14 Tuesday, December 5 2017 | NEW ERA FARMERS FORUM Your weekly Agricultural Corner Devil’s Claw generates close to N million for harvesters Staff Reporter Windhoek The harvesting and sale of Devil’s Claw from the Nyae Nyae and N#a Jaqna conser- contribution to the income of harvesters in 2017 with a contribution of close to a N million. Devil’s Claw plants reacted positively to the good rains experienced in the area in early 2017. The rotational harvesting system and sustainable harvesting methods introduced and diligently followed by harvesters al- this method of sustainable harvesting every year. In the Nyae Nyae conservancy close to 200 harvesters harvested and sold 18.7 tonnes of Devil’s Claw, resulting to generate income of close to N million for the harvesters. The total projected income to the conservancy will be close to N.4 million. In the N#a Jaqna Conservancy about 275 harvesters harvested and sold 21.7 tonnes of dried Devil’s Claw. This generated N0,000 in cash for harvesters, while the total projected income to the conservancy will be in the region of N.2 million. An important aspect related to the harvesting and sale of Devil’s Claw is that harvesters, who from marginalised communities with few other opportunities, earn over 75 percent of all Processing… Devil’s Claw harvesters from the Nyae Nyae and N#a Jaqna conservancies process their produce. Photo: Contributed income. The purchase price, negotiated at the beginning of each harvesting season, Claw. The Devil’s Claw used is harvested sustainably, quality-controlled, is fully traceable, and has been processed and stored in a manner that ensures that quality is assured. The purchase price of Devil’s Claw increased considerably in 2017, particularly in Nyae Nyae, because the conservancy entered into a partnership arrangement with the buyer to obtain Fair The concept behind Fair for Life Certification is that producers from disadvantaged backgrounds can ment by together deciding on meaningful projects that can be adapted to their local conditions. Fair for Life ensures that organisations and companies are committed to building respectful relationships, ensuring fair working conditions and respecting the environment within and along their supply-chains. Consumers are then also able to make informed purchase decisions. An important factor contributing to the success of the Devil’s Claw undertakings in both conservancies is the consistency created by having a reliable buyer with proper contracts in place, and everybody involved knows their Villagers diversify into gardening roles and responsibilities. Currently both conservancies have contracts with EcoSo Dynamics cc, a local Devil’s Claw exporter. According to the managing director Gero Diekmann, the partnership is important and is built on mutual trust established over the last decade. This has enabled them together with the conservancies to put in place a traceability system, whereby each and every bag purchased can be traced back to the harvester, as well as the place it was harvested. Support is currently given to both conservancies in helping them negotiate prices, comply with Organic Life guidelines and ensure sustainable harvesting. NAU stalwart bows out Going, gone… Agricultural and farming stalwart, Sakkie Coetzee (left) retired last Friday from the Namibia Agricutlural Union (NAU) after serving the union for 15 years with dedication and passion. Here is with President Hage Geingob after one of many previous talks on land reform. Photo: Contributed Staff Reporter Windhoek Organised agriculture in Namibia last Friday bid farewell to an industry stalwart when the executive manager of the Namibian Agricultural Union, Sakkie after 15 years of dedicated service. Coetzee will be remembered as a leader who spoke out when he had to, as during his many consultations with government on sensitive issues, like land reform and land tax. He passionately cared for the safety and well-being of every farmer in the country. Coetzee’s other big contribution to agriculture was to keep communication doors open and opening new ones with government for farmers to be heard. “It is with gratitude and a bit of woe that I say goodbye vice at the NAU. My daily prayer was to get wisdom, understanding and energy to do the work and all the honour to our Heavenly Father,” he notes. Coetzee says the past 15 years represented very special times in his career. “These years were enriched by the people with whom and under whom I worked. Each NAU member, farmers’ association and Regional Agricultural Union management, executive council and presidents, as well as other role players helped me to not only serve the NAU, but also the agricultural sector. “To each one with whom I came into contact, either personally or even through printed and electronic media or radio, a big thank you,” he said, dent the NAU would go from strength to strength under the energetic leadership of newly appointed executive manager Roelie Venter and NAU president Ryno van der Merwe. He also wished every farmer a wet Christmas and a prosperous 2018. Kae MaÞunÿu-Tjiparuro Windhoek The remote village of Hugus in the hinterland of the Aminuis Constituency in the Omaheke Region, usually a sleepy and unnoticeable rural backyard, has lately been a beehive of activity. bandry, villagers are now diversifying into crop production. These days the village has been hustle and bustle in clearing 20 hectares of land in preparation for a community garden. This is an initiative of the Aminuis Development Foundation (ADF), a developmental non-governmental organisation (NGO). Its driving force, Theo Ngaujake, hopes once up and running, the garden will address food insecurity and poor nutrition of households in the village, and in Aminuis main, thus responding to severe poverty challenges akin to it, the constituency and the village at large. “The idea is to make it a com- community, operating on pure busi- and distributed among communities members willing to participate,” Ngaujake envisions. Once successful, plans to replicate the same success all over the Aminuis Constituency and beyond in the Omaheke region where the soil conditions and water resources are ideal for gardening. Crop production new to the village as it may be, the project envisages relying on experts from within Namibia and abroad to take them through the necessary ropes of crop production. The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF)’s ex- do the necessary mentoring of those to be working on the garden in this regard. Close to 30 individuals have to work on. started trickling in from local business partners, such as Erongo Marine Resources. The project is being implemented in collaboration with the Centre for Resource and Transformation in views of its ideas and experiences having been involved with similar projects throughout the country. Ngaujake sees the project as a win-win for Hugus and the country, especially in terms of complementing government efforts to uplift rural communities. In the long run they envisage an integrated project incorporating diversified agricultural projects, including aquaculture. Aminuis Constituency not a typical success story project in the village of Okombepera Work in progress… Community members clear the land in the village of Hugus in the Aminuis Constituency for a community gardening project. Photo: Contributed today a white elephant, but Ngaujake believes in trying. “This is associated with what they have been brought up with, no even know that they can sell and get attitude of people which is due to lack of training,” he says, determined not to let the Okombepera experience stand in the way of the new project. The groundbreaking has been scheduled for Thursday to be of- attended by donors, mostly local business people.
Tuesday, December 5 2017 | NEW ERA FARMERS 15 New goat meat markets should be explored Staff Reporter Windhoek Despite three-quarters of the global population eating goat meat, and the demand for goat milk cheese growing yearly by 25 percent, Namibia has been unsuccessful in marketing goat meat. Goat farmers agree that the Namibian Goat Breeders Society must now urgently explore new markets for goat meat and introduce goat meat and goat products on a completely different scale. Goat meat comprises 10 percent of worldwide meat consumption and 60 percent of red meat. Producers further maintain that local goat farmers should follow the example of the Boer Goat industry in South Africa that has announced - consumers exactly which part of the carcass they are buying and what the quality of the meat is. Local breeders say because of the one-channel marketing system – auctions only – Boer Goat meat has developed the stigma of being tough and unhealthy. In reality, Boer Goat meat of a high quality is not tough and is regarded as the healthiest of all red meat with high iron levels and very low cholesterol levels. The Meat Board of Namibia has tried to introduce goat meat to consumers in restaurants but without success. Boer Goat breeders believe the industry needs a complete revamp to make goat meat more readily available and to remove the stigma attached to it. The Boer Goat is purely indigenous to Africa. Although pioneering work to ennoble and develop the SA Boer Goat was done by farmers in South Africa, breeders in Namibia also contribute by brilliant selection and breeding to improve the industry as the most favoured goat meat in the world. The taste of goat kid meat has been reported as similar to that of spring lamb meat. Goat meat can be prepared in a variety of ways, including stewing, baking, grilling, The king… The Boer Goat is undeniably the king of goat meat. However, the local meat market has not been successful, with local farmers now urging new markets. barbecuing, canning and frying; it also can be minced, curried, or made into sausage. Because of its low fat content, the meat can toughen at high temperatures if cooked without additional moisture. When slaughtered, none of the animal needs to be wasted – so all of the viscera can be used. This includes heart, liver, kidneys, spleen, lungs, stomach and intestines. The stomach can be eaten as tripe or stuffed like haggis. The intestines make good sausage casings but have to be processed whilst still warm, otherwise the digestive enzymes start to digest the gut itself post-mortem. In the case of billy goats, the testicles sliced and fried are considered a delicacy. Namibia among Southern African log leaders in gender parity in agriculture Abdi Latif Dahir Namibia is one of the countries leading the log in Southern Africa among African countries, increasingly producing women agricultural researchers and achieving gender parity in agriculture. True to this, women were among those who featured prominently at the International Conference on Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Namibia (Unam)’s Ongongo Campus on October 16-17. Among them were M. Goreses, one of the co-presenters of the paper, Perceptions on Adoption of the Food Bank System Initiative on Peri-Urban Livelihood Communities in Namibia: A Case Study of Samora Machel Constituency in Khomas Region. The other was Selma Elago who presented a paper titled: Socio-Economic Importance of Two Indigenous Fruit Trees: Strychnos Cocculoides and Schinziophyton Rautanenii in Ncuncuni Constituency, Kavango West Region, Namibia. Most recently as part of her ful- in Integrated Land Management with the Namibia University of Science and Technology, Joceline Vekondjisa Katjouanga has presented a thesis titled: Performance of Livestock Revolving Schemes in Otjinene Rural Community, Omaheke Region. It is no news that to transform Africa’s agriculture, women will have to be on an equal footing with men. The same also needs to happen away from the institutions devoted to address challenges and provide solutions to farmers. Fewer women than men are trained and employed in agricultural sciences, critically undermining the role of women in policy and decision-making processes. But as a new research paper published in the Journal of Gender, Agriculture, and Food Security shows, there finally could be some good news. Using data collated from 40 African countries, the paper shows that the gender gap in African agricultural research has continued to close since 2008. The total number of women researchers increased from less than 9,000 in the year 2000 to more than 15,000 in 2014 – an average of 24%. Southern Africa Emerging researcher… Animal health technician from the Otjinene Veterinary Services, Joceline Vekondjisa Katjouanga, on duty in Otjinene. Having just written a thesis on a livestock revolving scheme for her Masters Degree in Integrated Land Management with the Namibia University of Science and Technology, she is one of Namibia’s emerging researchers in agriculture. Photo: Contributed nations especially scored high with Lesotho and Namibia coming close to scoring gender parity. Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Chad scored low on the list; none of the nine total researchers in Guinea Bissau were female as of 2011, the latest year for which data was available. Nienke Beintema, the author of the study at the International Food Policy Research Institute, says hiring and promoting more African women improves the quality and competitiveness of research and innovation. This is especially critical in a continent where the majority of people derive their livelihood from agriculture, but where a lack of data, bad infrastructure, and poor policymaking hinder the industry’s full potential. “Female researchers offer different insights from their male counterparts, and their input provides an important perspective in addressing the unique and pressing challenges of female farmers,” says Beintema. Africa.com/Quartz Africa/own sources Policies needed to protect rural grazing Kae MaÞunÿu-Tjiparuro Windhoek Communities need policy support frameworks to ensure the protection of grazing – and there is also a need for the introduction of policies on grazing tax and animal quantity in non-title deed areas to conserve rangelands, say Vetuundjua Kazapua and Stanley Njembo. They presented a paper reviewing the objectives, and assessing the status and implementation, of the National Rangeland Management Policy and Strategies to a recent National Rangeland and Bush Encroachment Forum. They further recommend the iden- support cases against transgressors. In terms of supporting and strengthening the allocation and clearing of recommend that traditional authorities be made aware of rangeland issues. Also that collective and inclusive consultation be encouraged and implemented with relevant stakeholders and authorities and that workshops be held for all traditional authorities recognised or not, on rangeland management principles and strategies to have their buy-in and support. To create the necessary awareness Kazapua and Njembo recommend that platforms like the media sensitise and create awareness among farmers on rangeland management. Management principles must be translated in all indigenous languages gion to serve as pilot of good rangeland practices, according to them. In this regard the government must be sensitive and strategic in creating demonstration plots belonging to it, lest such plots become abandoned when funding stops or dries up. Individual farmers must be identi- bushing, thinning and the control of ranges, and making these demo plots, Rangeland expert… Member of the National Rangeland and Bush Encroachment Forum and deputy chairperson of the Orutumbo Farmers Association, Stanley Njembo. Photo: Emmency Nuukala and by supporting intervention. To create the necessary humanwildlife balance, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism must be engaged in the draft of wildlife destocking strategies based on carrying capacity, they say. Quota systems similar to those in the drought period must be applied to reduce livestock. But such livestock reduction strategy must go parallel with penalties for farmers not reducing their livestock, they add. Conservancies and community forestry establishments must be transparent and involve the majority of farmers and communities. Leaders of all traditional authorities, recognised or not, must be consulted because of their subjects living on lands. Plans and systems must be tailored towards The National Rangeland Management Policy and Strategies for communal areas strive at improving animal production per hectare and ensuring that users are less vulnerable to the high variability in the base of resources, that users are more aware of the current situation of the environment and that biodiversity is improved.