While drought conditions have seen steady improvement in the U.S., Namibian farmers and ranchers have been experiencing the worst drought conditions they’ve seen in decades. Imagine suffering through the worst drought your country has seen in over 25 years. Imagine watching your livestock die because there’s not enough water for them to drink. Imagine watching your crops shrivel up and become unsalvageable because of that same lack of water. Imagine the need to protect what little grass you do have from livestock poachers, while also having to protect your small herd of livestock from an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease.
If you can imagine all of that, then you know what farmers and ranchers in Namibia are facing.
“Namibia Rangeland has deteriorated to a point where only a drastic intervention can reverse the situation,” says Colin Nott, Director of Rangeland Management for Conservation Agriculture Namibia (CAN), and a Holistic Management Certified Educator. Colin and his team are working hard to make life a little bit easier for Namibian farmers and ranchers. A Namibian native, Colin knows the situation that farmers and ranchers in Namibia are up against.
CAN’s Rangeland and Marketing Development Support Project was launched in September 2014 in Kunene, Omusata, Oshana, Oshikoto, Ohangwena and Kavango East and West, with over 120,000 hectares of farmland now under improved rangeland management, with a quarter of these areas now holistically managing their resources. These results are why HMI is actively supporting this program; providing Holistic Management training for CAN field staff. With support from HMI, CAN will continue to bring Holistic Management principles and practices to the area in hopes of addressing Namibia’s agricultural challenges. The collaboration is focused on the training and capacity building of both staff and key implementing partners such as the Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Forestry (MAWF), as well as farmers and key stakeholders in the Northern communal areas – including traditional authorities, and regional government structures. The focus will be on improved decision making, visioning and planning to achieve improved quality of life of residents.
Unfortunately funding for this vital project is due to run out in early 2017; leaving thousands of farmers and ranchers vulnerable to brutal drought conditions and grass poaching. If you’d like more information about Namibia and how Holistic Management is helping farmers and ranchers, please visit our communities page. If you’d like to help, please visit our Give page to learn how.