Profiting from Rangeland control
Agra ProVision started off with its bi-monthly breakfast meetings last week Friday in Rundu, which ran under the theme “Rangeland Management – no grass, no bucks.”
The country’s degrading rangelands have come into the spotlight again recently with the event focusing on one of the interventions geared towards creating awareness on how to restore and manage rangelands. The interactive event attracted more than 100 farmers from the Kavango East and West Region.
Bertus Kruger, Agra ProVision’s Technical Advisor for Rangeland Management gave a presentation focusing on the economic value of grass, growing more and better grass, converting grass to meat efficiently and measuring progress. Kruger began by asking the participants, “Can you make more money out of better rangelands?,” he said.
In his opening remarks, Hon. Dr Samuel Mbambo, Governor of Kavango East Region noted that rangeland management is no longer a ‘nice to do’ practice, but it should be a command that every farmer needs to abide by, because the rangelands are currently under immense pressure. As a result, the grazing and browsing resources get depleted, providing less of the livestock’s nutritional demands. Dr Mbambo said that rangelands are degrading on a daily basis because all livelihoods depend on rangeland resources.
“Livestock derive most of their nutritional needs cheaply from the rangelands and humans get food, medicine, fuel and construction materials amongst other from the same rangeland.”
Dr Mbambo added on how this particular event complements government’s efforts under the Rangeland Management policy and strategy in its drive to restore Namibia’s rangelands, as this is said to have a direct effect on poverty alleviation of many vulnerable groups.
He informed the symposium that livestock farming can only be sustainable if there is grass/browse resources.
“Grass is the foundation of livestock farming. In any set-up, for example the construction industry, you have to make sure that the foundation of the structure is solid. If the foundation is not strong,” he added.
AGRA established ProVision in 2009 with the main objective of providing a structured framework for rendering various specialised services to the Namibian agricultural sector.