Community-Based Rangeland booklet launched
The Millennium Challenge Account Namibia (MCA-N) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry published a booklet on Community-Based Rangeland and Livestock Management (CBRLM) titled ‘Creating Rural Wealth, Sustainable Agriculture in the communal areas of Namibia.
A total of 2 600 booklets of the 54 page book in local languages Oshindonga, Rukwangali, Otjiherero and Afrikaans were printed in acknowledging the use of traditional knowledge and wisdom through methods such as combined herding of livestock.
Helmke Sartorius von Bach, MCA-N Director for Agriculture said at launch of the booklet that 58 communities benefited in the fast tracking of government programs towards developing the livestock industry in the Northern Communal Areas and the removal of constraints to increase profitability which he points out as being the tenure conditions under which land is occupied, animal health system and under serviced farmers. Wiebke Volkman of the Country Pilot Partnership Program within the Ministry of Environment and Tourism said it was a great benefit to the project in trying various methods as an innovative strategy as not everything went to plan.
“Farming is not easy but a complex business, understanding the business of money and there re-investment into communal or subsistence farming.
The Challenge on how to plan a business collective with developed approaches needing refinement,” said Volkman.
“Individual farmers with different personal plans residing in the common age can unite into Grazing Area committees to improve their livelihood by combined herding,” he added.
The booklet not only advocates for training but regular support. During the past 4 years of the 5 year time line and limited budget 33 GOPA and DEES staff received training and were certified in CBRLM.
The booklet shares the knowledge of such training for current and future farmers to better understand the complexity of farming. Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa said at the launch the booklet addresses the reality on ground and not theoretical constructs.
“Communal areas once known as reserves or homelands comprises of 33 million hectares of 40,8% of all land in the country. An estimated 850 000 people, or 70% of the population, 90% of whom are directly dependent on primary Agricultural production. The Commercial Sector, for its part, provides a living for about 300 000 people, or 25% of the total population, and comprises 43% of the country’s surface area,” said Mutorwa.
The National Rangeland Management Policy & Strategy approved in 2012 enables rangeland users and managers to utilise their rangelands resources in such a way that productivity and biodiversity are restored and maintained in reducing vulnerability of rangeland users and managers to the adverse impacts of climate change.