The training was held in Kalkrand, in the Hardap Region, where crop farmers often face several challenges in accessing training programmes. Ing-Anja Huppertz, the OCC Director, emphasised the value of organic farming. “The technologies used in this farming method are an alternative agricultural system that advocates the use of appropriate and affordable farming techniques in improving soil fertility,” she said.
Little to no rainfall can result in poor yields and degraded pastures, a continuous problem faced by communities in the Kalkrand area. “It is important that crop farmers are educated about various methodologies because limited knowledge on soil fertility management and overexploitation leads to diminished resilience of the soil,” CED Director, Godwin Chisenga explained.
The workshop hosted 25 participants who are upcoming small-scale vegetable farmers. The trainees further learnt about sustainable ways to restore the natural fertility of degraded soil by making use of affordable local materials. Additionally, the workshop focused on a combination of agricultural practices and methods to help mitigate natural disasters in the sector, as a drought and flood rehabilitation strategy.
The topics that were addressed include: the fundamentals of organic farming; crop rotation; intercropping; agroforestry; pest control; the identification of major land degradation problems; composite making; the identification of available indigenous technologies and their feasibility; raising awareness on organic farming technologies; finding new alternative methods to improve soil fertility; cultivation; and the agro- ecosystem.
“The workshop also provided a platform for participants to discuss key initiatives among the many other problems facing the agricultural sector in diminishing good
agricultural land, and the need to intensify land use,” Chisenga concluded.
All participants received training manuals and NUST Certificates of Attendance. Similar training sessions have been scheduled for Okakarara, Otjinene and Keetmanshoop, in the near future.