A FARMER in the Tsumeb area decided to go industrial with fodder manufactrued out of invader bush. Already his product for large stock, sheep, goats and game, are available at various outlets countrywide.
Farmers struggling to keep their herds going, picked up on the manufacturing of so called boskos since the end of the rainy season, when it became obvious that Namibia will be suffering the worst drought in living memory.
Enters Boskos a locally produced feedstock made mainly from the thinner branches and twigs of invader bush, found on most farms in the farming areas of Namibia. Boskos became such an effective feedstock in a few short dry months, that small milling machines are now found on most farms. The problem remains labour intensity and the small volumes that can be produced. The boskos also still have to be mixed in with additives to get a purpose made ration for cattle, small stock and game. It is mostly used as an energy giving substance to keep animals going.
Enters Djoepie van der Merwe of the farm Tanto near Tsumeb with an industrially geared operation to manufacture tons of boskos daily.
He is supplying a number of outlets from North to South, taking away the burden of seven days a week production process from producers with smaller equipment and only a few labourers.
The boskos from Tanto is pre-mixed with mealies, chop, other substances and minerals. Farmers must add energy, perhaps in die form of molasses, as the wet materials negatively affects the product’s longevity and shelf life.
The product is especially popular in the Central Northern areas of Oshikoto, Oshana and Omusati, as it is affordable. It comes in transportable 25 kg bags and is labelled with instructions, registration information, identity of origin and other useful information.
It is expected that feedstock manufacturers will enter the Namibian markets as the drought and recovery period drags on, and as more and more technology and information on the utilisation of invader bush species becomes available.
However, Van der Merwe’s Tanto 785 Boskos could not have been on the shelves earlier.
This Namibian initiative will have an impact on farming long after the current drought. In a time when government are encouraging fodder production as a multiplier effect for farming in general, this is a new and exciting agri-business.
More info on Tanto 785 is visible on the picture.