THE Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has commended Romney Integrated Grazing Scheme in Mangwe district for contributing 3 750 cattle to the national herd and said it could become one of the best performing farmer-based natural resources and rangeland management initiatives in the country.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
The project, which is aimed at reducing land degradation in wards 5 and 6 of Mangwe district, has a membership of 310 households with a total population of 3 750 cattle.
“The board is pleased that the project members are actively contributing to the national herd through provision of appropriate animal husbandry practices, which include fencing of 39km perimeter boundary of the 4 188ha farm, paddocking and rehabilitation of water points,” EMA board chairman, Zenzo Nsimbi told journalists in Bulawayo recently.
Nsimbi said current efforts by the local communities and key stakeholders such as Mangwe Rural District Council, Agricultural Technical and Extension Services and World Vision, in supporting the grazing scheme were appreciated.
“Such efforts include veld improvement through the introduction of fast growing adaptive fodder species as a strategy to range carrying capacity, amending of the by-laws by the local authority as a strategy to increase community value chain benefits for conservation projects; and diversification of livelihood projects to minimise direct overdependence on natural resources,” he said.
Nsimbi said EMA planned to set up a model paddock which the communities would replicate going forward.
“The project has the potential to become one of the best performing farmer-based natural resources and rangeland management initiatives in the country,” he said.
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“The major strengths lie in the committed project members and the result oriented management committee. As such, with adequate and continued support from stakeholders, the project is poised to be the best community-based natural resources sustainable management initiative.”