Agribank has implored farmers to embrace Integrated Farming System (IFS) to achieve sustainability.
Erastus Ngaruka, Technical Officer within Agribank’s Agribusiness Advisory Services Division said Agricultural production in Namibia is very vulnerable to the threats of climate change amongst others, and this in turn is threatening food security and sustainable livelihoods.
“This vulnerability can be lessened by adopting appropriate farming systems aimed at achieving sustainable agriculture,” said Ngaruka.
He said IFS has potential for sustainable agriculture that will guarantee continued food production, using appropriate farming practices and not compromise the production environment, including human and animal welfare.
In addition, Ngaruka said the system allows farming both crops and livestock in a combination that complement each other in terms of input resource utilisation while ensuring diversified sources of income.
According to Ngaruka, common integrated farming systems include a combination of crops for example cereal, fruits, and vegetables, chicken, cattle, goats and sheep.
He indicated that for IFS to function efficiently, the products and by-products from one component are used by the other.
“This simply means that waste materials from one component are used an inputs into the other components. An Integrated Farming System combines the best of modern tools and technologies with traditional or indigenous practices according to a given site and situation.”
Ngaruka said IFS can also be a tool to enhance farmers’ resilience and adaptation to climate changes, thus ensuring sustainable production and food security at both household and national levels.