Conservation boosts cattle farmers - The Mail & Guardian

By adopting sound grazing practices livestock owners get access to markets in a foot-and-mouth disease red zone near the Kruger National Park

2021-10-18 11:33:00 PM

By adopting sound grazing practices livestock owners get access to markets in a foot-and-mouth disease red zone near the Kruger National Park

By adopting sound grazing practices livestock owners get access to markets in a foot-and-mouth disease red zone near the Kruger National Park

The aim is to build links between the private sector, local residents and landowners who commit toreduce land degradation, achieve biodiversity conservation, support climate regulation efforts, and practice sustainable natural resource management.Welverdiend A’s 20 000 hectares of degraded communal land under the Mnisi tribal authority is to be restored through the project. Seven of the 13 villages in the area are working with CSA.

After agreeing to use sound grazing practices, the farmers receive negotiated benefits such as access to a market, fodder, livestock branding, and training.Moses Mathabela, the liaison officer at CSA, first introduces the programme to the traditional leaders. With their approval he then meets the farmers. “Once the farmers have agreed to work with us, I explain the steps that will follow,” he said.

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Four suspected rhino poachers arrested in Kruger ParkThe second incident took place on Saturday, where rangers followed up after hearing gunshots and stumbled upon two suspected poachers.

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under the United Nations Environment Programme and is now continued under the Pro-Nature Enterprises project, funded by the French Development Agency. The aim is to build links between the private sector, local residents and landowners who commit to reduce land degradation , achieve biodiversity conservation, support climate regulation efforts, and practice sustainable natural resource management. Welverdiend A’s 20 000 hectares of degraded communal land under the Mnisi tribal authority is to be restored through the project. Seven of the 13 villages in the area are working with CSA. After agreeing to use sound grazing practices, the farmers receive negotiated benefits such as access to a market, fodder, livestock branding, and training. Moses Mathabela, the liaison officer at CSA, first introduces the programme to the traditional leaders. With their approval he then meets the farmers. “Once the farmers have agreed to work with us, I explain the steps that will follow,” he said. These steps include the introduction of the enterprise development manager, who will assist the committee to form a cooperative. A skills audit and mapping exercise is then done. This is followed by the introduction of the stewardship coordinator, who negotiates the conservation agreements with the farmers. The Mokgapeng cooperative became part of the pilot project in 2018 and, although the committee existed, it was not functional, which meant it could not benefit from government programmes. Lerato Mogane (right) is the coordinator for Conservation South Africa’s stewardship programme. (Andy Mkosi) A butcher used to buy their cattle at an auction held about once a year at prices the cooperative learnt were not competitive after Meat Naturally , which provides a link between Africa’s small-scale farmers and commercial meat buyers, began participating in the auctions. “We have had at least five sales since we joined the programme. It was exciting to finally participate in a sale after so many years of having it once a year. The one butcher that was allowed to buy from us because of the foot-and-mouth disease was too slow to organise sales because they did not have competition, but that changed when Meat Naturally joined through CSA,” said Thete. Other neighbouring villages saw how the programme was working for the likes of the Mokgapeng cooperative.  But before they can be a part of the programme, a learning exchange process needs to take place where the farmers who are already in the programme share their experiences.  Rickson Ncube, from the neighbouring Share village, is the chairperson of the farmers’ committee, which is currently in the negotiation phase of the conservation agreement.  “I think it would be a good idea for us to enter into an agreement with CSA. We have seen how the likes of Welverdiend and Dixie villages are benefiting and how their cattle are thriving, and we want the same for our cattle.  “The herders who are also employed to assist farmers have been helpful, especially for the older farmers who sometimes cannot take their cattle out to the field,” said Ncube. Subscribe for R500/year Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian , we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence. Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword.