Unprecedented interest in the recent organic training courses by agriculture guru Fabian von Hase has resulted in a second course taking place this Saturday.
It is aimed at home gardeners and horticultural producers alike and takes an organic approach to pest and weed management. The reason for the organic approach is that it yields much healthier food, is less expensive in production (mainly due to reduced input costs), therefore achieving higher profits, and is better for the environment, as well as the gardeners and farmers themselves (as they are not exposed to noxious pesticides).
Van Hase says the aim is to equip participants with an alternative attitude to these challenges in their gardening/farming, so that they can better understand and manage them with less work and more output.
“There has been a big demand for these courses so far, demonstrating that Namibians have really woken up to domestic food production and upskilling themselves and their employees for this purpose. There has also been strong demand from commercial farmers for adapting these courses specifically for training of their employees and soon courses will be offered to this effect,” says von Hase.
Food safety is a big concern in an ever centralising and intensifying food production system (also here in Namibia). This course thus has a vital role to play, because it offers an alternative to chemical agriculture that is prone to high levels of pesticide residues, which can adversely affect people’s health – not to mention that of the ecosystem that is ultimately relied on for food production.
Von Hase staged his first course on Farm Krumhuk two weeks ago on growing vegetables/herbs organically from seed. The second course is part of a series of four on organic gardening and forms a base for future courses on permaculture.
The courses have been designed in response to a recent Training Needs Assessment Workshop held by the Namibia Organic Association (NOA) and are supported by the Namibia Permaculture Community Association (NPCA).Von Hase says the aim is to help home gardeners (mostly urban) grow their own food in an organic way while using less water. That way they can lower their water consumption, improve food security and buffer against increasing food prices.