THE Centre for Enterprise Development (CED) at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) held a two-day workshop for vegetable growers in the Kalkrand area of Hardap region, on sustainable farming.
The workshop, the first of its kind in the area, was held on 5 and 6 March under the auspices of the Omomas Training and Care Centre (ATC). It was attended by 25 participants.
According to CED director Godwin Chisenga, this kind of training is relevant because of the persistent poor rains that lead to droughts, resulting in poor yields and degraded pastures in most parts of the country.
The workshop looked at sustainable ways of restoring natural fertility of degraded soil through the use of cheap local materials to achieve increased crop output. Participants learnt how to apply kraal manure and mulch to their vegetable gardens. They were also taught how to grow seedlings the correct way.
"The high cost of external inputs, limited knowledge on soil fertility management and overexploitation leads to diminished resilience of the soil to provide a suitable medium for crop growth.
"Therefore it is important that crop farmers learn available methodologies to enrich the soil to improve their harvests," Chisenga said.
He stressed the importance of such training, specifically targeting farmers who may not have extension services from the Ministry of Agriculture, in imparting knowledge to them.
Chisenga expressed gratitude to the ATC management for their foresight in organising such training.
ATC director Ing-Anja Huppertz, thanked CED for providing such a practical and inspiring workshop for the participants.
She said: "Organic farming technologies are an alternative agricultural system that advocates the use of appropriate and affordable farming techniques in improving soil fertility".
She added that fertile soil is crucial for sustainable farming in Namibia because of the extent of land degradation in most of the regions.
* Vehonga Ndjitaviua is the marketing officer at the Centre For Enterprise Development at Nust.