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Urban and peri urban horticulture in Namibia

Fosso A., Kahane R.. 2013. In : Hannweg Karin (ed.), Penter Mark (ed.). Proceedings of the Second All Africa Horticulture Congress, Skukuza, Kruger National Park, South Africa, January 15-20, 2012. Louvain : ISHS [Belgique], p. 821-828. (Acta Horticulturae, 1007). All Africa Horticulture Congress "Horticulture for Humanity". 2, 2012-01-15/2012-01-20, Skukuza (Afrique du Sud).

The French Ambassador to Namibia has made USD 30,120 available under the Social Development Fund (SDF) to Judea Harvest Namibia (JHN) in partnership with Urban and Peri-Urban Horticulture Namibia (UPH), during June 2011. This partnership proposed a project to improve food security and nutrition for vulnerable people living in the urban and peri-urban areas of Windhoek, Rehoboth and Okahandja, Namibia. This project also aims to contribute to food security and income generating activities. Furthermore, it builds the capacity of the local communities on urban horticulture, to promote entrepreneurship. The beneficiaries of the project are orphans, HIV/AIDS orphans and poor people as part of a feeding program by JHN's members and in particular, the Hope Village HIV/AIDS hospice. Hope village was used as pilot site to tailor and adjust hydroponic techniques for vegetable cropping. This paper reports on the preliminary outcomes from this pilot study. Vegetables were grown in 8-L plastic bags as growing bags, filled with river sand as a substrate in netted enclosures called 'veggie tunnels'. A nutrient hydroponic solution was used to feed the plants. Five communities were involved in this project since the date of implementation. The HIV/AIDS hospice's 'veggie tunnels' provided vegetables to 250 to 300 children per year. The average production for a 9×4 m veggie tunnel was 216 kg beetroot and 288 kg carrot per 3-month cycle and 21.5 kg Swiss chard per week. The garden produced Swiss chard, carrot, beetroot, lettuce, onion and parsley. Children with HIV/AIDS had their immune systems boosted by consuming fresh vegetables on a regular basis. They even started to attend school after regular medication with a good meal. All the SDF projects have been completed by the end of November 2011. The perspectives to sustain and scale up such a pilot project are discussed.

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