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San community’s farming bears fruit in the form of bumper watermelon crop
The San in Nyae Nyae Conservancy have become increasingly reliant on farming. Climate change is having a huge impact on the San communities traditional way of living and food security. The ‘home gardening’ project supported by the Nyae Nyae Development Fund Namibia (NNDFN) and its donors is bearing fruit after a good rainy season.
The recent rains have ensured that the effort the Nyae Nyae Conservancy and their communities have invested in home gardens has paid off. Watermelons have grown in the home gardens and are ready for harvesting. Whether for own consumption by the people in the conservancy or to sell, the watermelons and other fruits are essential to the continued survival of the San.
The conservancy, along with NNDFN and its donors have worked on this project to develop gardens for nearly 10 years and the fruits of these efforts are now clear to see. Not only do the gardens provide much needed food, the project allows the San to more self-sufficient and teaches them about small scale farming.
Through different initiatives, including funds from the European Union and EIF, but also with the assistance of organisations like the Nyae Nyae Development Foundation the San farmers have learned about different methods of farming and built up their expertise. Although it takes time and effort and patience to start the gardening project it will allow a level of self-sustainability that wasn’t there before. Giving the conservancy inhabitants a greater sense of empowerment and food security.
This is essential, as drought and climatic changes impact on their traditional livelihoods. Combining these new livelihood projects with their traditional veld food harvesting such as Devils Claw offers the San a viable future where wildlife, livestock co-exist and agriculture alongside bush foods.