Windhoek, Namibia – A project consortium, consisting of the University of Namibia (UNAM), Farm4trade, Omeva Consulting, Agriconsult Namibia and Agriecological Services are pleased to announce the launch of a series of informative videos that showcase the ground-breaking methodology and behind the scenes content for the project, “Namibia: A New Dataset for Rangeland and Pasture Management”.
These aim to generate awareness and support for the project’s mission to revolutionise pasture management strategies in Namibia.
With the support of the Lacuna Fund, an American institution committed to advancing machine learning tools in low and middle-income contexts, the project consortium has collaborated to showcase this informative campaign to highlight the social value of the project and its potential to address critical challenges faced by Namibia’s agricultural sector.
Importance of the rangeland and pasture management videos
Namibia’s rangelands and ecosystems confront significant threats, including soil erosion, land degradation and biodiversity loss, which pose risks to local food security and rangeland health.
The videos highlight the urgency of addressing these challenges and emphasises the importance of sustainable pasture management strategies. It showcases the innovative approach of the dataset in collecting and georeferencing data from various regions in Namibia, that will provide valuable insights to farmers and communities for effective rangeland management, planning and mitigation.
The project, initiated by Farm4trade, a company dedicated to enhancing productivity and traceability in the zootechnical industry, brings together local experts and institutions to develop a powerful dataset.
Through these videos, viewers gain a deeper understanding of the projects aims, methodology and the future tool’s potential to estimate carrying capacity, pasture quality and bush biomass in specific areas over designated periods. The footage captures the collaborative efforts of local experts, field enumerators and UNAM students and lecturers who actively participate in monitoring and data collection across 20 selected areas evenly distributed throughout Namibia’s ecoregions.
The series will not only emphasise the significance of sustainable land management practices but also highlights the project’s potential to address global challenges in the agricultural sector. The videos underscore the crucial role of equitably labelled datasets and the application of machine learning tools in advancing sustainable practices and improving food security, not only in Namibia but also in other developing countries in Southern Africa.
Sustainable pasture management strategies – what our experts say
Maria Luisa de la Puerta Fernandez, CEO & Lead Consultant, Omeva Consulting: “After years working in several initiatives fighting Bush encroachment and Range-line degradation this project came in as an amazing opportunity to present a united front in order to tackle these issues. Besides, since I am an animal nutritionist I have worked with communal and commercial farmers all over the country. Therefore, I quickly saw the benefits of creating this data set and so did the stakeholders.”
Dr Absalom Kahumba, Rangeland Scientist and Senior Lecturer, UNAM: “Due to high amount of data needed to develop a machine learning algorithm, we decided to create a robust and replicable method. For that purpose we counted on the experienced forest rangers and scientists, not only from the University but also from a private sector such as Dr Axel Rothauge and Dr Cornelis van der Waal.”
Prof Simon Angombe, Associate Dean: School of Agriculture & Fisheries Sciences, UNAM: “Climate change and Bush encroachment within Western situations that’s why we need to join hands to see how we can overcome this persistent problem.”
Hiskia Akathingo, Animal Science graduate, UNAM: “I recently completed a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Animal Science, and I am so happy to work with this Lacuna Project that aims on improving pasture and Range-line management strategies. I can only ask that we have more of such projects, and companies such as these on the project, because with climate change on the rise we really need to conserve and protect our biodiversity.”
To watch the video and learn more about the project, please visit:
For any enquiries or further information, please contact: Ms Raonga Kaapama email@example.com