Lack of rain, anticipation of drought and arid conditions are a constant struggle in Namibia, especially for farmers. To counter this struggle, Agra ProVision and Agri-Ecological Services hosted a stakeholder workshop for the European Union (EU) funded “Rangeland Early Warning and Monitoring System project” last week Thursday, 5 March. This workshop comes at exactly the right time as farmers are once again facing severe dry conditions. The event was attended by various stakeholders, ranging from: farmer's unions to educational institutions and government bodies. For every farmer, whether a commercial, communal, cattle or crop farmer, the project will be essential, as it will be able to provide farmers with innovative methods to weather the harsh conditions which they have been battling with for generations.

 

The 3 year Rangeland Early Warning and Monitoring System project is funded under the European Union “Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, including Energy” programme. The project objective is to enhance the ability of livestock farmers, support agencies and policy makers to make decisions based on timely and accurate information regarding the state and productivity of their rangelands to reduce vulnerability to droughts, or other adverse climatic conditions.

 

Bertus Kruger, Agra ProVision’s Technical Advisor for Rangeland Management reflected on the importance and relevance of the project, saying: “The current veld condition is poor and mainly dominated by annual grasses. Over the long term, there is a need to improve the condition and productivity of the veld, in terms of preventing soil erosion and nutrient depletion, improved water infiltration, and improving veld condition in terms of increasing the proportion of perennial grasses and addressing the negative effects of bush encroachment. Therefore, it is imperative that organisations like Agra ProVision and Agri-Ecological Services work on educating the stakeholders and creating smart methods to assist and help the vital farming community of Namibia.”

 

To achieve the objectives of this project, Dr Cornelis van der Waal of Agri-Ecological Services and co-implementer of the project said the early warning component of the project will use a GIS and satellite imagery (remote sensing) based approach to monitor rangeland trends. The results from this system will then be shared with relevant stakeholders in a timely manner to support forage-related decision making.

 

The workshop identified crucial stakeholders who will not only benefit from the project’s outcome, but can help to shape the project to ensure that the outcome meets the needs of potential users. The purpose of the workshop was to; share information regarding the project with all relevant stakeholders, solicit crucial inputs to ensure that the project has a proper and well-focused start. Furthermore, the workshop aimed to explore possibilities for future cooperation between various stakeholder organisations and the project, over the implementation period.

A Project of

European Union

Implementing Partners

ProVision Agri Ecological Services

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