• May 20th, 2019
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Hanse is the new Master Agronomist


WINDHOEK - Hanse van der Merwe of Farm Ludwighaven in the Oshikoto Region was crowned Master Agronomist of the Year during the recently held annual member meeting of the Agronomy Producers Association (APA) and the Master Agronomist Day outside Tsumeb.

Gernot Eggert and Dawie de Klerk were re-elected as chairman and vice chairman of the APA respectively. According to a decision of the Agronomic Board, the Master Agronomist award will in future be presented together with the awards for small scale and horticulture producers of the year. This will result in the APA members meeting together with the Master Agronomist Day. The APA members meeting will in future be held respectively in two successive years at Grootfontein and one year at Summerdown. There will still be an information day each year with the members meeting. 

Harvest prospects for dry land agronomy are low and the APA still tries to get the Harambee Rainfed Programme implemented by the Agronomic Board in order to help producers to again buy seed and fertiliser. 
As there are funds available for research and information sessions for the development of agronomy, members are invited to send needs for research and experts in terms of grain, alternative crops and any other agronomy related matters to the APA management. 

A successful day with excellent speakers was concluded. Various speakers made the day interesting. Willem Botha of Netafim gave information about drip-irrigation for better water use methods in order to bring about the most effective crops. Erwin Schimper of Aqualand gave feedback about research which he can do to determine how the application of supplementary irrigation to rain, can bring about optimal and more profitable crops. Jaun van Loggerenberg of GeoSpace talked about distance monitoring of cultivated fields by way of satellite and algorithmic which are adapted to Southern African situations. These methods show producers timeously if there are any problems with the crops. 

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 the 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 Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry supported by GIZ Bush Control and Biomass Utilisation Project are in process of developing 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.

The project is the phase of data collection and ground truthing phase, during the period of 02 May to 17 May 2019, there will be a team of surveyors visiting 120 validation sites around the country and will be collecting data and flying a small area with drones, including capturing vegetation parameters.

Based on this background, we kindly request that you grant the field observers access to your farms/property to collect data for the woody cover products.
For further information, please contact Paulus Shikongo at paulus.shikongo@mawf.gov.na cell: 0811599097 and Loise Iiyambo at loise.iiyambo@giz.de, cell:+264 0816366705.


Staff Reporter
2019-05-07 09:37:57 12 days ago

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