WINDHOEK- Sakeus Kafula is a young Namibian who after graduating decided to find a niche in the agricultural sector and came up with a product that might come in handy toward farmers.
He told this reporter at the just ended Agri4Youth Conference which was held at Safari Court Hotel in Windhoek, which attracted more than 300 youths from across the country.
He has branded his product as Prime Biochar, a soil conditioner. “Climate change is a real issue, there are prolong dry spells, crops become stressed in between and diseases attack crops when they are stressed and that’s why we came up with this product,” he said.
With an education background in Animal Science and a Master’s degree in Sustainable Agriculture from Stellenbosch University, Kafula has always wanted to be self-employed. “When we passed Grade 12, I realised that 17 fellow students were let down by the system and that’s why with this type of work, I have decided to set a target if everything goes according to plan, I would want to employ 17 people with this business,” said the hopeful Kafula.
“Biochar retains soil moisture, plant nutrients to enable the health of the soil. After scooping the right amount of content, you irrigate and fertilise, your nutrients will be retained, and the moisture as well.”
The 29-years old agricultural consultant says using biochar will reduce the cost of constant use of irrigation. “Irrigation uses electricity, with fertilisers, you don’t need to fertilize unnecessarily, you never lose your fertilisers.” He mentioned that biochar has a half-life. The product can stay in your soil for 100 years, if you use this product, you will be adding it for the future generation, Kafula claimed.
When questioned if the product is not harming the environment, as it will require a lot of trees to be cut down and burnt, Kafula said everything has to be within the confinement of the law. “Bush encroachment is a problem but there is the law for that, one is required to have a harvesting permit and you do these things according to good stewardship,” emphasised Kafula.
Kafula grew up in a communal area, where he noticed that the land is not as productive as it used to be. That affects the foods that are needed. He said if one is to produce crops on a large scale such as maize, wheat and other things that are grown agronomical, it needs to be produced cheaply as possible because these form staples for the large portion of the population. Meaning the soil has to be of quality.
He advised youths that want to venture into agriculture to not pursue things they are not passionate about. “Some people have access to land where most of the youth don’t have access to land and that is one of the hindrances.” He said one of the obstacles that demotivate the youth to venture into the field of agriculture might be the accessibility of land.
New Era Reporter
2019-08-27 07:38:13 | 9 months ago