Guest Contributor | Apr 20, 2017 | 0
Agra trains farmers on land use
The agricultural goods retailer, Agra ProVision, equipped 10 farmers with the know-how in the field of Rangeland Management, through a training course that took place from 24 to 27 January.
The four day training programme comprised of the following topics: understanding grass, how it grows and how it responds to drought and utilisation impacts; understanding rangeland condition and how to monitor changes over time; determining fodder availability and adjusting livestock numbers to available fodder resources.
Bertus Kruger, Agra ProVision’s Technical Advisor for Rangeland Management said the training was offered at the right time, as rangeland is the first step to livestock production.
“Livestock farming can only be sustainable if there is sufficient grass/browse resources. The training course therefore comes at the right time to prepare and educate farmers on the fundamentals of rangeland management,” he explained.
At the end of the course, participants were empowered to develop their own rangeland management plan; making provision for adequate utilisation and recovery periods.
The training was concluded with a practical session facilitated by Frank Wittneben, Agra ProVision’s Technical Advisor for Livestock Production and Angelina Kanduvarisa, Agra ProVision’s Researcher.
During this session, participants employed a scientific approach based on collecting samples and using this data to calculate forage availability. Samples account for the composition of the grass sward, which is subdivided into perennial grasses, annual grasses and Aristida type of grasses.
Furthermore, the process is instrumental to monitoring veld condition. Wittneben said, “Aristida grasses are usually not quantified, as these are hardly utilised by livestock. Annual grasses are nutritious and palatable, but they only last for a few months before they disintegrate if not grazed by the middle of the dry season. Perennial grasses on the other hand constitute the main fodder reserve with the potential to last throughout the dry season.”
In an effort to continue to empower and educate stakeholders in the agriculture sector to improve on the productivity of their land, Agra ProVision will conduct the next Rangeland Management training course from 28 – 31 March in Windhoek.