Biomass expo biggest yet

It is important to strengthen and increase the productivity of farmland, which could lead to improved livelihoods, and reduction of poverty in rural areas.

14 August 2019 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT

The Biomass Technology Expo (BTE) which was held on Friday at the Otjiwa Lodge near Otjiwarongo turned out to be biggest biomass day Namibia has ever seen.

More than 120 exhibitors showed their new technology, reached out to potential customers and exchanged ideas. With 1 400 visitors, the BTE has claimed its place among Namibia’s most vibrant business shows.

“The event links buyers to sellers, experts to laymen, and Namibia to the rest of the world. BTE develops new ways of thinking about our vast biomass resource and how it can be fully explored. The technology at the heart of this expo provides the means to unlock the true value of this resource. We are on the right path to something meaningful,” said Ned Sibeya, deputy chief of the National Planning Commission.

Standard Bank CEO, Vetumbuavi Mungunda, also hailed the expo, saying it helps to develop technologies that can be applied for better use of rangeland and farm productivity.

Since farming is the main source of livelihood for over 60 to 70% of Namibians, Mungunda said it was important to strengthen and increase the productivity of farmland, which could lead to improved livelihoods, and reduction of poverty in rural areas.

Standard Bank was the main sponsor of the expo.

“As Standard Bank we also believe that, as a financier, it is important to engage clients in our communities, and in our country, with regard to the whole value chain, to understand their needs, to understand their requirements and also what can be done to improve the production across the whole value chain.”

In view of the debilitating drought situation in the country, Mungunda said it was pleasing to note that some farmers have branched into other productive avenues such as charcoal harvesting.

“The diversification from livestock farming helps farming communities not only to deal with the drought that we are experiencing but also to generate additional income for themselves and for the country.”

Mungunda also welcomed recent policy announcements by government regarding the registration of bush feed (also known as bush fodder or boskos) as animal feed and harvesting of charcoal in communal areas.

He said the registration of bush feed as animal fodder will allow for further investments, innovation and research into the product which could in future substitute the importation of animal fodder from other countries. He said if research goes to the extent where bush feed becomes competitive it can also be exported to other countries and thus generate much-needed foreign currency.

On the harvesting of charcoal in communal areas, Mungunda said it will also provide income generating opportunities and relief for farmers who are severely affected by the current drought.

“These policy announcements help to stimulate new interests, new investments and new research,” he said.

The expo kicked off on Friday with the 4th annual Ggneral meeting of the Namibia Charcoal Association (NCA). Charcoal production is booming and the sector is committed to growing the industry. A new good practices booklet was launched with guidelines covering harvesting, production, aftercare, health and safety measures and more.

“It was a day full of good news”, says Michael Degé, NCA manager.

According to Werner Berg from DHG, who exports Namibian charcoal to Germany, they are ready to upscale considerably.

“We will increase production capacity from 18 000 to 45 000 tonnes - starting immediately.

In the communal areas, NCA will launch pilot projects together with the Directorate of Forestry and the De-bushing Advisory Service to foster charcoal production there.

The NCA also commended the Forest Stewardship Council representative, Manushka Moodley, for the excellent work she has done in Namibia.

“The Namibian FSC standard is formalised and that is an enormous milestone for our country. The guidelines are now specifically adapted to the Namibian bush and environment. This will make it much easier for farmers to achieve FSC certification,” Degé explained.

The BTE was organised by the Namibia Biomass Industry Group (NBIG).

“We are very happy with the massive turnout. Namibians are definitely realising the biomass opportunity. We were somewhat surprised by the huge international interest but that, of course, shows the great business potential Namibian biomass has to offer,” said Colin Lindeque, General Manager of NBIG.

Exhibitors travelled thousands of kilometres to Otjiwa – from South Africa, Germany, Austria, Denmark, the UK and the USA.

Similar News

 

Massive food project mooted

2 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Agriculture

A family trust that has been involved in missionary work among vulnerable youth, women, and children since the pre-independence years is planning three large-scale agriculture...

FMD ban still in place

4 days ago - 13 November 2019 | Agriculture

The agriculture ministry has reaffirmed that a ban on imports of meat and meat products from South Africa is still in place after the neighbouring...

New strategies needed for livestock sector

1 week ago - 07 November 2019 | Agriculture

New strategies need to be formulated to address the shortcomings in the livestock farming sector and prepare it for the future. A competitive analysis of...

41% of Namibians want land seized

1 week ago - 06 November 2019 | Agriculture

JEMIMA BEUKES About 41% of Namibians want the government to expropriate land without any compensation, the latest Afrobarometer report has found.This...

'Rather farm with goats'

1 week ago - 06 November 2019 | Agriculture

Keetmanshoop Rural constituency councillor Elias Kharuxab says farmers should start breeding more with goats, as they survive on shrubs and have a high chance to...

New Meatco board members nominated

1 week ago - 06 November 2019 | Agriculture

Meatco held a special members' meeting last Friday where close to 247 producers attended to nominate new directors for the organisation. Agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb,...

Baillères unrepentant on Erindi jobs

1 week ago - 05 November 2019 | Agriculture

The trade ministry is reviewing approval by the Namibia Competition Commission (NaCC) for the sale of the 71 000-hectare Erindi Private Game Reserve to Mexican...

Planting the seed in youth

1 week ago - 05 November 2019 | Agriculture

Ester KamatiOn 31 October, a group of young people flocked to the third floor of the Sanlam building, where they heard, amongst others, the story...

Cattle marketing boon

1 week ago - 05 November 2019 | Agriculture

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) conditions in South Africa continue to exert a negative influence on Namibian live cattle exports, while drought-induced marketing and competitive prices offered...

Eco-warriors!

1 week ago - 05 November 2019 | Agriculture

Private School Swakopmund hosted its Entrepreneur Day recently. Each grade had their own business to market and products to sell. This year one of the...

Latest News

August 26 CEO innovates

2 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Business

Elizabeth Joseph ...

Fishing quotas under scrutiny

2 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Fishing

President Hage Geingob and acting fisheries minister Albert Kawana will meet next week to discuss the credibility of the fishing quota allocation process, as well...

Geingob was 'talked out of'...

2 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Government

President Hage Geingob had written dismissal letters for ministers Sacky Shanghala and Bernhard Esau on Wednesday morning, but a high-level meeting that included Vice-president Nangolo...

Helping people help themselves

2 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Evany van WykMarjolize Scholtz has been a wellness professional for over 17 years. During her career her empathy towards people has grown immensely. Scholtz was...

Putting on a corporate...

2 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Elizabeth Joseph Margaret Thatcher once quipped that if you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman. Langford...

Fuelled by ­creativity

2 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Evany van Wyk “Every challenge is put on your path to groom you and build you and if I had the opportunity to change something...

A musician at heart

2 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Queen, Mumford and Sons, as well as Koos du Plessis are all musical influences that Ruan Greeff, or John Rock Prophet as you may know...

EVMs in the firing line

2 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Politics

Independent president candidate Panduleni Itula, the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) and Swapo will square off in the electoral court on Tuesday, 19 November over...

Unshackling the toothless ACC

2 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Opinion

Much has been said about the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) over the years. Many have called it toothless.Revelations this week that it has been sitting on...

Load More