Spotlight on bush encroachment

Farmers can diversify their income and sustainably contribute to tackling bush encroachment.

19 November 2019 | Agriculture

Several farmers recently received training to adequately arm themselves against bush encroachment. Bush encroachment is the expansion of bush species at the expense of other plants in their natural habitat.

The De-bushing Advisory Service (DAS) found that the primary causes of bush encroachment on savannahs include a reduction in the frequency of fires and overgrazing of livestock.

When the grass layer loses its competitive advantage and its ability to utilise nutrients and water efficiently, higher infiltration of water and nutrients into the subsoil results; a situation that benefits bush and tree species, allowing them to predominate. With the aim of supporting the Namibian government in combating the country's bush-encroachment problem, the DAS conducted training across the country, with a focus on bush-encroached areas, to help livestock farmers utilise bush for animal feed production.

DAS is a national information platform and focal point for all bush-encroachment topics, as well as a capacity development hub in the emerging bush biomass industry.

It enhances the knowledge of farmers interested in sustainable bush control and biomass utilisation and connects them with service providers, such as equipment suppliers and financial institutions.

“Farmers can diversify their income and sustainably contribute to tackling bush encroachment.

They can ensure a more productive use of their land.

We see a big opportunity for our farming community and for land users in this value chain,” said Progress Kashandula, general manager of DAS.

“Drought is not only rife in Namibia, but other regions are also affected by drought and looking for alternative fodder to sustain their animals,” Kashandula said.

STAFF REPORTER

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