Bush-processing value chains contribute to inclusive and sustainable industrial development – UNIDO
The Ministry of Industrialisation, SME Development and Trade, in partnership with the Embassy of Finland and the United Nations Development Organization (UNIDO) launched a new project “Promoting sustainable bush-processing value chains in Namibia” (“Bush Value Chains Project”) during an inception workshop held this week.
More than 50 participants from the ministry, Embassy of Finland in Namibia, UNIDO, the German Development Agency (GiZ), public and private sector representatives, experts on value chain development and industrial food processing and agriculture, farmers, academia and other project stakeholders attended the event.
The workshop was opened by remarks of Michael Humavindu, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Industrialization, SME Development and Trade of Namibia, and Johanna Unha-Kaprali, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Finland in Namibia, both of whom confirmed the high relevance and market oriented approach of this new initiative contributing to both national sustainable development objectives of Namibia and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Speakers from UNIDO, UNAM, GIZ and private sector representatives reflected on research findings about bush biomass utilization opportunities and challenges, technical and business related prerequisites for building a successful project for bush value chains, including animal feed production in Namibia.
The workshop discussed the source of feed for animals, foodstuffs, biomass and other marketable produce in Africa and internationally, among other topics. Effective dialogue was established among all stakeholders of bush value chain, including public and private sector and other partners, academia, farmers, international development partners, who exchanged ideas and shared their opinions about the potential sustainable solutions for bush encroachment and potential higher value added products based on bush species. Concrete results marked the great success of the workshop and paved the way for the future implementation of the project.
The UNIDO project aims at reducing bush encroachment, a phenomenon that describes the occurrence of high densities of woody species which grow at the expense of grass and herbs, thereby reducing the carrying capacity for livestock and hampering agricultural activities. By stimulating utilization of invasive bush species, e.g. in the animal feed, food and pharmaceutical industries and energy production sectors, important sources of jobs, food and income are generated.
The promoted bush-processing value chains contribute to the inclusive and sustainable industrial development of Namibia. The project is funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and supported by a number of national counterparts, including the Walvis Bay Corridor Group, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, the University of Namibia and the Namibian Meat Board.