16 FARMERS Tuesday, November 28 2017 | NEW ERA Rangeland management still a challenge Staff Reporter Windhoek Various challenges must still be overcome to reach the objectives of the National Rangeland Management Policy and Strategy (NRMPS). This was said by the National Rangeland and Bush Encroachment Forum following its review of the NRMPS about a fortnight ago. The key requirement for restoration of Namibia’s rangelands is the actual change in rangeland management practises at grassroots level. Another key factor hampering the implementation of the policy is the lack of land tenure security of communities in nontitle deed areas. Therefore, communities should have the legal right to manage their respective grazing areas’ rangelands, the forum concluded. Although bush encroachment has been addressed and talked about for a long time, the efforts to reduce the effect of the problem on the ground are still minimal. All stakeholders agreed that support is needed to further strengthen the work already done so that real rangeland improvement at ground level can happen and all invested parties can build on the momentum already created. Progress must be continued within the current model of a public-private partnership where all stakeholders take joint responsibility for the restoration of Namibia’s rangelands. The forum is part of the project to ensure the speedy implementation of the NRMPS, which is jointly funded by the European Union and the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry. Farmer’s nightmare... Suspected stolen meat in a boot of a car. Stock theft came under the spotlight again last week when various role players in the agricultural industry expressed their concerns about ever increasing stock theft and illegal slaughtering of livestock. Photo: Contributed Role players raise stock theft, poaching concerns with police Staff Reporter Windhoek The increase in stock theft and poaching, the delay in appointing police reservists, and the danger of animals in road reserves were burning issues raised with the Namibian Police. Chairperson of the Joint Crime Prevention Forum, (JCPF), Frikkie Engels, the executive manager of the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU), Sakkie Coetzee, and Richard Becker of the Karas Crime Prevention Forum, met the Inspector General of the Namibian Police, Lieutenant General Sebastian Ndeitunga, to discuss the issues. This was a follow-up meeting of the JCPF. Ndeitunga accepted full responsibility that law and order, including halting stock theft and poaching, are a priority of the police and that they are looking at special Like all government departments, the police are also under severe budget pressure, he noted, adding that “this is not an excuse”. Ndeitunga emphasised that cooperation with the various crime prevention forums and the public is essential to address the problem, especially when it comes to stray animals in road reserves in light of the to icrease tenfold. Regarding the delay in the appointment of police reservists, Ndeitunga gave clear guidelines on procedures that must be followed, stressing there is no reason for any further delays in this regard. The police are thus planning workshops for the reservists. As soon as arrangements for such workshops are made, the JCPF/NAU will receive an invitation to nominate a representative to attend them. Toxic plants linked to livestock abortions Staff Reporter Windhoek Some toxic plant species have been linked to the series of abortions which have lately been experienced by farmers especially in the Khomas Region, among other regions. In the face of barren grazing in some parts of Namibia, poisonous plants which affect livestock differently are in the spotlight because for some peculiar reasons, toxic plants tend to be resilient and ripen and grow faster than normal vegetation. The Dichapetulum cymosum poisonous plant (poison leave, “gifblaar”, “otjikuryoma”) is an old foe especially of farmers in the Omaheke and Otjozondjupa regions, who have lost countless animals due to the effects of this silent killer. Although farmers now co-exist and are experienced enough with the management of this poisonous plant, it still threatens their livelihood. “Gifblaar” occurs in dry, sandy areas, and prefers acidic soils. Some communal farmers have started calling “gifblaar” the equivalent of HIV. Cattle are mostly affected, but sheep, goats and game also get poisoned. Affected cattle are seen just dropping dead due to heart failure after drinking water. Sometimes, cattle also die due to stress, such as from excessive handling, or after being chased by predators. Before they die, farmers might observe signs of nervous symptoms such as trembling, convulsions and twitching. Death usually occurs within 24 hours after consuming the plant. of toxicity, and hence an outbreak. Upon opening the carcass, a farmer will notice the undigested leaves in the rumen (big stomach). The carcass might appear bluish due to oxygen shortage, and the heart will have an abnormal colour. There are no clear-cut remedies against these devastating plants. Acute blindness and death in small stock are caused by another poisonous plant named Helichrysum argiosporum (“sewejaartjie”, “ongara”). Sheep and goats can also succumb to the normal widespread devil’s thorn. This is a common plant little thorns and is called the Tribulus terrestris plant (“ohongwe” or “duwweltjie”), which has a tendency to grow all over, especially after sandy areas. “Ohongwe” thorn poisoning causes swollen face and ears in sheep, hence the common Afrikaans name of the disease “geel dikkop” (yellow swollen head). Usually the affected animal will scratch or rub its head on objects because the skin on the head becomes itchy. Inside the mouth, the gums (mucus membranes) will be yellow and swollen. The same also happens inside the eyes. With the swollen head and itchiness, the animal will refuse to eat, and will be in breathing. “Slangkop” is a dreaded name familiar to any Namibian farmer. Some call them wild onions and the scientific name is Dipcadi glaucum, which is “malkopui” – (mal (crazy), kop (head), ui (onion)) – in Afrikaans. Other local names for this onion are “dronkui”, “slangkopui”, “groenlelie”, “gifui”, “gifdronkui”, “wildeui”, or “onjanga”. A peculiar sign of animals poisoned by the wild onion is that they will just stand with their heads down in a water trough, but without drinking. Another little devil is Trachyandra laxa (“rolbos” in Afrikaans). It is a perennial glabrous herb, erect to ± decumbent, up to 90 cm tall from a small woody rhizome, acaulescent; roots many, somewhat to the tip or narrowly fusiform or hairs producing a felted covering. There are no definite preventive measures which are able to stop the animals from eating poisonous plants, besides fencing off the plants. Most to get rid of. FNB promotes sustainable agriculture Staff Reporter Windhoek Believing that agriculture forms an integral part of the Namibian economy and the welfare of its people, FNB is committed towards supporting and promoting sustainable agriculture in Namibia. In this regard it provided a N,000 sponsorship for the annual Paresis production auction held in Otjiwarongo on November 13. FNB Agri head, Christo Viljoen, expressed delight with the fact that the bank has once again been able to support such an important event on the agricultural calendar. He stated that 2017 has been productive for both FNB Agri and farmers in the country. “We continually support agriculture in Namibia, be it by means of products, services, sponsorships, specialist advice or donations. As far as I am aware, FNB is still the only bank that had a drought support plan in place for our farmers, which was greatly welcomed in the market,” he said. Lately the bank has contributed N0,000 towards drought support for farmers in the Karasburg and Bethanie areas – who are still experiencing severe drought conditions. FNB Namibia also became a corporate member of the Namibian Agricultural Union (NAU), proving its commitment towards organised agriculture and supporting the slogan, “Promoting Sustainable Agriculture”. Viljoen said cattle farmers are currently experiencing a very good year and auction prices have increased substantially over the last couple of months. “This is driven by market demand from SA feedlots and a low supply from Namibian farmers, as our farmers had to reduce their herds due to drought. We look forward to a great rainy season and to be able to stand side by side again with our farmers, even in 2018,” he concluded.
Tuesday, November 28 2017 | NEW ERA 17 NEW ERA Khoekhoegowab tsî Nuusita Ashipala Oshakatis !Nurigu Namibiab diba xu !oas ge ra dide ge ai ge kai ra ge gere !kharu- di ge kaise ra “ sorodi ra ose ra !ereamxasigu haisi-ams soab aib ge Oshakatis di ! ge hara “ da aoba Selma Ikelas Jeremiah Ndjozeb