Namibian farmers save crops from birds with plastic bags


In Namibia’s northern Omusati Region, farmers are using plastic shopping bags to save crops from birds that have become a threat to farmlands harvest.farmer
“Drought has hard-hit both humans and animals. The birds are now feeding on our crops, which are minimal as most of the crops have wilted as a result of a prolonged dry spell,” said Asser Shekuza, one of the many farmers in the northern part of Namibia, using plastic bags to ensure they preserve what could be a minimal harvest.
“The birds prey on our crops, they destroy the crops. To prevent the pest (bird) from feeding on our crops, we tie the plastic bag on Mahangu stalks. Once the wind blows, the plastic bags make sound which chases the birds away. The secret is in the sound. Once there is movement, the birds fly-on and our crops survive the preying beaks of birds,” he said on Monday.
The farmers have since been able to save the crops as harvest time draws near. According to Shekuza, the efforts are helping. “If we had not implemented strategies as this, we would be left with nothing, no crops, no harvest and simultaneously no food to eat,” he added.
Information from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry shows that generally poor rainfall since December 2014 have lowered production prospects for 2015 cereal crop.
Meanwhile, many more farmers in the drought-stricken northern region are implementing similar methods to protect their crops and yields from pests such as birds.
In the Oshana Region, the camouflage of plastic bags in Iyambo Matheus’ field is hard to miss.
According to Matheus, he had to act fast and creatively. “The prospects for a good harvest are already poor, I cannot lose more of my yields to birds. That is why I tied the plastic bags on the stalks, so that the sound from the plastic bags keeps the birds at bay,” he said.
“In the past, in a cohort (of the entire household), we would take metallic items and hit them against each other. The sound would also chase away the birds, but it was an energy-straining exercise. We would spend the whole day in the field. We then realized that the plastic bags would keep the birds away, and we can spend time on other tasks. And it’s working,” Matheus said.
“While we hope only for the better and not deter, we shall continue to implement methods as this to preserve our crops,” Matheus added.
“The aim is to preserve little that is left for the long and uncertain days ahead,” Shekuza concluded.
Information from the Office of the Prime Minister shows that close to 418,000 people in Namibia have been affected by drought. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

Send your news stories to and via WhatsApp on +233 244244807 Follow News Ghana on Google News


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here