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It’s all about the numbers

It’s all about the numbers

Gert Jacobie
Long past are the days when the advent of drought meant only death and destruction to come over all the parts of Namibia and mothers beholding their babes suffering at the hands of this scourge.
Innovation and the spirit of true Namibianship, offers an escape strategy for thousands in the form of unlocking the potential of one of Namibia’s greatest natural problems, encroaching bush that deprives thousands of hectares on valuable farmlands of grazing that could sustain millions heads of cattle, pulling through disastrous dry spells and sustaining economic growth.
The mechanisms of farming, economic growth, employment and development are all factors integrated into the gathering of players at the 2019Biomass Technology Expo planned for this Friday at the Otjiwa Safari Lodge about 40km south of Otjowarongo, where many hundreds of interested players will gather to learn more from the knowledge already gathered about the utilization of invading bush on Namibia’s precious range lands.

As it stands, about 30 million hectares of farmland is already invaded by problem species and that area is growing by roughly three percent annually.
But the problem can be turned around and the bush can be utilized profitably in the production of energy in many ways.
Animal fodder, energy to drive industry, export value, earning foreign currency, supply and demand issues, industrial developments, export rules and not least, legal issues are all on the table and on display at the Expo in the heart of the severely effected cattle farming area roughly in the centre of Namibia.
With more than a hundred exhibitors from seven countries, at least 50 of which will demonstrate the latest technology and about 35 presentations on the movements in the industry, the Expo promises to become the benchmark of industry.
This second Expo came from rather humble beginnings in comparison with last year, to an extravaganza of what is possible.
Taking into account a growth rate of 40 percent in the volume of exports of charcoal alone since the beginning of the drought, mainly because it creates cash income for farmers, and a doubling, and more, in terms of employment in the industry, the charcoal and biomass industry is fast becoming one of the most important industries in Namibia, where specifically industrial development remains wanting.
The Expo is presented by the Namibia Biomass Group in collaboration with the Namibia Charcoal Association.
N-BiG and the NCA advises and collaborates in forming an industry that controls and advises on all matters pertaining to invader bush utilization, focussing in the creation of new markets, labour issues, legal issues, technology, and other aspects of the industry.
Namibia recently, after the conclusion of a high powered meeting on kick-starting the economy, announced measurements to further enable the charcoal industry. Amongst these were moves to allow charcoal production in communal areas and relaxing visa and other rules for serious investors.
In the current drought, this event is game changing with a potential to change the face of extensive farming in the future.
Now it is all about the numbers!

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