Charcoal village to up-skill charcoal workers and processors launched
Namibia’s Charcoal Association (NCA) in collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) launched a charcoal village research and development centre located in Otjiwarongo.
The centre will be used to up-skill charcoal workers and processors and will be used as a satellite for field training, demonstrations, and pilot projects on harvesting techniques as well as production processes.
“We saw a huge surplus of charcoal as many producers turned to charcoal after the severe drought that hit the country last year hence we launched the center on 24 June,” Isak Katali, NCA chairperson said Thursday in a statement.
According to Katali, the first micro, small and medium enterprises pilot training is planned until mid-July 2020 aimed at empowering charcoal producers with new sustainable production techniques that are environmentally friendly.
“This pilot phase will inform more training sessions in the nearer future for about 1000 youth in line with the Ministry of Industrialization and Trade (MIT) Charcoal ‘growth at home strategy’ to ensure that the industry is enhanced at all levels of the value chain,” he added.
MIT Deputy Executive Director, Michael Humavindu said the ministry is committed to greening the charcoal sector.
“We will spearhead the establishment of Namibia standards for charcoal production to provide a conducive environment for producers,” he added.
Meanwhile, the NCA has already developed and successfully implemented new burning techniques on a number of farms to reduce smoke emissions, Katali said.
In 2019 charcoal exports constituted 17% of total agricultural exports and the NCA recorded 140,000 tonnes of charcoal produced by its members and an estimated 195,000 tonnes of charcoal was produced by the industry, Katali said.