Natural products such as sunflower oil can be a sustainable source of income to diversify livelihoods for communities living in harsh dryland habitats such as Namibia. Examples of such products can be found throughout the country. San communities harvest and sell the indigenous Hoodia and Devil’s Claw for the pharmaceutical industry. Communities in the central north cultivate Marula, which is a popular ingredient for cosmetics, and has great potential to improve traditional beverages fit for dry and hot climates. Wool of Karakul sheep is spun into clothing and tapestries by local small and medium enterprises.
We support schools to enhance attainment of all MDGs by actively incorporating conservation agriculture in the curriculum and pursue practical orientation programmes. We educate children on crops that will do well under dryland conditions and we teach them how to farm with organic fertilisers. We challenge them to find out how to use conservation ripping and drip irrigation methods to save water and get more out of the land. The learners transfer these skills to their elders, changing the way whole communities practice farming and adapt their harsh environments to cope with floods and droughts alike.