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Agra prepares farmers for farming season

Agra ProVision’s Researcher for Agriculture, Angelina Kanduvarisa during the interactive session were she was highlighting the importance of good rangeland management.

Agra ProVision hosted the last farmers’ day of the year with an interactive session attended by part time farmers last week. The session provided information on a variety of topics to expose participants to different areas of good livestock management practice, in preparation for the farming season. Under the theme “basic principles of farming”; the various topics were presented, including rangeland management, animal nutrition, animal health and maintenance of infrastructure. Angelina Kanduvarisa, Agra ProVision’s Researcher for Agriculture highlighted the importance of good rangeland management. “Livestock farming, particularly cattle farming is the most widespread farming practice in Namibia, and contributes significantly to sustainable livelihoods and the economy.

But, there is competition for space and food between humans and animals/livestock. Therefore, our rangelands are under pressure,” she said. Her presentation touched on the consequences of poor rangeland management, improving degraded rangelands and farming with grass. “By taking care of your rangeland, the aim is to achieve sustainable rangeland productivity, livestock productivity and sustainable livelihoods,” she concluded. Frank Kanguatjivi from Feedmaster gave a presentation on animal nutrition, with a focus on the importance of phosphate. He said, “a shortage in phosphate result in low intake of pasture that inhabits/reduce the growth rate of animal. Furthermore, it negatively affects fertility, reduce milk production and weaning weight.” He concluded by advising farmers to supplement the missing nutrients that livestock requires.  Dr Fonnie Bruwer, Agra ProVision’s Technical Advisor for Animal Health explained the fundamentals of basic animal health for livestock, with a focus on vaccination. Dr Bruwer advised the attendees on the importance of vaccination, and diseases to watch out for, such as; Anthrax, Botulism, Black Quarter, Lumpy Skin Disease, Brucella (Contagious abortion), Bovine virus diarrhea (BVD), Rabies and Vibriosis. In addition, he also provided advice on the handling of vaccinations and animal medicines, stressing the importance of keeping them cool at all times and out of the sun.
Frank Wittneben, Agra ProVision’s Technical Advisor for Livestock Production, concluded with a presentation on maintenance of infrastructure, including water installations, pipelines, water catchment structures, fences, kraals and home-made droppers and poles. Twaku Kayofa, Agra ProVision’s Communication and Public Relations Officer said that Agra ProVision is striving to assist Namibian producers to improve their productivity, to turn their farming set-up into economical viable and sustainable enterprises. “We have been going out to various parts of the country to impart the knowledge needed by producers and farmers. We now encourage the participants to implement the advice received, and take their farming enterprises to the next level,” he said. Agra ProVision continues to empower the agricultural sector to grow sustainably. Agra ProVision offers interactive information sessions countrzwide every 2 months to facilitate networking and brainstorming among individuals from various sectors in government and private industry on topics relevant to the agriculture industry.

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