• February 25th, 2020

Bush feed: LPO to launch in-depth study

Deon Schlechter

WINDHOEK -The use of bush feed (boskos) produced from encroacher bush creates golden new opportunities for Namibian farmers battling with a severe drought, but it also has many challenges. 

This has resulted in a rather heated debate among farmers and scholars with many different opinions and also different results in the field. A project, under the auspices of the Livestock Producer Organisation (LPO), will soon kick off to investigate the interaction between raw materials and to look at different chemical additions. 

The project will be done in collaboration with the University of Pretoria, under the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. An expert committee has been set up to oversee the project. It is planned to launch the first part of the project (pilot project) in August with the initial analysis of various types of bush, cut in various ways (thicknesses and degree of fineness). 

The main part of the project is planned for January or February 2020 and will involve the physical feeding of groups of cattle with bush feed and an analysis of the rumen material under different conditions. 
Currently, the committee is generating funds for these investigations. 

Bush Information System field data collection survey 
Bush Encroachment has been identified by the United Nation’s Convention to Combat Desertification as one of the leading indicators for land degradation. In addition, there has been a reduction in carrying capacity of rangeland in most parts of Namibia. In order to support evidence-based decisions and planning on the extent of bush encroachment/woody cover in the country the agriculture ministry supported by GIZ Bush Control and Biomass Utilisation Project has developed a nationwide Bush Information System (BIS).

The Bush information System is expected to develop woody cover products for monitoring and planning of bush thinning activities. As the envisaged BIS tool will be a national tool, the system will be open to public access and will provide update information to stakeholders, farmers on bush encroachment and biomass resources.

From May 2 to May 17, a team of surveyors visited 120 validation sites around the country, collected data, and flew a small area with drones, including capturing vegetation parameters.

Staff Reporter
2019-06-25 10:22:18 | 8 months ago

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