Windhoek - Namibia and Germany’s developmental partnership is changing the face of agriculture for the semi-arid Southern African country through innovations and alternative natural fertilisers.
The idea to produce natural fertilisers by burning encroacher bush (biochar) is being driven by GIZ, the developmental arm of the German government.
CEO of De-Bushing Advisory Services in Namibia, Mr Progress Kashandula, said, “We are looking for avenues to get the production of biochar made from harvested encroacher bush. The project has potential for large spin-offs for the Namibian agriculture sector as well as creating employment for many Namibians.”
GIZ is also keen on increasing production of biochar for export markets, and a memorandum of understanding to this effect has been signed.
Namibian farmer Ms Marieke Voights, who does market gardening project about 40km from the capital Windhoek, said her production figures were at an all-time high thanks to biochar.
Ms Voights told The Southern Times Business that, “We are using the biochar fertiliser for production of vegetables as well as animal feed. This has allowed us to create a value chain from biochar,”
With assistance of experts from the Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST), she has a fully-fledged small-scale biochar production plant at her farm, and it produces fertiliser for more than 80 families, a school, a dairy farm and a piggery.
NUST lecturer Dr Ibbo Zimmermman said they were also using her farm to train biochemistry students on practical applications as well as for research with a view to taking biochar across Namibia.