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Ministry prioritises conservation

Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security places conservation on natural resources as one of its priorities to meet the vision of attaining national food security.

Deputy permanent secretary in the ministry, Dr Keogaile Molapong said resources such as land and water were primary factors of production in agriculture, whose activities were seen as putting more strain on the resources.

Dr Molapong was remarking on agricultural perspective on environmental conservation during the Sustainable Land Management Conference.

He said it was a fact that agriculture impacted negatively on the environment, but said such could be managed.

He said over the years, environmental problems increased as a result of human activities including agriculture. Dr Molapong said there had been an increasing conflict between conservation and preservation of the ecosystem to protect the environment and the necessity to satisfy human desire by sacrificing the environment.

He explained that the ministry adopted sustainable agricultural production techniques to reduce the negative impact on the environment.

While the ministry’s mission is to develop and transfer technologies to stakeholders, he said they were also charged with the responsibility to develop environmentally sensitive policies and programmes.

Dr Molapong cited crop and livestock production as two major agricultural practices that impacted on the environment, but stated that the ministry made efforts to come up with mitigation measures such as appropriate technology transfer, promotion of agricultural conservation, promotion of integrated pest management and conducting environmental impact studies for new projects.

With regard to livestock challenges, the ministry, he said had developed appropriate policies and encouraged environmentally friendly practices to curb adverse effects that livestock production had on the environment while ensuring sustainable food security.

These include among others, adoption of herd management practices, use of fenced farms, spacing of boreholes on communal grazing land and improved range management practices.

He said the ministry embraced the aspect of environmental conservation, adding that their plans and actions were socio-economic and environmentally considerate.

“We take conservation of the environment as key to attaining sustainable food security,” he added.

Deputy permanent secretary in the ministry of Environment Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Ms Goitseone Madikwe said the ministry was proud to have partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), noting that they had strategic partnership, which resulted in mobilisation of resources.

She said UNDP had supported a number of national projects and programmes, which benefited communities, pointing out that the organisation had generated nine projects through the Global Environmental Finance.

The conference brought together stakeholders from the SADC region and beyond to share experiences and network.

Stakeholders had the opportunity to dialogue on different interventions and initiatives on sustainable land management. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Esther Mmolai

Location : MAUN

Event : Land Management Conference

Date : Dec 06 Wed,2017

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