The Biomass Utilisation by Sustainable Harvest (BUSH) Project in collaboration with NUST and the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) which is the main donor of the project, held its first Biomass Symposium recently in Windhoek. Dr Andreas Mershin from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States of America, delivered the keynote address. As Namibia paves the way in sustainable harvest and utilisation of encroacher bush, the question on everyone's minds is, “What is the existing research in the true value of the growing biomass sector?”
Presentations and live conference streams from over eight SADC and international countries such as Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the United States of America and New Zealand. Fifteen (15) institutions including the University of Namibia, The Royal Museum for Central Africa in the DRC, the Agri-Ecological Service, the Cheetah Conservation Fund and the Business and Intellectual Property Authority in Namibia, shared vital information in the rapidly growing sector. The theme of the symposium ‘The Role of Scientific Research in Growing Africa’s Bioeconomy’ highlighted the key areas of research currently underway in establishing the true value chains in the production and processing of biomass products in Namibia.
The symposium also served as a platform for policy discussion and future implementation within the biomass sector as well innovative, potential revenue streams for job creation and economic growth. This also included food security for human and livestock consumption through the cultivation of high protein and carbohydrate drought resistant plant species, and rangeland restoration and bush feed.