Staff and students engage farmers

Under the theme ‘Managing Rangelands for Sustainable Food Production in Namibia,’ the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources Sciences hosted a Summer School on campus recently. The School was held in partnership with the University of Hohenheim, Germany, with support from the German Exchange Service (DAAD).

Thirty (30) staff and postgraduate students in the agriculture field, from NUST, Hohenheim, and the University of Namibia (UNAM), took part in the Summer School. As part of the activities, the participants had the opportunity to travel around the country and interact with farmers on matters concerning the management of rangelands, amongst others.

The highlights of the visits included, learning about gully and herd management to increase the soaking of rainwater into the ground, the conversion of encroached bush to animal feed, and irrigating fodder with treated sewage water. The farms that were visited by the group include, Krumhuk in the Khomas Region, and Middelplaats in the Otjozondjupa Region.

When asked what she enjoyed most about the excursion, Nelago Iiyambo, a Master of Natural Resource Management student at NUST, said: “I particularly enjoyed being exposed to different aspects of farming such as how to make compost and shred Acacia to make feed.” Dr Natascha Selje-Assmann, lecturer, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences: University of Hohenheim, said: “The intensive discussions between participants and practitioners is what I enjoyed the most.” When asked how the Summer School could be improved, Petrus Nghipangelua, a UNAM agriculture student replied: “There can be more visits to communal farmers to learn how they cope with their different rangeland management challenges.”

On the last day of the School, various options were considered for future collaborative research on sustainable food production from rangelands.

Date: 
Monday, March 18, 2019
for Month: 
March, 2019

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