Sunday, April 28, 2013

Namibia Agriculture Union Weekly News: 19 April 2013

Namibia Agriculture Union

Disclaimer: Although everything has been done to ensure the accuracy of information, the NAU takes no responsibility for actions or losses that might occur due to the usage of this information.


·         In today’s newsletter 
·                                Uhlenhorst FA wins Meatco Braai competition
·                               Master Agronomist Day again big success
·         Namibia Biosafety Awareness Workshop
·                               FA and other news

Uhlenhorst FA wins Meatco Braai competition
For the third time in the existence of the Meatco Braai competition, the Uhlenhorst Farmers Association (FA) walked away as winner. The braai competition which was hosted this year by the Stampriet Farmers Association and again, like in the previous years, was a big attraction for champion braaiers which included 16 FA’s and a number of social teams.
The president of the NAU, Mr Derek Wright also used this opportunity to get to know representatives and supporters of the various FA’s better. It was a delightful day with a friendly atmosphere at Stampriet and there were various stands which exhibited numerous products. Besides the delicious meals which were given by the Farmers Associations, Dr Archie Norval and his team also sold tasty pancakes.
On behalf of the NAU we would like to congratulate Uhlenhorst FA and it seems that this popular cup has found a permanent home in the South. We reckon that FA’s in the South will challenge the other FA’s next year.

Master Agronomist Day again big success
The Master Agronomist Day which was held this year at the Mashare Irrigation Project about 45km east of Rundu, again was a good example of the interest in agronomy. Approximately 120 agronomists from as far as Mariental, Summerdown, Hochfeld, Gobabis, Grootfontein and Tsumeb did not spare any pains to attend the day. The winner of this years’ competition, which was in the category for irrigation, was Mr Sean Nicholson of the Mashare Irrigation Project.
Besides the very interesting presentation of Mr Nicolson about his project, guest speakers at the day were Dr André Nel of the National Agricultural Research Council and Dr Chris Schmidt, a well known soil expert in the RSA. Dr André Nel spoke about conservation farming and the handling of drought in dryland agronomy whilst Dr Schmidt talked about the theme “Opti-Start”. These principles are a summary of all factors which influence the growth of a plant and especially the importance of the root systems.
The Mashare Irrigation Project is on the land which the Ministry of Agriculture, Water & Forestry leases and is part of the Greenscheme Project of Government and is irrigated out of the Okavango River. It consists of 60ha pivot and 76ha dryland. Mr Nicholson employs 7 permanent workers and also makes use of numerous seasonal workers from the community.
The importance of irrigation in food security was again emphasized this year with the drought which caused that about approximately 1 300ton maize are harvested on commercial dryland, approximately 2 000 ton from the Caprivi in comparison with the 36 000ton last year.  Even though irrigation has a slight decrease this year, it will still bring an anticipated 30 000 ton maize in. In normal years the local production of between 60 000 to 70 000 ton provides 50% of the total need in Namibia.

Namibia Biosafety Awareness Workshop
The National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) in collaboration with the Namibian Biotechnology Alliance (NABA) hosted a Namibia Biosafety Awareness Workshop on 16th April 2013 at Hilton Hotel.  The NCRST is responsible for the development and implementation of the Namibia Biosafety Framework. 

The objective of the Workshop was to inform relevant stakeholders and the public on issues related to Biosafety and the current status of the development of the Namibia Biosafety Framework. The workshop also invited responses from stakeholders in terms of the implementation of the Biosafety Framework and the way forward.  Mrs Rina Hough represented the NAU at this workshop. 

The Biosafety Act was promulgated in 2006 and provides inter alia for measures to regulate activities involving the research, development, production, marketing, transport, application and other uses of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and specified products derived from GMOs.

During the workshop, the NCRST reported that the procedures to establish the Namibia Biosafety Framework was well on track – the Regulations to the Act is in a final draft stage, the Board of Commissioners have been appointed and the invitation for members on the Biosafety Council have been published.  The burning question regarding the commencement date of the Biosafety Act, as well as the implementation date of the Regulations to the said Act, could however not be answered by the by the NCRST. 

FA and other news

The Santa Gertrudis Breeders Association of Namibia is hosting a two-day judging course on April 23 & 24, 2013 at the farms of Ben & Engela Human (Markost) and Ingo and Bärbel Rix (Sachsenwald). Registration is N$500 per person. Please register before April 12, 2013. For any further enquiries contact Maxie Boehmcker, Tel 081 2688939 of 081 8947424 of epos Santa Gertudis ideally for cross breeding. Light calves at birth and fast growth.
The Medical Aid NAMMED is holding its Annual General Meeting on April 24 at 18:00 at the Safari Court Hotel. For further details contact the NAMMED office in Windhoek at Tel 061 374600, or the Otjiwarongo office at Tel 067302274,
The World Veterinary Day is taking place on April 26 and Agra in cooperation with the Veterinary Association of Namibia are offering Public Lectures under the theme „Vaccines to prevent and to protect“. These lectures will be held on 26 April from 10:00 – 12:00 at the following places: Windhoek: Agra/Bank Windhoek Ring, Windhoek Showgrounds, lecture held by Dr Beggs and Dr Hassel; Mariental: Golf Club, held by Dr Tolmay; Otjiwarongo: Agriculture Extension Office, held by Dr Kleber; Grootfontein: Dutch Reformed Hal, held by Dr Gorejena; Oshivelo: Community Hall, held by Dr David; Opuwo: Christian Community Church, held by Dr Kamudjariwa; Okahandja: Farmers Association hall, held by Dr Voigts; Keetmanshoop: Moth Hall from 14:00 – 16:00, held by Dr Louwrens. For further details contact Adelheid Mouton, Tel 061 2909335,
Nurugas FA is holding a shooting day on April 27 at 08:00. Shooting with a .22 will be done and during lunch Mr Mecki Schneider will talk about the drought. The day is concluded with a dinner and dance. For further details contact Anet Kok, Tel 067 232654,
The Outjo Game Festival will be held on May 3 & 4 at the Sophienhof Lodge, 10km outside Outjo on the Khorixas road. Artists which take part are Steve Hofmeyer (Friday evening) and Gerhard Steyn (Saturday evening) and the traditional auction and a Rodeo will be held. There are numerous stands where different products can be bought. For further details contact Andre Lombard, Tel 081 1282811, Fanie Heimstadt, 067 312129 or if you are interested in a stand, please contact Lindie Lombard, Tel 081 2427792.
Hoërand FA will host a 4x4 vasbyt on May 4 at Farm Graal of Mr Willie Truter in the Maltahöhe district. Everybody is welcome, four wheel, motor cycles, etc. and the costs are N$100 for vehicles and N$50 for motor cycles. Camping is available free of charge for the weekend. The day will be concluded with a prize giving and Steak braai and the costs for this are N$80 for adults and N$50 for children under the age of 12 years. Further details from Antoinette of Barite Burger, Tel 063 683360, 081 2742844,
Aroab FA is hosting a Kalahari Vasbyt Fun Day on May 4 at the school grounds of the Excelsior Private School. For further details contact Georgia Viljoen, Tel 081 7639948,
The Young Farmer farmers day will be held on May 15 & 16 at Farm Nabome, Aranos of Hannes and Jomarie Visagie. The program start on May 15 at 09:00 and speakers are Dr Jasper Coetzee, Dr Hensie Lategan, Mr Pieter Hugo and at the women’s program “gardening with Effekto” will be discussed. On Thursday, May 16 the program starts at 08:00 and the speakers are Mr Hannes Visagie, Mr Hein Wagner, Mr Ernst Janovsky and Mr Derek Wright.
Further details will be given in due course and can be obtained from Hannes Visagie, Tel 081 1249902 or 063 275342,
The 2013 Dare to Care Disaster Fund golf day will be held on May 31, 2013 at the Omeya golf course outside Windhoek. During the past 5 years the Dare to Care Disaster Fund has paid ± N$120 000 to victims of veld fires, floods, farm attacks, etc. The costs for the golf day per team of 4 players are N$3 000 and if they also take a golf cart it will be N$3 500 per team. We also appeal to farmers to donate prizes for the golf day. For further details and entry forms contact Erika, Tel 061 237838,

Blumfelde FA is holding a wine auction on May 31 at 18:30 for 19:00 at the FA hall. Costs are N$100 per person and please register before the time. For further enquiries and to register contact Magret Binneman, Tel 081 4440334 or Larisa van Vuuren, Tel 081 2059313.

A Brangus Promotion Day will be held on May 25 at 08:30 at the Blaauwberg auction pens at Farm Namatubis. Speakers are inter alia Dr Martin Ferreira from Virbac, Dr Paul Lubout and Mr Gero Bajorat from DIS Engineering. During the ladies’ program Antoinette de Chavonnes Vrugt will hold a food demonstration. The day is concluded with a steak braai and dance. For further details contact Magdel Pretorius, Tel 067 313061, or click on the following link:
The Arab Horse Breeders Society of Namibia is holding an Arabian night evening on June 1 at 16:00 at the Gymkhana Club, Windhoek. On the program is a well known singer, fire artists, belly dancedrs and the day is concluded with a Spitbraai. For further details contact Susan de Meyer, Tel 081 1289003, or Trina Oppermann, Tel 0027 835670936, or visit the websites, At 10:00 in the morning an Arab horse auction is held at the Agra /  Bank Windhoek Ring, Windhoek showgrounds.
A Simbra farmers day will be held on June 5 at 09:00 at farm Neu Otjisauona of Diethelm and Katja Metzger. Guest speakers are Mr Derek Wright, the president of the NAU, Dr Michael Bradfield and Mr Peter Massmann. The day is concluded with a braai. For further details and to register contact Diethelm or Katja Metzger, Tel 062 682115 or Hennie Kruger, Tel 081 2964280.
The Limousin Breeders Association is offering a two-day judging course on 6 & & June at Farm Ombuerendende of Sigi and Heide Baas. Registration fee is N$750 per person. Please register before May 24 with Ellie Lottering, Tel 081 2924917,
Grootfontein/Tsumeb/Otavi (GTO) RAU is hosting a fire fighting day on June 15 at 07:30 at the Dornhügel Guest Farm, 40km on the Rundu Berg Aukas road. Matters such as legal accountability, fire belts and preventative fires and measures how to prevent fires will be discussed and at 13:00 a sightseeing of the burned parts on Dornhügel will be visited. Costs are N$80 per person and only persons who registered can take part. Please register before May 20 with Willem Enslin, Tel 081 2305078.

A Simmentaler judging course will be held from July 16 – 18 in the Gobabis vicinity. Interested parties can contact Mr H Kruger,
Karibib FA is holding a meeting on July 20 at 16:00 at Farm Habis Noord of Dr Herbert Schneider. Guest speakers are Mr Gladis who will talk about farm safety and a person from Radio Electronics who will talk about farm radios. For further details contact Mrs Gladis, Tel 061 248480,
Exchange Rate NAD (13-19 April 2013)
Saturday to Thursday:  16:00 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time)
Friday:  10:43 UTC

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