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Settled Bushmen learn to grow crops for their own food supply

Settled Bushmen learn to grow crops for their own food supply

The San (Bushmen) people of the Nyae Nyae Conservancy and Community Forest in the Otjozondjupa region, since they settled in villages, have found that food security can be a major problem.

To make the transition from their former hunter / gatherer life, to a settled existence in a single location, the community had to learn to grow crops to assure their own food supply. However, for the San community living in the Nyae Nyae Conservancy as well as in other conservancies, it’s not that simple.

To make themselves more self-sufficient they have been pioneering new farming techniques that were unknown to them up to now. Over the last year the community in Nyae Nyae Conservancy and Community Forest has been expanding its agricultural activities to include a broader, permaculture based approach.

As part of this agricultural expansion, posters have been developed to support the training and support being given to the San, to serve as reminders and encourage a broader more encompassing approach to agricultural activities. This new approach is essential as the community strives to become more self-sufficient, empowered and achieve self-reliance.

This initiative has been funded by the EU under a Climate Change Adaptation grant and the Finnish Embassy. The donors have provided tools and seed with the long term goal of increasing permaculture activities, the productivity of gardens and fields and ultimately improving nutrition and food security. One of the limiting factors in the area, as in most parts of Namibia is the water which has demands from humans, livestock and now increasingly large gardens.

The posters are highly pictorial as literacy is limited in the area and materials are produced in Afrikaans and English at the request of the community. They will go a long way to teaching the community the basics of this type of farming. It will also demonstrate the effectiveness of this type of approach to agricultural activities for the people in the conservancies.



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The Community Contributor is any of a number of authors whose specific beat is community wellness, development and upliftment. Many of the authors have been contributors to the Economist for years. Others work for commercial enterprises, specialising in spreading their Corporate Social Responsibility messages. Ed.

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