Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU) will set up barley hydroponic fodder production systems in seven regions under a new project to help livestock farmers in drought-affected agro-pastoral communities to get supplementary animal feed.
NNFU is one of the implementing partners of the N$10 million six-month United Nations-funded project.
The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) funds the project, themed ‘Emergency Livelihood Support to Drought Affected Communities in Namibia’, through the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Namibia.
At the one-day workshop on the project, held at Okahandja on Tuesday last week, NNFU’s finance and administration manager Inomusa Nyathi said the union’s role is to set up the systems in the Hardap, Ohangwena, Omaheke, Omusati, Kunene, //Kharas and Erongo regions.
The farmers, who will be trained in fodder production, will be expected to train others in return.
Nyathi explained that 36 extension officers from the agriculture ministry have been trained on the system and they will also train the selected farmers.
“The extension officers have to go out there to train farmers and must be present when the structures are being set up,” said Nyathi.
Eleven hydroponic fodder-production systems will be set up in //Kharas, eight in Ohangwena, Omaheke (9), Kunene (12), Erongo (9), Omusati (9) and Ohangwena (8).
Each hydroponic system would produce fodder every seven days and sustain 80 large stock (cattle). The identified beneficiaries would collect the fodder every month from the centres where the project would run from January to July 2020.
Other partners in the implementation of the project are FAO Namibia, the ministry of agriculture and the Namibia Emerging Commercial Farmers Union.
The project complements government drought relief interventions.
The regional councils would identify targeted farmers with the support of agriculture extension officers.
The FAO representative in Namibia, Farayi Zimudzi, said the project was initiated in late December 2019 to target five regions (Ohangwena, Omusati, Kunene, Hardap and Omaheke).
However, other areas, where rains were poor, like Erongo and //Kharas regions, were included.