Presentations at Rangeland Forum highlight progress

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-The annual National Rangeland Forum was held last week for the 21st time with information which was shared between rangeland experts and interested farmers. This year the forum was hosted by the Optimass research project and was held for three days with 17 informative presentations.

The presentations were mainly about research results which were done in Namibia, but included practical experiences of farmers with a special feeling for rangeland management. The themes were about restoration of savannahs, biodiversity, production under various rangeland strategies, bush feed for production, value addition to bush products, bio-energy from bush, etc.

The Forum was concluded with a farm visit at Gerd Woelbling who farms near Okakarara. Gerd has already de-bushed 80% of his farm with an accompanied drastic increase in stocking and production. Gerd’s production per ha is currently about three times higher than those of average commercial farmers. Farmers are encouraged to attend these opportunities in future.

Speakers included Professor Klaus Kellner (rangeland restoration ecologist, North West University, RSA), Dr Morgan Hauptfleisch (senior lecturer in ecology, Namibia University of Science and Technology) and Professor Florian Jeltsch (ecologist, University of Potsdam, Germany).

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