The Namibia Biomass Industry Group (N-BiG) is a section 21 non-profit industry association, representing a wide range of private sector and academic members active within the Namibian bush-biomass sector. Part of the association mandate is Knowledge transfer. N-BiG through its De-bushing Advisory Service (DAS) division currently implements a comprehensive capacity development programme for Namibian farmers, SMEs, and extension services on the topic of sustainable bush control and biomass processing.
The lack of locally-based wood biomass quantification tools remains a challenge for wood biomass assessments in the Namibian biomass industry. Currently, such assessments are done through different sophisticated methods throughout Namibia such as the BECVOL method, etc. Through industry stakeholder consultation including farmers’ unions, government extension services such as DoF, DARD, and industry experts with financial support from the MEFT/GIZ BCBU project, DAS has developed a standardized bush quantification model that is easy to use and very specific for the estimation of wood biomass locally. The model aims to help resource managers, farmers, government extension officials, and researchers to achieve accurate estimation of wood biomass which will inform them to make good decisions.
Furthermore, DAS has developed a Bush Feed Formulation Application (FFA) which is a solution for bush producers. The FFA is aimed at providing affordable and nutritional balance rations, lowering the risks posed to animals when the bush feed is formulated on a trial-and-error basis. The software serves as a catalyst to extension services responsible for rolling out sustainable bush control and biomass utilisations related outreach programmes for farmers.
A target group of 25 trainees from the Directorate of Forestry (DoF) within the Ministry Of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) attended the first kick-off Training of trainers (TOT) in topics of Bush Biomass Quantification and Bush Feed Formulation Application at Waterberg Plateau Park Training School, in Otjozondjupa from the 16 – 19 August 2021. The training focused on theoretical and practical aspects of the biomass quantification Tool (BQT) and Feed Formulation Application (FFA). A series of the ToTs are planned between August – October 2021. The training is meant to enhance knowledge and ensure the correct use of the two industry tools, promote best practices in the biomass industry through accurate biomass estimation, sustainable harvesting, and biomass utilisation in Namibia.
“The Training was very informative to me – I appreciate the hands-on knowledge and skills to properly quantify bush, It will help me to issue bush harvesting permits for charcoal, wood, and bush feed production,” says one of the participants from training”