremost east and south regions in Africa.
Norges Vel is different to many nonprofit organisations with our sharp focus on business development. We work on maximising effective organisation and the development of modern supply chains. The goal being that organised small scale producers gain a larger part of wealth creation through expanding processing and making connections to local, regional and international markets.
Agriculture is the most effective poverty eradicator
The majority of those in poverty live in rural villages. Roughly 70 percent of these depend on food production for work and income. Because of this, growth in the agricultural sector is at least twice as effective in reducing poverty than growth in any other sector. Population growth will require an additional 60 percent food production by 2050. By then, the African population south of the Sahara is expected to double from 1 to 2 billion, with about half living in cities.
Securing a more efficient food production and smoothly run supply chains will be decisive in dealing with the changes to demographics. For success to be realised in this regard, subsistence farming must transition to a sales oriented production. A change undergone by Norway during the 19th century where Norges Vel played a pivotal role during the transition. Presently we contribute our knowledge, experience and network to similarly transitioning communities in Africa.
Entrepreneurs are at the core of our commitments
In all that Norges Vel does, be it in Norway or a village in Africa, the entrepreneurs and initiators are at the core of our commitments. It can be the pioneer that started the long term kelp farming along the coast of Norway, or the young farmer who wants to start a new business or use solar power on the farm she just took over. It can be the immigrant who wants a qualification to work in the food industry, or the practicer of an old craft that wishes to reinvigorate the business by appealing to the tourists. But it could also be rice farmers in Tanzania or the newly started fish farmer on Madagascar who wishes to increase production and have more market influence through a cooperative agreement.
Sharing of knowledge and cooperation are key
Norges Vel and our many local partners have the knowledge, experience and network that is needed to utilise the vital potential that these varied entrepreneurs possess. This can happen through courses, advising, entrepreneur services or other types of meeting places for competency transfer and experience sharing. Other times it happens through comprehensive, complex and long term projects in collaboration with funding agencies, research groups or other competancy centres in Norway and the rest of the world.
We believe that cooperation partnership and good processes are the basis of success. This composes the cores of our commitments and our identity.