Bush encroachment affects about 26 million hectares in Namibia‛s prime agricultural land. Because of high bush density, the potential for cattle grazing is much lower and productivity of the land decreases. This causes losses of over N$700 million every year to the national economy. Invader bush, if used as a source of biomass energy, could provide electricity.
Southern and western parts of Namibia have little wood. Central areas, especially around Otjiwarongo and Grootfontein, have too much wood – large parts of these areas are covered in dense thorny bushes and trees, called invader bush which cause bush encroachment. Northern areas are generally well wooded but there are problems with ‘deforestation‛, or too much wood being cut down by people for construction, cooking and heating purposes.
Thorn bush encroachment caused by overgrazing and lack of water reduces plants and animal bio-diversity. Bush encroachment is the beginning of the desertification process.