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Incentives for implementing good rangeland management

Nico de Klerk

Nico de Klerk

With over 30 million hectares encroached in central and south-east of the country, bush encroachment should be considered a problem. However, a number of problems of addresing bush encroachment arise from cultural and social perceptions.
In a presentation entitled “Incentives for implementing good rangeland management, presented by Nico de Klerk at the recently held Namibia Rangeland Forum, it is stated that some farmers are aware of these problems and are reluctant to act on them.
The perceived perceptions include high costs of arborcides, unaffordable interest rates, high labour costs and lack of knowledge methods.”There is also a perception that farmers will not be compensated for targeted land reform,” de Klerk said.
According to de Klerk, there should be some form of incentives given to farmers to participate in controlling invader bush. He believes that incentives will play a major role for farmers to follow a sound bush encroachement strategy and therefore recomends direct interventions by subsidising prevailing interest rates on loans for bush thinning as well as allocating soft loans for small scale entrepreneurs.
“The town of Otjiwarongo will be faced with water shortages in the years to come. All industries and municipalities who depend on underground dam water will benefit from these incentives, therefore a strong support for stabilising and growth of such woodland management council is needed for this purpose,” he said. de Klerk also called for the support of bush to fuel initiative.
de Klerk further suggested the review of the current policies and legislatives, stating that the existing National Agricultural Policy currently does not offer any incentives to farmers. The Communal Land Reform Act of 2002, according to de Klerk, also does not provide a legal framework for implementation of all policy principles.
Another recommendation made by de Klerk suggests that capacity building and training  programmes be offered to farmers in order for them to improve their skills in terms of bush control, after care as well as rangeland management.” There is a need for evaluation of farming land as well as a practical and holistic oriented research for agricultural research,” de Klerk emphasised.

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