Dr. R. Trede, Professor Dr. R. Patt. 2015. Adding Value to Namibian Encroacher Bush – Turning the Challenge of Bush Encroachment into an Opportunity. GIZ Support to De-bushing Project, Namibia.
Bush encroachment, i.e. an increase of bush density and significant decrease of grasses is a national challenge in Namibia. It is estimated that 26-30 million ha of farm land are affected by bush encroachment The overall aim of this study was to create a comprehensive overview and initial assessment of products that can be produced on the basis of Namibian encroacher bush. The assignment is to be understood as the first of two phases of value chain research. It shall cover various aspects of full value chain analysis, but be limited in depth and scope. The resulting study shall inform decision makers on general opportunities for value chain development and propose priorities, which will lead to in-depth research on selected products/value chains.
G. N. Smit, J. N. de Klerk, M.B. Schneider, J. van Eck. 2016. Quantifying Harvestable Encroacher Bush – Determining the Balance between Environmental Sustainability and Economic Feasibility of Bush Utilisation in Namibia. GIZ Support to De-bushing Project, Namibia.
In southern Africa the phenomenon of the increase in woody plant abundance is commonly referred to as “bush encroachment”, though the term “bush thickening” is more appropriate. It can be defined as the excessive increase in the density and cover of one or more indigenous woody species that exploit disruptions of the grass/bush balance at the expense of grasses. It has long been considered an ecological and economic problem in the rangelands of Namibia and the area affected by bush thickening in Namibia is estimated to be approximately 260 000 km2. Enormous amounts of money and effort have already been put into treating the existing symptoms, but many attempts at combating the problem have in effect aggravated the problem. Due to the cost of bush control measures there is an increasing awareness of woody plants as a harvestable resource with a monetary value - such as the possible utilization of woody biomass as a source of energy. The assignment has two main objectives: (i) to establish a tested and accepted methodology of local biomass resource assessment, and (ii) to prepare and implement a local biomass resource assessment in a selected area of Namibia.