American experts assist with National Rangeland Audit

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Windhoek

One of the objectives of the National Rangeland Project to implement the national rangeland policy is to do a rangeland audit in the whole country.

Two American experts visited the Namibian Agricultural Union recently and are now assisting in the planning of this audit based on lessons learned in the rest of the world. Cell phone applications make it easy to collect this information and they will support us with this development. Currently they are two components of the audit. The first one is to get a national picture of the factors which influence rangeland conditions, such as grass production/ha, bush density, erosion, soil type, rainfall and production potential of different areas. Most of this information can be obtained by making use of satellite pictures, and then testing them throughout the country on the ground whether the satellite pictures reflect the reality.

The second part of the audit is the physical survey on farms in the country by interested farmers. An important objective of this programme is to supply individual producers with specific feedback about their farms to assist them to increase production and profitability on long term. The first survey will be done during April until June 2016 after the rainy season. The method on how to do it on each farm is currently being refined. All interested producers will be brought together next January to see what the specific needs of these producers are, and then try and include it in the methodology. The surveys will be done with commercial cattle farmers, small stock and game farmers, communal farmers and also with resettlement farmers in cooperation with all farmer unions, mentorship and development programmes and with the government.

There are already a number of interested farmers who want to participate. Farmers who would be interested to participate, can contact Roelie Venter, Tel 061 237838, roelie@agrinamibia.com.na.

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