Analyzing the Carrying Capacity of North Namibian Pastures Using Remote Sensing Techniques

M. Bollig, M. Casimir


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The biomass estimated on the basis of harvested standing crops in the various pasture biotopes at the end of the rainy season in a "normal year" showed a range between 15.6 and 372.0 g dry matter/m². The estimated average fodder availability in the various biotopes in "normal years" was calculated as an average of 86.01 ± 79.30g dm/m².

The analysis of some of the important fodder-grasses showed a raw protein content of between 1.1 and 2.2g/100g dm (dry matter) in the dry season and a range of between 21.0 and 102.0g/100g dm at the end of the rainy season. With the help of the classified satellite images the total pasture area was calculated as 152.287ha.

Using different methods to establish the amount of fodder needed, it was ascertained that in a "normal year" about 5 times more fodder is available than needed for the 12.000 cows of the pastoral nomads.

This indicates a pasture system which in general is not overstocked and is even buffered to a certain extent against the hazards in drought years.