Norges Vel is a non-profit and independent member 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.
Future jobs must be created
Thriving local communities depend on having a population and job opportunities where people live and feel social belonging. For many communities, relocation is a major challenge. Places of employment close down, local businesses are bought and local production is flagged out to low cost countries, so that the value created is taken out of the region. This development must be turned around. Creating jobs is the key to success.
Climate change urges the need for more sustainable industries that can take over for oil production. This requires change and Norges Vel believes that the bioeconomy and green industries such as food production and renewable energy will create jobs and value for the community in the future. A circular economy is also an important part of the green shift and can be of great importance for 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 for 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 food security for the country. It also contributes to keeping a vibrant cultural landscape alive, encourages new businesses, and provides good 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 society.
Aquaculture and marine resources constitute another important area of work for Norges Vel. About 80 percent of the country's population lives less than ten kilometers from the sea, and the ocean and fjords form the basis for a significant part of Norwegian value creation, employment and culture. The coast is important for commercial fishing and there are many suitable areas for different types of aquaculture, such as cultivation of kelp. The coast is also an important recreational area and provides exciting tourist experiences.
Aid work that stands out
Through the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, world leaders have set themselves the goal of eradicating world hunger, reducing poverty, achieving food security, and promoting sustainable agriculture and food production by 2030. Norges Vel contributes to this through our commitments in a number of developing countries, primarily in East and Southern Africa.
Norges Vel is different from many non-profit organizations by our clear focus on business development. We work with achieving efficient organisation and development of modern value chains. The goal is that organised small-scale producers gain a greater share of value creation through processing and access to local, regional and international markets.
Agriculture is the most effective for poverty reduction
The majority of the world's poor live in rural areas. About 70 percent of these depend on food production as their livelihood. Growth in agriculture is therefore more than twice as effective in reducing poverty than growth in any other sector. Due to population growth, the world must produce 60 percent more food by 2050. The population in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to double from 1 to 2 billion by 2050 with about half living in big cities.
Ensuring more efficient food production and well-functioning value chains is crucial when dealing with such demographic changes. In order to succeed, the production system must transition from subsistence farming to sales oriented production. Norway underwent the same change in the 19th century and Norges Vel well played a crucial role during this transition period. Today, we contribute with our knowledge, our experience and our network to similar development processes in Africa.
Entrepreneurs are at the center of our commitment
In all that Norges Vel does, be it in Norway or a in rural Africa, the entrepreneurs and initiators are at the center of our commitment. It may be the pioneer that started the long-term work of establishing kelp farming along the coast in Norway, or the young farmer who wants to start a new business or use solar power on the farm she just took over. It may be an immigrant woman who wants to qualify for work in the food sector, or the owner of an old craft company that wishes to revitalise the business by opening up to tourists and other visitors. But it may also be rice farmers in Tanzania, or the newly started fish farmer in Madagascar, who want to increase their production and gain more market power through their own sales cooperative.
Knowledge-sharing and collaborations is the key
Norges Vel and our many local partners have the knowledge, experience and network realise the important potential of these differententrepreneurs. Sometimes this happen through courses, guidance, establishment services or other types of meeting places for transfer of knowledge and experience-sharing. Other times, it takes place through more extensive, complex and long-term projects in collaboration with the public support system, research environemnts or other knowledge centres in Norway or internationally.
We believe in cooperations, partnerships and good processes as a basis for success. This is the core of our commitments and our identity.