Industry

Biomass industry holds huge potential for Namibia: Shifeta

Summary

Namibia can benefit massively from the biomass industry over the next 25 years and stands to generate an estimated N.dollars 76 billion from the industry over the same period.This was said by Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism Pohamba Shifet…

Namibia can benefit massively from the biomass industry over the next 25 years and stands to generate an estimated N.dollars 76 billion from the industry over the same period.

This was said by Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta when he officially opened the biomass industry conference and launch of the national strategy on the sustainable management of bush resources here on Thursday.

Shifeta said studies have shown that the biomass industry possesses enormous economic benefits in the rehabilitation and restoration of bush encroachment land.

He said bush encroachment can be used as the basis for value chains that contribute to improved domestic economic development, add value to export products, and create employment as well as income in rural areas.

“The ministry is calling on farmers, private companies and other stakeholders to seize the opportunity to restore land that is degraded through bush encroachment and create revenue,” he said.

Shifeta noted that the ministry will ensure work in the sector is carried out in a sustainable manner based on the application of science and on value addition, and equally ensure the sector benefits local communities, adding that Namibia faces a number of pressing environmental challenges, which include bush, biodiversity loss and climate change.

He indicated that in spite of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the bush biomass sector continued to grow and has a high economic potential post-pandemic to add to the country’s economic recovery.

“It is not surprising to see a growing interest from the private sector, national and international development institutions to promote bush value chains and build a flourishing bush-based biomass industry. We encourage the further development of the sector and the ministry is committed to ensuring the optimal management and use of bush resources to safeguard the sustainability of the resource base and to generate environmental and socio-economic benefits,” he noted.

The two-day Biomass Fair started Wednesday and is being hosted by the Namibia Biomass Industry Group (N-BiG), the Charcoal Association of Namibia (formerly known as the Namibia Charcoal Association), and the Namibia University of Science and Technology.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency