Helmeringhausen FA’s Winter School a success

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-The Helmeringhausen FA last week hosted a very successful Winter School with more than 100 people attending the two-day event, themed ‘How do I start again after the drought’, with interesting presentations by the speakers.

President of the Namibian Agricultural Union (NAU) Ryno van der Merwe started the day discussing the successes of the NAU recently, as well as a change in the financing mechanism of the NAU.

He told farmers that countries that have a successful agricultural sector are the countries where producers have proper organised structures, whereafter Sakkie Coetzee of the NAU gave an overview of the latest developments with regard to land reform.

Former chairperson of the Livestock Producers Organisation (LPO) Mecki Schneider spoke about the establishment of the National Rangeland Policy and the importance of rangeland as the foundation of profitable cattle production.

He emphasised the work of the commercial working group on rangeland management, which is currently ongoing and which includes the addressing of policy matters and practical actions, such as training of farmers and distribution of information, documenting best practices and applied research.

Actions that should improve the financial position, such as the involvement in the total value chain in the restoration of rangeland, and the most sustainable lamb production system, are critical to ensuring growth and profitability.

The second day of the Winter School involved a practical session of rangeland management on the farm of Joe Gaugler, where Joe, Bertus and Leon informed participants about methods to determine rangeland condition, important indicator grass, and bush species that must continuously be monitored to determine whether the veld improves or deteriorates.

It is critically important that producers know the value of these species and spend time in the veld, so that a sense can be developed to read the veld condition.

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