Smart methods to assist farming
In an effort to mitigate the effects of the drought, Agra ProVision and Agri-Ecological Services hosted a stakeholder workshop for the EU-funded “Rangeland Early Warning and Monitoring System” earlier this month.
The purpose of the workshop was to share project information with all relevant stakeholders, and to invite relevant input and contribution to ensure that the project has a proper and well-focused start. ith farmers faced by drought conditions, the workshop came at an opportune time. The event was attended by various stakeholders ranging from farmer’s unions to educational institutions and government bodies. Furthermore, the workshop aimed to explore possibilities for future cooperation between various stakeholder organisations and the project, over the implementation period. The 3-year Rangeland Early Warning and Monitoring System project is funded under the European Union “Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, including Energy” programme. Said Twakulilwa Kayofa, communications officer at Agra Limited to the Economist, the timeline of activities is still in discussion, more information on the project would be published in due course. The project objective is to enhance the ability of livestock farmers, support agencies and policy makers to make decisions based on timely and accurate information regarding the state and productivity of their rangeland to reduce vulnerability to droughts or other adverse climatic conditions. Bertus Kruger, Agra ProVision’s Technical Advisor for Rangeland Management reflected on the importance and relevance of the project, saying, “the current veld condition is poor and mainly dominated by annual grasses.” “Over the long term, there is a need to improve the condition and productivity of the veld, in terms of preventing soil erosion and nutrient depletion, improved water infiltration, and improving veld condition by increasing the proportion of perennial grasses and addressing the negative effects of bush encroachment,” he added. “Therefore, it is imperative that organisations like Agra ProVision and Agri-Ecological Services work on educating the stakeholders and creating smart methods to assist and help the vital farming community of Namibia,” he continued. The workshop identified crucial stakeholders who will not only benefit from the project’s outcome, but who can help to shape the project to ensure that the outcome meets the needs of potential users.