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Manjo Smith
Chairperson
Namibian Organic Association
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Windhoek
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EVENTS CALENDAR

Announcement: Organic Association and Namibian Nature Foundation launch programme to boost organic agriculture in Namibia
Programme activities will be delivered through the Knowledge Hub for Organic Agriculture in Southern Africa
[WINDHOEK, NAMIBIA, 01 February 2021]

The Namibian Organic Association (NOA) and the Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF) launched country activities for the Knowledge Hub for Organic Agriculture in Southern Africa (KH SA) that aims to promote the adoption and scaling-up of organic agriculture in the region.
Mareike Aufderheide-Voigts, Namibian Project Manager, who holds a degree in B.Sc Organic Agriculture and M.Sc. Sustainable International Agriculture from the University of Kassel, Witzenhausen, Germany, notes that “introducing organic agriculture practises to Namibia’s agricultural system will help the country combat climate change, rejuvenate agricultural soils, reduce agricultural water usage and produce nutrient-dense food.”

KH SA is a collaborative country-led partnership funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is one of five Knowledge Hubs for Organic Agriculture, under the Knowledge Centre for Organic Agriculture in Africa programme, pursuing the goal of disseminating knowledge and shaping a network on national, regional and continental levels. The other four Knowledge Hubs for Organic Agriculture are implemented by GIZ in North, West and Eastern and Central Africa. KH SA is operating in Zambia, Namibia and South Africa with plans to extend the project to Malawi in 2021. The South African-based Sustainability Institute provides support for the regional project. NOA and NNF lead project activities in Namibia.

KH SA aims to close the knowledge gaps that limits the sharing of organic agriculture production methods in Southern Africa. Namibian project activities aim to grow the number of organic growers and volume of organic food produced in the country. The project will further be supported by the development of an online platform to disseminate context-specific knowledge about organic farming in Africa.

“Organic agriculture in the Namibian context refers to an inclusive approach to certified and non-certified organic agriculture production systems such as conservation agriculture; regenerative, biodynamic, biological and ecological farming; permaculture, agro-ecology and agroforestry systems, as well as climate smart and climate resilient production systems,” states NOA Chairperson Eckhart Foertsch.
Organic food production is increasingly viewed by international organisations such as the United Nations as a strategic way to address challenges of rural poverty, malnutrition, biodiversity loss, particularly in a time of climate change. The United Nations Children's Fund notes that 25% of children under five years of age in Namibia are stunted and that malnutrition is widespread in the country. Organic agriculture can be a pathway to addressing not only hunger and malnutrition but also other challenges including poverty, water use, climate change, and unsustainable production and consumption.

“Organic agriculture is knowledge-intensive, and putting it into practice requires an in-depth understanding of soil fertility, natural cycles and interactions between soil, microorganisms, plants and livestock” says Aufderheide-Voigts. The KH SA project will help by gathering and sharing information with Namibian farmers to allow them to benefit from practices that are environmentally friendly and sustainable.
This collaborative partnership is important for long term sustainable socioeconomic development in Namibia, which depends to a great extent on the use of sustainable organic agricultural practices, both now and in the face of climate change. NNF and NOA are able to make significant contributions to such development through partnerships in education, training, research and extension activities.

"If you are passionate about nature then first and foremost you need to respect people. And in Namibia, for a large part of the population that means also respecting agriculture in rural areas and what we aim to do is strive for more productive landscapes that produce food and natural resources and at the same time maximise on the ecosystem services that benefit wider society. This collaboration between the NNF and NOA is a stride our organizations are profoundly proud of. The Namibian agricultural landscape continues to develop at an amazing rate and an initiative like this that equips farmers with the skills to practice more sustainable agriculture is of utmost importance. I am optimistic we will see more practices and methods used in farming with and not against nature,” Angus Middleton, Executive Director of the Namibia Nature Foundation.

The next step in the project is to engage stakeholders and ensure that their recommendations are considered in project implementation. Engagements will take place online and face-to-face, COVID-19 regulations permitting. Aufderheide-Voigts notes that “we look forward to active participation in order to really grasp the needs of the sector here in Namibia.”

For more information about the Namibian implementation of KH SA contact: Mareike Aufderheide-Voigts, Country Project Manager, Tel: 081 722 5378, Email: noa@nnf.org.na.

For more information about KH SA contact: Angela Coetzee, Project Director, Sustainability Institute, Tel: +27 (0)21 881 3500, Email: angela@sustainabilityinstitute.net


Training course: Introduction to Organic Vegetable Gardening
Saturday, 28 Nov 2020
Is your garden ready for summer? Join Saturday's training course and start growing your own organic vegetables!

You will learn about basic composting techniques, how to use earthworms to fertilise your soil, how to save water, what to plant when and how to control pests and diseases.

Venue: Farm Krumhuk, 25km south of Windhoek on the B1 (accessible with a sedan car)
Time: 7:30 for 8:00 am - 17.00 pm
Cost: N$750 per participant; N$650 for NOA Members. The course fee includes a light lunch, refreshments, and two coffee breaks with snacks
Presenters: Dirk Bockmühl, Mareike Aufderheide-Voigts, Eckhart Förtsch
Register: Seats are limited so please e-mail us to register info@noa.org.na


NOA's Annual General Meeting

Wednesday, 2 Dec 2020

Join NOA’s Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, 02 December 2020. NOA members will get feedback on the past year and are welcome to give input into future activities. New members can join before the start of the AGM to participate in voting and other official matters.

Venue: Namibian Scientific Society, 110 Robert Mugabe Avenue, Windhoek.
Time: 17h30 for 18:00 pm - 20:00
RSVP: Please confirm attendance by e-mail info@noa.org.na or WhatsApp 081 663 3224 for catering purposes.
A donation bar is available.
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