On 12 July the Meatco Foundation, Meatco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) vehicle, embarked on a journey to the Kunene Region to demonstrate to the Board of Trustees what the foundation along with community members, has carried out over the past three years.
While in the Kunene Region, the foundation also held a Board of Trustees meeting.
Meatco, the Meatco Foundation, the European Union (EU) and Conservation Agriculture Namibia (CAN) are funding and facilitating various initiatives in the region. The groundwork is carried out by the Zakumuka Livestock Marketing Cooperative and led by Amon Kapi. The cooperative works closely with CAN that provides administrative and technical support.
Rangeland rehydration is a process of attaining the best plant growth from often unpredictable and low rainfall areas that can also result in heavy and damaging storms. This process was implemented through the installation of Gully Head Protection Filters at Otjitunganane, a village 55km from Opuwo, and that involves treating the soil and preventing soil erosion. Inhabitants from the area carry out the treatment by keeping one camp empty of cattle to grow grass by using filters to block water from running into the gullies and instead sink into the soil. Through this process they gain technical knowledge, perceptions are changed by empowering young men in the area, and at the same time grazing for their animals is provided.
Another project that is taking centre stage and is to the benefit of the people in the Kunene is a Conservation Agriculture (CA) innovation. This involves a ripper making furrows of up to 30cm and shatters the hard plough pan for deeper root development.
Uohonjera Kakuva and Kavetiriua Kakuva, two sisters from the Ondjete area, are the beneficiaries of this project that is supported by the cooperative, CAN and the Directorate of Agriculture Production Engineering and Extension Services (DAPEES). The project has been running for two years and the yields have been rewarding throughout this time. The harvests are used for domestic purposes and are fed to goats and cattle, depending on how big the yield is.
“These projects are to the benefit of people in the Northern Communal Area (NCA) with the aim of creating capacity in these farming communities, so that they can become more commercially competitive,” says Executive: Meatco Foundation, Kingsley Kwenani.
During the foundation’s visit, the Director of Rangeland Management and Rehydration Colin Nott, and a co-op member Zakumuka Uhangatenua Kapi, gave presentations on the progress and challenges the different projects in the region face. DAPEES also provided feedback on how auctions in the NCA are improving, highlighting areas such as farmers’ lack of critical marketing information, amongst others, that need to be improved.
A member of the community explaining grazing patterns