Organic cultivation in Namibia
From a simple garden to organic production - the conversion to organic cultivation in Namibia at steps for children has begun. A place of learning and exchange of practical experiences for steps for children and the surrounding community. We take you to the garden in Ongombombone.
Since 1984, Holistic Management International (HMI) has worked with government agencies, NGOs and corporations, working with family farmers, ranchers, tribal people and pastoralists to support their communities to thrive and prosper.
The certified HMI expert and freelance consultant Wiebke Volkmann visited the for the first time in November 2021 steps facilities in Okakarara and steps vegetable garden in Ongonmbondonde. She supported the local team (Cecilia, Philip and Gody) in the introduction and further development of regenerative agricultural practices.
The goal of switching to organic farming?
To strengthen operations, produce healthier food, improve local wildlife habitats and protect the environment.
Experiences with the population and the local conditions
At the beginning of the conversion, a workshop was introduced to introduce the principles of organic cultivation. In addition to the steps team, local farmers also took part in the workshop.
The garden team in okakarara showed interest in organic production and further steps were planned together.
These included training on multicrop farming, making dryland (rain-irrigated only) farming more sustainable and productive, different soil preparation techniques, and enrichment with kraalmuck and biochar. The fields were staked out and provided with seed and biochar (donated by GIZ).
Organic farming in Namibia - water and land adaptation
After the first obstacles from the late rain and pests, the acreage was first reduced and the available water supply was thus concentrated in order to improve production here and switch to organic, before the acreage can be expanded again with increasing experience.
In the field at the gardening workshop
Processing and marketing – new possibilities are being explored
The considerable amount of ripe tomatoes could no longer be sold fresh in December 2021 and the soup kitchen no longer needed tomatoes during the holidays. Wiebke showed the steps team how to dry the tomatoes.
This first small experiment of dried production surplus flows into a holistic planning for the horticulture.
This is to market and produce for home consumption healthy, high-quality food with as few input costs (including storage, refrigeration and transport) as possible.
This includes holistic (triple-bottom-line) financial planning that aims to increase social, biological/physical and financial assets at the same time.
It is important to note that the transformation of the production system will take time - how much can only be said with certainty as Namibia does not have enough experience with such sandy soil as is found in Ongombombonde.
Soil improvement is the cornerstone and requires initial outside investment. In addition, wood chips and manure for mulching beds and for compost production are started.
Local production and increased consumption of healthy vegetables
In parallel to the cultivation, we plan to increase the preparation and consumption of vegetables and plant products in Okakarara promote through various training courses and fun events with children, young people, parents and farmers from the area. Omgombombone is intended to serve as a place of learning and exchange of practical experiences for the surrounding community.
Therefor >> Young vegetables donate.