Biodiversity, Climate Change, Community, Community Development, Conservation, Conservation Agriculture, Great Limpopo TFCA, Herding 4 Health, Limpopo National Park, Mozambique, Partnerships, TFCAs, Uncategorised

Herding for Health connects community farmers with markets

Farmers participating in the Herding for Health programme in Massingir in the Gaza province bordering the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique, no longer loose cattle to predation. Cattle are heathier, fatter and now they are ready to go to market.   

Healthy cattle and vibrant soil 

Cattle getting ready for market in the Herding for Health mobile boma.

Delcio Juliao, Implementation Manager of the Herding for Health Project, attributes this to mobile bomas being strategically placed in areas away from natural water sources where wildlife gathers. Massingir is in a semi-arid zone, and one of the biggest problems is the lack of water for both people and animals. Six operational boreholes enable Herding for Health’s rotational grazing model, which not only keeps the animals safe, it also restores the pasture.   

‘The bomas are installed in one place for seven days before being moved to a new location, this leaves behind naturally fertilised soil, in which grasses soon grow,’ explains Delcio. Rangeland restoration is inextricably linked to sustainable food production, addressing the problem of malnutrition and food insecurity through soil regeneration.   

‘The Herding for Health programme, has supported communities to improve the condition of their animals so they can obtain better prices on the markets,’ says  Peace Parks’ Project  Manager for Herding For Health, Grant Zunckel.  

Connecting farmers to buyers 

Weighing the cattle enables negotiation.

‘The next step is building a sustainable route to market for the cattle owners, so that communities can be economically stable – which is something we are beginning to see,’ says Zvi Tangawamira, who is just back from the first ever Herding for Health Cattle Fair in Limpopo.  

The auction, which was attended by local government and supported by Meat Naturally, was a great success with over 50 head of cattle being brought in by 11 sellers.  Three buyers attended the fair and 17 cattle were sold at market-related prices bringing in over R100 000 to the area. 

The use of the scale today, has been very educational. It is the first time many of the farmers have been able to weigh their animals and then figure out their actual worth using real-time live weight market prices. It was wonderful seeing breeders calculating the prices of their cattle on their cell phones. The initiative of educating communities to become commercial farmers through such programmes can provide significant economic advantages for both the communities and the country. We plan to actively participate in these fairs going forward.

Lester Mouton from Agropack Gaza Beef

By supporting livelihoods of local communities, Peace Parks relieves the pressures of resource use on nearby parks.By scaling this project we will expand health rangeland practices, thus linking African landscapes to international movements.  “I will now encourage all the breeders here in Massingir to come and sell their cattle using the scale, because it helps to know the correct weights of the animals,” says Silvestre Ngovene, cattle farmer in the community of Chinhangane.

The power of partnerships 

Ms Esmeralda Muthemba, District Administrator and the Honourable Magarida Mapandzene, Governor of Gaza Province are welcomed to the Fair.

On the back of the success of this fair, more auctions will be arranged on a regular basis. So, if farmers are not able to sell their cattle in one market, they will have further opportunities to sell in another one. 

We would like to thank our partner, Peace Parks Foundation, which works through the Limpopo National Park, for the care they provide. It adds value to our cattle. I kindly ask that we continue to work together, so that we can continue to empower our communities.

 Governor of Gaza Province, the Honourable Magarida Mapandzene 

The Honourable Magarida Mapandzene attended the fair with Mrs Maria Ester from the Department of Agriculture and Livestock, Massingir District and Ms Esmeralda Muthemba, who is the District Administrator. 

As we reflect on the significance of this inaugural auction event, we are reminded of the power of partnership and innovation in driving positive change. By working together, we can create a world where conservation and community development go hand in hand, enriching lives and safeguarding natural heritage for generations to come. 

Herding for Health Cattle Fair in Limpopo

 

 

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