We are excited to announce the manual on how to produce animal feed from Namibian encroacher bush launched at the 22nd Rangeland Forum of the Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU) on the 28th November 2018 in Otjiwarongo.
The manual outlines the great potential for bush based animal fodder value chain in Namibia, both for commercial enterprises as well as in community-based settings. More so, the value chain is an opportunity to combat bush encroachment, especially when pursued in combination with other value chains such as charcoal, firewood and biochar. Bush based animal feed thus creates a true win-win situation: it is an immediate remedy in times of fodder shortage and it contributes to rangeland improvement in the long-run.
With successful cattle and sheep feeding trials in three different environments – the conservancy area of African Wilddog at Okondjatu, the government farm Omatjenne and a commercial farm near Dordabis, the results clearly demonstrate that the tested approach is relevant for a broad spectrum of farmers.
In short, it is possible to produce animal fodder locally, using leaves and branches of encroacher bush species in combination with available supplements. The extensive research has shown that such production is not only economically viable but also free of health-related risks for the animals if applied correctly. Not only have the animals maintained their weight, but they have shown significant growth rates.
The research trials were spearheaded by the GIZ Bush Control and Biomass Utilisation Project along with implementing partners, Directorate Agricultural Research and Development of Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, the United Nations Development Programme financed project for Sustainable Management of Namibia’s Forested Lands (NAFOLA), African Wild Dog Conservancy as well as Farm Langbeen. Project sponsors further include Feedmaster as well as Beefcor Meat Suppliers. An extensive research project and pilot trials were implemented over a period of one year, from April 2016 to July 2017.