The Namibia Biomass Industry Group (N-BiG), together with the Namibia Charcoal Association (NCA), will be hosting what is dubbed as the biggest Biomass Technology Expo ever this Friday (August 9) at Otjiwa Safari Lodge, in a move to raise awareness on technologies for biomass harvesting and processing.
The expo will showcase over 100 exhibitors from seven countries, over 50 of whom will be demonstrating their technologies, products, and services during the event. The expo will also have 35 presentations from local and international experts in their fields.
Cathrine Amutenya, spokesperson for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Bush Control & Biomass Utilisation (BCBU) project, as sponsors for the event told Farmers Forum that expo visitors can expect over 50 technology exhibitors and over 30 live technology demonstrations, including bush-to-feed, charcoal, bio char, wood chips, harvesting, handling, packaging, aftercare, surveying, services and more.
The charcoal industry in Namibia is experiencing an unprecedented boom with a growth of 42 percent in tonnage, according to the latest year-to-year figures. The blossoming industry also recorded a dramatic increase of 66 percent in production value, the state of Namibian agriculture, a study by the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) has revealed.
Normally the industry is the supplier of some 6 000 jobs, but the current increased activities have pushed this figure to between 9 000 and 10 000 workers. Considering different and connected factors such as current market demand and the industry's ability to respond to such demand, it is estimated that Namibian charcoal exports could increase to 200,000 tonnes by 2020.
Charcoal - also called Namibia's black gold - is mainly an export product with valuable contributions towards the GDP of the Namibian economy. Numerous farmers who have entered this industry due to the drought stated that this is an excellent farming diversification with quick cash income.
Exhibitors are still accepted and those with relevant technologies, products, and services, may contact N-BiG on 061 242 949 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Facebook: Namibian Biomass Industry Group | Twitter: @nbignamibia. Exhibiting is free, and comes additional with financial support.
The event will kick-off at 08:00, with the Namibia Charcoal Association's Annual General Meeting. At 10h00, the Biomass Technology Expo will officially begin, and it closes at 17h00. The event is open to the public, and tickets are available online, through Webtickets.com.na, (N$100 per person), or at the gate (N$150 per person).
Raffles will be sold and all funds generated will be donated to the Dare to Care Fund.