Biomass Utilisation by Sustainable Harvest (BUSH) Project Launched

On the 2nd of April 2019, the Biomass Utilisation by Sustainable Harvest (BUSH) Project was officially launched at NUST. The project focusses on technology development, applied research and capacity development in Bush Control and Biomass Utilisation through multi-disciplinary skills. Bush encroachment is one of the key agricultural challenges in Namibia, and the initiative is focussed on finding solutions to these national problems.

The BUSH Project is a three-year initiative (2018-2021) between the Namibian and German governments implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ). The funding provided to NUST is approximately N$ 3.7m, which is to be implemented through various sub-projects. The overall objective is to develop and test innovative, climate-friendly technologies for bush control as well as to develop capacities for biomass utilisation in Namibia.

It is estimated that more than half of the country’s prime rangelands is currently affected by the phenomenon. In figures, this affects 30 to 45 million hectares, which is more than 30 % of Namibia’s total land area. The most significant consequences of bush encroachment are reduced carrying capacity of affected rangeland, groundwater recharge and biodiversity loss.

The project further aims to contribute towards positioning Namibia as a research centre of excellence in biomass utilisation in order to support the development of the regional biomass-economy sector. If successful, the envisioned BUSH Centre of Biomass Research and Development at NUST will be the first of its kind in Africa.

Sub-Project Leaders and Research Assistants:
The project consists of seven sub-projects:

  1. Mr Evert Strydom (Faculty of Engineering)is the Project Manager, Lead Investigator and Sub-Project Leader
    Sub-Project 1: Optimisation of Manual Bush Control Methods
    Sub-Project 4: Techno-Economical Assessment of Production Technology of Animal Feedstock from Bush
  2. Dr Ibo Zimmermann (Faculty of Natural Resources and Spatial Sciences)
    Sub-project 2: Biochar Production, Processing and Testing
    Sub-Project 7: Scholarships
  3. Mr Frans Hanghome (Faculty of Engineering)
    Sub-project 3: Techno-Economical Assessment of Bio-Gasification Technologies for Off-Grid Electrification
  4. Prof Habauka Kwaambwa (Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences)
    Sub-project 5: Development Wood Plastic Composite Production Technologies
    Sub-project 6: Laboratory Analytics Development

The project has included undergraduate as well as Master’s students from various disciplines in the project. The research assistants are currently involved as part of their Work Integrated Learning (WIL), as well as final year projects and Master’s thesis:
1.    Ms Elizabeth Mabakeng
2.    Ms Palyomwene Mutilifa
3.    Mr Bosco Inyemba
4.    Mr Mwika Kafungwa
5.    Mr Hanas Nenkavu
6.    Mr Lilongeni Unoovene
7.    Mr Epaphras Nkoshi
8.    Ms Helmi Auala
9.    Ms Natalia Shakela
10.    Ms Mirjam Namangudu
11.    Ms Uasora Katjouanga

The overall project is funded by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The partners and community members involves:

  1. Lisha Empowerment and Upliftment (LEU) is operating the local rural communities and will facilitation and link NUST with local rural communities within the bush harvesting sector.
  2. The CCF Technology centre is researching a wide range of biomass technologies with an emphasis on those that can generate sustained economic enterprises and will thus form a key partner in technology development. cheetah.org/2017/01/11399/
  3. Namibia Biomass Industry Group (NBiG) is an industry organisation to serve and grow the Namibian biomass industry. They are a hub of biomass information and are actively involved in biomass and other industry related policy development frameworks. http://www.n-big.org/.
  4. Mr Wolfhart Diekmann owns and runs the Makarra Briquette factory in Otjiwarongo where he has built and runs a gasified electrical generator cheaply. His design and experience make him a key partner in technology development. http://makarrabush.com/
  5. Hochland Tractors (HT) is one of the leading importers and suppliers in Namibia for agricultural equipment including wood processing equipment. https://hochlandtractors.com/
  6. NamGreenWood (NGW) is the sole WPC manufacturer in Namibia using both imported wood and plastic materials as well as local. They are thus a strategic partner in this project. http://www.namgreenwood.com/

Contact Details:
Mr Evert Strydom – Project Manager/Lead Investigator
estrydom@nust.na
+264 61 207 2340
http://bush.nust.na/

Date: 
Friday, April 12, 2019
for Month: 
April, 2019

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