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Ozonahi, Ozonahi Conservancy, Okakarara Constituency, Otjozondjupa Region, 4th November 2022-The Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta yesterday officiated at the handover ceremony for Bush to Feed project at the Ozonahi Conservancy Office under the CBNRM EDA Project that is implemented through the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia. 

In his keynote address Hon. Pohamba Shifeta, stated that “Bush encroachment threatens natural habitats for animals and plants of the savannah ecosystem. Local bushes, such as black thorn (Senegalia mellifera), are spreading massively at the expense of grass vegetation especially in Otjozondjupa Region. In Namibia today, about 45 million hectares of agricultural land is infested with encroached bushes destroying the arable land and reducing its productivity”. He further emphasized that farming communities and especially small farmers have the potential to contribute significantly to national food security as well as national economic growth of this country. It is in our best interest to foster conservation of our natural resources through community based natural resource management system as established by the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism. 

Situated in the Okakarara Constituency, the Ozonahi Conservancy was funded to the tune of N$ N$ 2,498,835.00 under Ecosystem Based Adaptation investment window under the Empower to Adapt (EDA) project, which is centred around Creating Climate Change Resilient Livelihoods through Community Based Natural Resource Management in Namibia (CBNRM EDA Project). 

The Ozonahi Conservancy covers a total area of 320 400 Ha with an estimated population of 10,922 and approximately 90 villages. Residents of the conservancy derive their livelihoods from livestock farming with large and small stock, however Farmers in the Ozonahi Conservancy area have been experiencing a decline in agricultural productivity due to a high rate of bush encroachment and the added pressure of overgrazing which has resulted in severe land degradation and mushrooming of Acacia mellifera (Omusaona/swart hark) in livestock grazing areas and this pile more stress to farmers be it socially, financially and environmentally. The aim of the project is to enhance climate resilience of drought-stricken communities in Ozonahi Conservancy area by producing bush-based animal feeds through bush thinning of indigenous problem encroacher species. 

The project design is centred around the set-up four (4) mobile production points for bush-based animal feeds in the Conservancy area. 

To date the projects has benefitted 10 992 Beneficiaries, Bush harvesting equipment procured (4 Chainsaws and accessories, 4 Brush cutters and accessories, 4 Kalahari Chippers on trailers, 1 Agri Mixer Machine, 1 Pellet Machine), 1 John Deere Tractor with trailer procured, 1 storage facility constructed and recruited 25 community members to work as harvesters at these mobile units while an additional 5 people at the office to mix and package finished bush feed.