Biomass Research in Ovitoto

Researchers under the Biomass Utilisation through Sustainable Harvest (BUSH) project, recently spent a week in the Ovitoto communal area. The aim of the visit was to implement the first phase of the project’s bush encroachment mitigation and technology development strategies.

Bush encroachment is one of the key agricultural challenges in Namibia. The most significant consequences of bush encroachment are reduced by carrying capacity of affected rangeland, groundwater recharge and biodiversity loss. In line with this, NUST aims to further develop and expand its research involvement in BUSH matters in Namibia.
“The project aims to regenerate the rangeland and enhance food security for farmers through sustainable rangeland management, livestock production and natural resource conservation,” said Evert Strydom, one of the NUST researchers from the Faculty of Engineering.

The Ovitoto communal area is 62 000 hectares and it is not bound by title deeds. The main source of livelihood for the 5 000 inhabitants is livestock, which averages at 56 per homestead, providing support to approximately 20 people.

Training and demonstrations were also arranged for various bush-processing technologies during the week. “We are grateful to Hochland Tractors and Baufi’s Agricultural Services for allowing BUSH to use their machines,” Evert said with appreciation.

The BUSH project is a three-year N$ 3.7m initiative, between the Namibian and German governments, implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ).

Read full article on the NUST website.

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