• November 19th, 2018
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Agra seminar to address fodder availability and the sad state of Namibia’s rangelands

Farmers Forum
Farmers Forum

Staff Reporter WINDHOEK – “Will the forage for your livestock last until it has rained again, or will you have a drought” this year? That is the million dollar question fodder and drought expert, Bertus Kruger, will try to answer this Thursday at Agra ProVision’s Fodder Flow Planning seminar at Agra Hyper, Northern Industrial Area in Windhoek starting from 09h00-14h00. A complimentary copy of the new Photo Guide to estimate Forage Availability in Namibian Rangelands is on offer to every attendant while Kruger will present a critical overview of the fodder availability and the state of Namibia’s rangelands. The seminar is part of an ongoing effort by Agra and various role players to save the country’s rangelands, and ProVision paved the way with the annual Rangeland Forums which have been taking place for the past five years. AgraProvision has also hosted successful rangeland management training courses in various locations, which were well attended by upcoming and established farmers all eager to learn how to increase their rangeland productivity. The seminar will focus on: Understanding the grass plant, how it grows and how it responds to drought and utilisation impacts; understanding rangeland condition and knowing how to monitor changes over time; determining fodder availability and adjusting livestock numbers to available fodder resources; and developing own rangeland management plans, making provision for adequate utilisation and recovery periods. Kruger notes that rangeland management is the first step to livestock production. “Training and seminars expose farmers to the different vegetation available in the veld and enable farmers to adjust their livestock herds according to the rangeland carrying capacity.” At the end of the training, farmers would have ideas on how to develop their own rangeland management plans to preserve their available rangeland resources and optimise on production. Namibia intends to restore its valuable rangelands at a whopping cost of some N$30 billion over the next 17 years, and Namibia’s National Rangeland Policy is regarded by many observers as a groundbreaking project, which has earned the respect of role players on international podiums, and is viewed as an example of a government committed to the rehabilitation of degraded land and water bodies in order to halt declining rates of land degradation by 2030. The project was implemented in 2012 and is committed to the promotion and maintenance of the welfare of the people by adopting policies aimed at maintaining ecosystems, essential ecological processes and biological diversity, and utilising living natural resources on a sustainable basis for the benefit of all Namibians. Some 70% of the population is dependent on rangelands for their well-being. The current poor state of Namibia’s rangelands is due to erosion, overgrazing, bush encroachment and drastic decline of carrying capacity of the land. This situation negatively influences the livelihoods of a large portion of the Namibian nation, profitability of livestock farming and the whole economy in general (a possible figure of N$1.4 billion/annum lost). It is expected that there will be a 30% drop in the production of course grains by 2030 in Southern Africa. This highlights the important role of livestock in the future. If the rangeland project is fully implemented, it is hoped that the rehabilitation of degraded land and water bodies should be at declining rates by 2030, meaning Namibia will be on its way to achieve optimal sustainable production per hectare having improved the nutrient cycle; water cycle; and reduction in the vulnerability of users to the variable resource by a timely and flexible adjustment of animal numbers to available fodder resources by making timely provision for drought situations. Registration is N$600 per person including refreshments and lunch. For more information and application form contact Agra ProVision, tel. 061 2909208, apvtraining@agra.com.na.
New Era Reporter
2018-07-31 09:38:02 3 months ago

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