Friday, August 9, 2013

Namibia Agriculture Union: Weekly News: 2 August 2013

Namibia Agriculture Union; NAU

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 
·         BV en ander nuus
·         Agronomists met for the last time in 2013
·         National Conference about the management of Fires
·         FA and other news

Debushing proposals again discussed
The proposals in support of land owners with regard to debushing which were presented to the Minister of Agriculture, Water & Forestry on May 29, were again discussed this week. Four option were proposed, namely –
1.    Direct subsidisation to land owner on a 1:1 basis to do debushing
2.    Subsidised loans by AgriBank
3.    Subsidised loans by commercial banks and
4.    Development of products and markets of debushing material

The NAU proposals will serve as working document to also get inputs from other role players, namely AgriBank and the NNFU in order to submit a national program for debushing to the Minister of Agriculture, Water & Forestry for consideration and submission to Cabinet.

For some time already the NAU tries to get a project for debushing going which will fit directly into the Annual Sector Execution Plan (ASEP) of the Directorate of Agriculture and which also will fit into the aims of the 4th National Development Plan and Vision 2030. Hopefully this initiative of the NAU will get the support of other role players in order to actively address debushing.

Agronomists met for the last time in 2013
On Thursday, August 1 the management of the Agronomy Producers Association (APA) met to discuss urgent matters in this industry. Due to the extent of the 2013 drought, the total commercial maize harvest in Namibia was a failure of crops. With the enormous financial losses which the agronomists suffered, it is one of the biggest challenges for the APA management to ensure that the hectares planted for the 2014 season will not be totally negatively impacted. The APA management continuously was in contact with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water & Forestry to offer help in the form of seed (next to fertilizer one of the biggest input costs) to producers. A final decision will still have to be taken by Government with regard to commercial producers. Increasing electricity tariffs, petrol and input costs are still a great source of concern. 

National Conference about the management of Fires
A National Conference about the management of fires was held in Windhoek on July 30 & 31, 2013 under the banner of the Director of Forestry. Four NAU members also attended the conference which was attended by various role players, inter alia Regional Council members and representative from the Communal Authorities. The Minister of Agriculture, Water & Forestry, Honourable John Mutorwa who officially opened the conference, inter alia said that the time has come those persons who light fires in a reckless way and thus cause damages, must be arrested and convicted.

Speakers at the conference were various experts in the field of fire management. Mr Willem Enslin spoke about fire prevention and fire control on commercial farms. He cautioned farmers to ensure that their fire belts are open and that their equipment is working as fires mostly startr as from August each year. Mr Uwe Gressmann spoke about how in the Grootfontein vicinity, where he stays, bush encroachment is combated with planned fires. Mr Danie van Vuuren informed the conference about the draft fire regulations which were drafted by the NAU for the commercial farming areas, as the current legislation only includes the national forestry areas.

The conference was informed that all government farms and research farms also clear fire belts and they have fire fighting equipment. Their policy is to assist with fire fighting on farms within a radius of 20km.

A new initiative which was started on a test basis by the Directorate of Forestry is a Fire Management Unit for communal areas. Ten people are recruited in each region and trained in all facets of fire management. They will receive a monthly salary and are inter alia responsible for scraping fire belts and they are then also trained to combat fire if necessary. 

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has a new policy in Etosha according to which they will burn pieces of the field in order to from buffer strips. They also invited bordering farmers to give their details to the Ministry so that they can be informed when fires near the border are made. Mr Marthin Kasaona of the “Etoscha Ecological Institute” can be contacted in this regard.

The Polytechnic is already researching the use of fires for combating intruder bush and the improvement of rangeland. Farmers can contact them if they have specific research needs. Polytechnic also offered assistance with the training of workers with fire fighting.

Early Fire Warning System
The Directorate of Forestry has an Early Fire Warning System according to which they get fire data via google, process this and make it available to the public by e-mail. Especially FA management members who are involved with fire issues, are encouraged to prescribe for this gratis service according to which they are daily informed about the appearance of active fires in the country.
Contact details are as follows:
“Please let me have the e-mail address of anyone who would like to receive this bulletin.”

Edward Muhoko
National Remote Sensing Centre
Directorate of Forestry
Tel: +264612087271
Fax: +264612087802

SACAU discusses the contribution of women and youth in the agricultural sector
The Southern Africa Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) recognises the contribution of women and youth in agriculture development and believes that they have potential to do more.  It is in this light that SACAU has organized two workshops on gender and youth in agriculture from the 15th to 18th July 2013 in Pretoria, RSA.  Mrs Marianne Seifart and Mrs Johannie Brenkmann attended these workshops on behalf of the NAU.
The first workshop discussed how the involvement of women, specifically in leadership positions, could be increased.  The second workshop dealt with the profile of agriculture and how it could be improved to attract more young people to the sector.  At both workshops various SACAU member countries presented studies on the current status regarding successes and challenges as far as gender and youth issues are concerned in their respective countries. 
The purpose of the workshops was to identify common issues and possible solutions concerning women and youth in the SACAU region.   The outcome of the workshops will be used to provide a basis towards developing key messages, policy positions and overall guiding program framework for SACAU secretariat to systematically integrate gender and youth issues activities in all its interventions at national and regional level.
First Aid Course
The Johanniter Hilfswerk of Namibia is offering a level A and refresher First Aid course as well as First Aid training days in Namibia. They are prepared to train FA’s, guest farms, etc. For further details contact Mrs Sigi Heimstädt, Tel 062 561663,
FA and other news
Osire-Waterberg FA is hosting a farmer’s day on August 6 at 09:00 at Farm Burgkeller. Speakers are Mr Visher, Johan le Riche, Erwin Schimper and Dirk Prinsloo from Aqualand and Alta Kotze is giving a demonstration on how to prune roses. Please register before July 30 with Anka Visher, Tel 067 306208, 081 2577229,

Aranos FA is holding a member meeting on August 8 at 15:00 at the FA hall. Guest speaker is Dr Thomas Tolmay of Veterinary Services. The day is concluded with a braai. For further details contact Henry or Joleen Mans, Tel 063 250187,
The Namibia Vroue Vereniging (NVV) offers a food-tasting day on August 10 from 09:00 – 14:00 at the NG Eros Church hall, Windhoek. The following food can be tasted: meat, vegetables, salad, pudding and pancakes. Craftsmanship and other demonstrations are also offered and people who want to book their demonstrations must contact Mrs Marina Muller between August 1 and 8 at Tel 081 2811751.
Grunau FA is hosting the Karasburg Winter School on August 14 at 07:00. Speakers are the Governor of the Karas Region, Mr Bernardus Swartbooi, the president of the NAU, Mr Derek Wright, Mr Louis Potgieter, Mr Koos Barnard, Mr Dawid Botha and Mr Jan Adriaanse. Costs are N$100 per person per day and the day is concluded with a Steak braai and dance which also costs N$100 per person. During the women’s program Alta is giving a demonstration about paintings on wood and furniture. For further details contact Dolf de Wet, Tel 063-262061 or Jannie de Villiers, Tel 063-262067,
Aroab FA is hosting the Keetmanshoop Winter School on August 13 & 14. The program starts at 08:00 on August 13 and the theme is “Practical cattle farming which functions”. Speakers are Dirk Uys, Piet Karsten, Francis Visagie, Dr Willie Harris, Klaas Foulcher, Louis Potgieter, Dr Jasper Coetzee, Jacques Oosthuizen en Mr Derek wright. An interesting women’s program is also offered. The day is concluded with a dinner. For further details contact Pieter van Schalkwyk, Tel 081 1248448. People who need accommodation, can contact Helena van Schalkwyk, Tel 081 4888505.
Witvlei FA is holding a general meeting on August 14 at 14:00 at the farmer house at Witvlei. Guest speaker is Mr Daniel Steinman of the Economist. For further details contact Monica Bouwer, Tel 062 570317,
Maltahöhe FA is holding a member meeting on August 14 at 09:00 at Farm Nomtsas of Mr & Mrs Albert Voigts von Schütz. Guest speakers are Messrs Japie Besterbeurtjie, Frkkie Engels and Johann Groenewald. For further details contact Christian Otto, Tel 063 293512, 081 2269518,
Bonsmara Namibia is hosting a Bonsmara breed promotion day on August 15 at 15:00 at the Agra/Bank Windhoek Ring, Windhoek showgrounds. Guest speaker is Dr Kobus Laubscher, Kiep Lepen and Japie Bestebreurtjie. The day is concluded with a Steak braai. For further details contact Marina, Tel 061 222753,
The Windhoek West congregation is holding a breakfast on Friday, August 16, 2013. It will be held from 08:00 – 09:00 in the court yard of the NG Church Windhoek West, c/o Goshawk & Sunbird Str, Hochlandpark, Windhoek. The aim is that we as city dweller (congregation) just want to communicate and that we take note of the difficult year in which farmers currently are and would like to support and cheer them up. The breakfast is free of charge but farmers have to register to enable to determine the number of attendants. Ds Schalk Pienaar will give a short encouraging talk during the breakfast. Please register with Sandra Nel, Tel 061 226834, Fax 061 223861,

The NBBS (Brahman Breeders Association) is offering an orientation course (beginner course) on August 28 & 29, 2014 at Farm Ghaub .For further details please contact H Andreae-Voigts, Tel 081 1246064,
SWAKARA is offering a SWAKARA farmers tour to the next pelts auction in Copenhagen in September 2013. The departure date is September 3 and the auction is held on September 8. Return back to Namibia is on September 9. The total costs for the tour will be approximately N$20 000 which does not include pocket money. For further details and to register contact Jenny Korner, Tel 061 237750, Fax 061 231990,

The Meat Master Sheep Breeders are offering a junior course on September 3 & 4 at Signalberg, Grunau. The course starts on September 3 at 09:00 and ends on September 4 at 13:00. The course is offered by the well known South African Meatmaster Stud Breeders Clynton Collett, Danie Visser and Mario du Preez. Please register before August 27 at Jannie de Villiers, Tel 063 262067, 081 3154745,
A Jnr and Snr Persian course is offered on September 4 & 5 at the Aranos FA hall, Aranos. The course is offered by Mr Bertie van Zyl and the costs are N$300 per person. For further details contact Johan van Zyl, Tel 063 250247 or Carina Vermeulen, Tel 061 262994 (morning only),
Kaiserstreet FA is hosting its annual Old Mutual / Kaiserstreet FA bowling day on September 6 at 11:00 at the Eros Bowling Club. Costs for a team of 4 players are N$600 which includes a Steak braai which is held after prize giving. Guests are welcome and have to pay N$150 entrance fee. Please register before June 28 with Lukas Kotze, or Gerda van der Westhuizen,
Leonardville FA is hosting a farmers’ day on September 7 at the FA hall at Leonardville. Guest speakers are Mr Derek Wright, the president of the NAU and Dr Tolmay of Veterinary Services. Various stands, target shooting and children entertainment is offered. Rugby fans will be able to watch Rugby on big screens. For further details contact Gustav Holz, Tel 063 273336 or Ellen Burger, Tel 062 581010,
The Stampriet Show will take place from September 9 – 13 at the Artesiasaal and the Elnatan Rugby Field. As is usual the following events will be held: Dorper championships, a cattle auction, children entertainment and clay pigeon shooting and for the first time this year there will also be a wine tasting and buying from the South African winemakers top exporters. People who are interested in a stand can contact Dina Kotze at Tel 081 1275524 and more details about the auctions can be obtained from Gert van Wyk, Tel 081 1223315.
The 2013 Amos prayer conference will be held from September 27 – 29 at the Rock Lodge, Okahandja. The theme is “What has sanctification to do with my farm?” Speaker is Mr Gideon Jacobs of the Kasizabantu Mission Station in Virginia, Free State. Farmers can take up to two farm workers along as there is a similar conference with the same theme for them. There is a limited number of accommodation and day visitors are also welcome. For further details contact Suna Brisley, Tel 061 253182, 081 1488993,

Exchange Rate NAD (27 July - 02 Aug 2013)









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