Tuhafeni encourages northern farmers to start growing buffalo grass

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Okapya Livestock Development Centre Manager, Sheuyange Tuhafeni has encouraged northern subsistence cattle farmers to start growing buffalo grass for their cattle instead of buying it from commercial farmers at a high price. Tuhafeni said during a demonstration to farmers on how to plant buffalo grass at Okapya in the Nehale Lya Mpingana constituency of Oshikoto that buffalo grass is favoured by livestock and farmers lack the knowledge on how to plant and grow it. 'Our farmers do not invest in growing this grass but it is the favourite of our animals. Instead they buy it from commercial farmers at a high price,' said Tuhafeni. He urged local farmers to visit the centre so that they can be trained on how to grow and harvest the buffalo grass. He added that the grass has a lifespan of 40 years and only grows during the rainy season. One of the objectives of the centre, he noted, is to train indigenous farmers from north of the red line who are not familiar with livestock farming. 'We focus mostly on livest ock farming and livestock marketing such as dehorning, castration, animal health, feeding and animal grazing, and train farmers on how to produce animal feed,' Tuhafeni said. The centre also works to conserve indigenous cattle such as the Sanga breed, and to train the community in all aspects of farming. Established in 2015, Okapya Livestock Development Centre falls under the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform to empower formerly disadvantaged communities in terms of farming. Source: The Namibia Press Agency