“Namibian farmers will benefit from more training and information on how to control encroacher bush on their farms and make use of the biomass”. This was the opening statement by the Namibia National Farmers Union Executive Director (NNFU) Mr Mushokabanji Mwilima recently during the Memorandum of Understand (MoU) signatory event with the De-bushing Advisory Service (DAS) on initiatives to capacitate farmers and strengthen the utilisation of bush biomass in communal areas.
The two parties are collaborating on the following areas; capacity development through trainings, exposure visits, farmer information days and mentoring in bush control and biomass utilisation, piloting of bush based value chains such as animal feed production, developing training materials and disseminating best practices on bush harvesting, developing monitoring and evaluation data collection tools for tracking and verifying bush harvesting compliance in the pilots areas as well as creating awareness through documentaries and mass media. This will be done in close cooperation with farmers’ associations in communal areas of Namibia.
Since 2016, DAS has been strongly involved in the biomass sector with an emphasis on capacity development for both individual farmers, government officials and the industry at large. A number of value chains trainings including animal feed production, training of trainer’s events to strengthen capacities for bush control in Namibia by upscaling both the skills of graduates in natural resource management and biomass industry players are among the ongoing activities which DAS pursue in partnership with local stakeholders. These activities are part of the extensive efforts of the GIZ project on Bush Control and Biomass Utilisation Project support to the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry to upscale the sustainable utilisation of bush biomass for rangeland restoration. “Although there are some regulatory challenges in implementing sustainable bush control and biomass utilisation in communal areas which our partners are on, the cooperation with NNFU is vital to ensure that we reach out to every farmer affected by bush encroachment. The emphasis of this cooperation is anchored on tangible bush control activities for inclusivity, said Progress Kashandula”.
The NNFU Executive Director further highlighted the importance of the longstanding partnership with GIZ through various programmes. “DAS was the missing link, we are privileged to sign this MoU, echoed Mwilima”.
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