Edgar Brandt Windhoek-Namibians should refrain from referring to invader bush and should instead call the form of land degradation ‘enabler bush’, because it can significantly contribute to job creation, economic development as well as rural industrialisation. This is what Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development (MITSMED) Dr Michael Humavindu said yesterday when he launched a project titled ‘Promoting Sustainable Bush-Processing Value Chains In Namibia’. The project, to which over N$3 million has been allocated, is being implemented in partnership with the Embassy of Finland and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), aims to strengthen food sources and income by stimulating the utilisation of invasive bush species. Humavindu, who officiated at the launch, emphasised that the project was crucial to enabling the inception of sustainable value chains for invasive, or rather, enabling bush species. “This project compliments work done by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry. This project also highlights the need to investigate advanced biomass solutions,” Humavindu said. More than 40 participants from MITSMED, the Embassy of Finland in Windhoek, the German Development Agency (GiZ), public and private sector partners, experts on value chain development, industrial food processing and agriculture experts, academia and other project stakeholders attended yesterday’s launch. Speakers reflected on technical and business-related prerequisites for building a successful investment project for acacia feed production in Namibia and discussed the source of feed for animals, foodstuffs, biomass and other marketable produce in Africa and internationally. Overall, the project aims at reducing bush encroachment, a phenomenon that describes the occurrence of high densities of woody species growing at the expense of grass and herbs, thereby reducing the carrying capacity for livestock and hampering agricultural production and other agricultural activities. By stimulating the use of invasive bush species, as in animal feed, charcoal and the food industry, as well as in energy production, important sources of food and income are generated. The promoted bush-processing value chains can contribute to the inclusive and sustainable industrial development of the country and Walvis Bay Corridor in particular. The project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and is supported by a number of national counterparts, including the Walvis Bay Corridor Group, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry of Namibia, the Baobab Environmental and Social Governance (Pty) Ltd., the University of Namibia (UNAM) and the Namibian Meat Board.
2017-10-18 10:00:29 11 months ago