Bank Windhoek, in collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF), and Namibian Organic Association (NOA), held a two day online smart agricultural event with the aim to educate farmers on finding new ways to adjust on smart agriculture. The online session was divided into four sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, 7 and 8 October 2020. The first series briefed on: Regenerating Rangeland Management for Climate Change Adaptation, then Organic Agriculture and Nutrition, Agriculture Economics, and lastly the Role of the Bank in Financing Climate change Initiatives.
Australian Soil Ecologist, Dr Christine Jones, was the key speaker to the event, along with Namibian experts Collin Nott, Regenerative Consultant.
Regenerating Rangeland Management for Climate Change Adaptation.
According to Collin “about 60 million hectors have degraded and cropping practices are mostly outdated, expensive, and yield harmful results. This has resulted in our economy to become meagre”. Furthermore, farmers only become profitable after they renew their agricultural practices, but more assistance is needed from banks, policy environments, and input suppliers so that everyone can transition to profitable Agricultural practices. However, being a semi-arid country, Namibia receives low rainfall with only 2% of the land receiving good rains, and others sometimes receive below-average precipitation. The below-average rainfall affects agricultural productivity and therefore threatens the 70% of the sector’s sustainability.
Role of the Bank in Financing Climate change Initiatives.
Ruan Bestbier Bank Windhoek Manager for Sustainable Investments and Deal Origination enlighten the series that, Bank Windhoek is the only local owned commercial bank in Namibia that shares the responsibility to protect Namibia for future generation through active contribution towards smart agriculture. With favorable Green Bonds and Development Finance Institution, they ensure that clients benefit in a short and long run. He further stated that, agriculture sector is the biggest employer, constituting 24% of the labor force. On Agricultural economics investigation shows that 70% of the Namibian population directly or indirectly depends on agricultural activities for their livelihood through employment and subsistence agriculture. The sector annually contributes 3.5% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Biashara news understands that, GIZ supports the Namibian government and relevant stakeholders in promoting the sustainable and climate-adapted development of the agricultural sector, ultimately leading to improved food security and rural welfare. Following a multi-pronged approach, GIZ works on policy, institutional, and target group levels to foster agricultural production systems diversification and encourage climate-sensitive production methods, namely conservation and promoting innovative agribusiness developments along the value chain.
The recorded series can be found at the Bank Windhoek Facebook page or YouTube channel.