Bush Feed Roadmap for Namibia
Pioneering results from using bush-feed by farmers and feeding trial studies in Namibia have demonstrated that if bush materials are mixed/formulated correctly with other ingredients, the resultant bush-based feeds can not only serve as an emergency feed under drought conditions but also support growth. The challenge is farmers, commercial feed producers and stakeholders lack certain knowledge and understanding of bush-to-feed regulatory requirements and lack of adequate information on commercialisation. The aim of the assignment was to reach agreements between the relevant public sector and private sector stakeholders on existing uncertainties and challenges on the topic of bush-based animal feed as well as to effectively address the current bottlenecks guided by the following main objectives:
1.1. Key bottlenecks of the bush-based animal feed value chain are identified, documented and respective solutions are proposed.
1.2. Relevant national policies, strategies and support programmes are identified (incl. INDCs, drought relief) and proposals are developed on how to integrate bush-based fodder production.
1.3. A roll-out roadmap for the Namibian government and other relevant stakeholders is developed; and there is commitment and buy-in to the roadmap by all relevant institutions (e.g. MAWLR, farmers unions and livestock producer associations, etc)
Biochar a New value Chain to Namibia
Bush encroachment provides a great opportunity for Namibian farmers to utilise excess bush biomass. Besides well-established value chains, such as charcoal, and wood chips, the production and application of biochar presents another good option for Namibian land users to counter bush encroachment. Biochar is a solid material that can be obtained when biomass is carbonised under limited supply or absence of oxygen. It is used for soil enhancement and to improve animal health. As part of Research and Development, N-BiG is currently supporting the piloting of biochar in communal areas as well as research initiatives with the aim to fill the existing knowledge gaps to ensure the upscaled use of this value chain.