Insight on agriculture and natural resources at NUST

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The Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST) is offering an enhanced curriculum meant to improve its efficiency and answer calls to the national needs.

The courses offered include Bachelor of Agriculture, which revised and phased in 2014, Bachelor of Natural Resources Management in Nature Conservation, Bachelor of Agriculture Honours (Revised and phased 2015), Bachelor of Natural Recourses Management Honours, Master of Agribusiness Management (phased in 2015), Master of Natural Resources Management (phased 2015) and the Doctor of Philosophy in Natural Resources Sciences. Since the integration of NUST’s agriculture and nature conservation departments, this has led to a varied and exciting new research agenda within the department. The department has increased its research activity and output, and has become an active player in the sustainable development agenda of Namibia.

 The department has also been able to secure international and local funding for a range of research projects and remained visible on the local and international environmental sustainability research agenda.

The department also serves on the several boards and committees of reputable institutions as a service to society and the discipline of environmental sustainability.

These are the International Association for Impact Assessment (www.iaia.org), the globally recognised leading organisation for environmental impact assessment practice. Others are the Southern African Institute for Environmental Assessment (www.saiea.com); the council of the Namibian Chamber of Environment (www.n-c-e.org), and the Research and Ethics Committee of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.

 Serving in these boards and committees is in the best interest of furthering environmental research and education, and creating funding and communication avenues for our and other Namibian research.

The NUST Faculty of Agriculture also plays a strategic role in research and development by training students at different levels of knowledge, ensuring the effective utilization of Namibia, SADC and international agricultural countries potential.

The faculty provides training to students contributing to animal and crop husbandry and animal health and ensuring effective agricultural production to enhance social and economic sectors.

Completed Smart partnership Projects 

 

• The landscape literacy project

  The landscape literacy project, funded by SASSCAL, aimed to create under standing of how water and nutrient cycling in rangelands have been inadvertently

  harmed by human interventions. 

• Torrefication of encroacher bush as a sustainable industry for Namibia

  Although there have been numerous projects using biofuel from encroacher 

bush, this project sought to investigating torrefication as an alternative combustion process, with the by-product of terrified wood being useful in

improving soil fertility and water retention. For this purpose, Namibian wood 

was torrefied to determine whether it is feasible to developed the technology 

further in Namibia.

• Wildlife monitoring using remote sensing and photogrammetric technology

In collaboration with Bushskies, and through funding from NAMPLACE and

UNDP, the department is developed and redefined technology and procedures

for the census of wildlife.

The Wildlife and Aircraft Research Namibia Project (WARN)

WARN was established to support the Namibia Airports Company and the aviation industry to reduce the risk of bird-strikes in Namibia. Over the past two years it has focussed on strategies to reduce wildlife presence at airports 

without having to cull birds.

 

• NAC Partnership

The Namibia Airports Company (NAC) have since 2009 been in partnership with the NUST Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources Sciences to find proactive and sustainable solutions to the birdstrike problem in Namibia through the Wildlife and Aircraft Research Namibia project.

The project sets itself apart from other research organisations in this unique safety problem by its causative approach in considering all factors in the ecosystems around airports and their possible effect on attracting and maintaining bird populations.

 

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