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Livening arid and semi-arid rangeland ecosystems using livestock in Zimbabwe: Rehabilitation of degraded rangelands for poverty eradication and sustainable livelihoods in rural ecologies

  • Published on May 15, 2017
The Njeremoto Biodiversity Institute (NBI)integrates land and livestock management in its teaching. The organization strives for water and land restoration, productive crop fields, and raising healthy animals. NBI promotes community mobilization as something that is done by the community rather than for the community. Traditional Rangers/Livestock Farmers Osmond encourages livestock farmers to adopt a collective land management system to improve productivity and halt desertification.
Vision, mission and principles: The Njeremoto Biodiversity Institute Zimbabwe (NBI – Zimbabwe) Vision: Empowered smallholder rural community in arid and semi-arid areas of Zimbabwe, SADC region, Africa and internationally managing their lives and resources holistically so as to improve their quality of life and that of future generations. The Njeremoto Biodiversity Institute Zimbabwe (NBI – Zimbabwe) Mission: To work collaboratively to strengthen the sustainable development of arid and semi-arid rangelands in Zimbabwe, SADC region, Africa and internationally creating wealthy communities with sustainable livelihoods. The Institute’s work is committed to rehabilitation; regeneration and restoration of degraded arid and semi-arid rangelands ecosystems by self-reliant, self-regulating, motivated and wealthy communities. The Institute’s work contributes to the achievement of seven (7) Sustainable Development Goals. Namely: The primary goal is Goal 15: LIFE ON LAND: PROTECT, RESTORE AND PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE USE OF TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS, SUSTAINABLY MANAGE FORESTS, COMBAT DESERTIFICATION, AND HALT AND REVERSE LAND DEGRADATION AND HALT BIODIVERSITY LOSS SINCE HUMANS AND OTHER ANIMALS RELY ON OTHER FORMS OF LIFE ON LAND FOR FOOD As well as: Goal 1: NO POVERTY: END POVERTY IN ALL ITS FORMS EVERYWHERE Goal 2: ZERO HUNGER: END HUNGER, ACHIEVE FOOD SECURITY AND IMPROVED NUTRITION AND PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE Goal 8: DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH: PROMOTE SUSTAINED, INCLUSIVE AND SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC GROWTH, FULL AND PRODUCTIVE EMPLOYMENT AND DECENT WORK FOR ALL Goal 13: CLIMATE ACTION: TAKE URGENT ACTION TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE AND ITS IMPACTS Goal 5: GENDER EQUALITY: ACHIEVE GENDER EQUALITY AND EMPOWER ALL WOMEN AND GIRLS Goal 4: QUALITY EDUCTION: ENSURE INCLUSIVE AND EQUITABLE QUALITY EDUCATION AND PROMOTE LIFELONG LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL The NBI – Zimbabwe Principles that guide activities are:  Bring back nature: Enhancing the health of the ecosystems and respect of nature for sustainable livelihoods.  Always promoting and improving effective teamwork in our work.  Accountable &Transparent: Seeing and conveying things as they really are  Innovative and Creative: Keep looking for and trying out new ways of doing things.  M&E Continually checking progress and learning from our experiences  Research and Documentation: Ensure a variety of evidence to illustrate the impact of our work Major Programme Components • Community Development (empowerment, capacity building, support for organizational and management structures) • Rangelands Management (planned grazing and combined herding) • Livestock Management (improved productivity and bull schemes) • Mechanized Conservation Farming in Crop Fields and Crop Fields Treatment with Livestock (secure food and nutrition security) Ward and Village Level Grazing Governance Component  Community mobilization  Community Development (support for organizational and management structures)  Building trust and credibility  Liaise with all stakeholders  Assist community to explore issues  Visioning exercises  Planning, monitoring and feedback  Group rights  Grass and water poaching addressed  Decision Making enhanced  Joint budgeting, implementation and capacity building  Co-op development  Rangelands Management Component  Grazing planning and forage assessment  Developing reliable and clean water sources for livestock  Fire prevention & response  Deforestation addressed  Land use planning  Herding and any other best rangelands and livestock management practice  Natural resource usage and management  Rangelands health monitoring  Overseeding (Planting grass through animal dung/ grazing and overnighting animals in spots where the grass is to be dropped) Livestock Management Component  Bull/cow ratio  Herd structure  Vaccination and health programme  Animal safety  Mortality management  Trial strategic nutrients supplementation (sampling, analyse and apply) Livestock Marketing Component  Assist farmers identify marketable livestock for various sectors of the market (formal and informal)  Coordination with project committees and buyers about availability of marketable livestock from the farmers  Share marketing related information with farmers & advise them correctly  Improve quality livestock for marketing  Establish Community Abattoirs and Milk Processing Parlours Mechanized Conservation Farming (Adapted from Namibia Visit)  Identify willing farmers to pilot Mechanized Conservation Farming wit Riper Tine methods  Assist farmers throughout with the implementation of Rural Communities process  Monitor and offer support services to farmers  Trial animal/veld treated cropping (fertilization  Trial overseeding in arid and semi-arid rangelands and crop fields On Land Management:  Restored healthy grasslands  Increased fodder –grazing management and water provision  Rehabilitated degraded rangelands  Restored natural water sources  Recharged underground water  Reversed desertification On Livestock Management:  Developed livestock management plans  Improved herd management  Increased herd productivity  Reduced stock loses – herding and health plans  Created market for livestock - opportunities  Created Community agro-processing e.g. Community Abattoirs and Community Milk Centers for Amasi and Yourgart On Community  Enhanced ability to read the land – eco-literacy  Increased food & nutrition security  Increased incomes  Improved livelihoods  Encouraged agro-processing, value adding, packaging, wholesaling and rural economic growth  Created employment and investment opportunities in rural areas  Encouraged eco and cultural tourism  Transferred knowledge and management stills to farmers  Developed cohesive, self-reliant, motivated, action oriented communities  Created employment for herders and from agro-processing and value addition  Eliminated poverty and hunger in participating households They Assist in implementation of the following Key Activities 1) Collaborate with Small Holder Communities in the communal, resettlement and small-areas of Zimbabwe and regionally on this work. 2) Train these communities starting with pilot satellite communities. 3) Train at Institute and facilitate implementation in the community site. 4) Conduct look and learn exchange visits where the communities share experience and learn from each other nationally, regionally and internationally. 5) Register with a University for PhD hence repeat pilot work under scientific supervision at the Institute so that the thesis will be the basis of influencing the current academic knowledge on management of arid and semi-arid rangelands. 6) Demonstrate the paradigm shift to the scientists. Use the thesis to replicate and spread the knowledge. The thesis will also be the basis of books and pamphlets or publications. Conduct research (PhD) to explore the factors that facilitate decay in Brittle (Savannah/Arid and semi-arid) ecosystems; as reported in previous MSc work (Mugweni 1993). 7) Collaborate with Universities who will have MSc and PhD Students attached to the Njeremoto Biodiversity Institute from Zimbabwe, South Africa, UGANDA, Canada, USA and UK (Still to be identified). 8) Operationalize the Institute’s Vision and Mission 9) The Institute be facilitâted to engage the following Proposed Staff Complement a. Founder, Senior Researcher & Executive Director = 1 b. Programmes/Operations Director = 1 c. Training Programme Officer = 1 d. Outreach Programme Officer = 1 e. Farm Manager = 1 f. Admin & Finance Officer = 1 g. Secretary = 1 h. Farm Workers = 20 i. Interns = 4 j. Research Assistants = 5 k. TOTAL = 35 10) And implement the Research Hypothesis Vegetation in arid or semi-arid rangelands is à function of human management or land use practice 11) This is a Research and Development case whose Research Areas are: 1. Factors that result in developing healthy grasslands in arid and semi-arid rangelands; 2. Factors that promote healthy rivers and streams in arid and semi-arid rangelands. 3. Factors that promote covered and uncapped soil surface in arid and semi-arid rangelands and Factors that motivate, empower and capacitate communities for collective, productive action for Sustainable Livelihood and Development

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