1. Fencing, stock watering and rotational grazing on the Loxton Commonage
Emerging commonage farmers who completed the Integrated Farm Planning course (developed by EWT and UNDP as part of the SLM Project) were invited to identify a critical SLM issue on their land and apply for a small grant to address the issue. From the start, the farmers were involved in developing the proposals with the regional extension officer and an independent agricultural advisor to provide the enabling environment necessary for the adoption of SLM. The plans for the project were approved by the Ubuntu Local Municipality and will see direct benefit to three farmers and the improved management of 2 600 hectares of commonage land.
Going forward, the EWT will assist the three livestock farmers to develop management plans for their individual camps that are ecologically planned according to the veld type. The small grant will be used to ensure a reconfiguring of internal fencing and water points to ensure that each farmer can practice rotational grazing. By facilitating rotational grazing, the veld can rest and recover, and livestock numbers will be monitored seasonally. While the small grant will be used to buy fencing and water point materials, the farmers will commit to using their resources to construct the infrastructure and implement the management plan.
It is anticipated that the project will have a socio-economic impact through improving productivity of the veld and livestock, building resilience of the land and farmer and growing the farmers capacity and knowledge of farming and grazing systems. The expected improvements in livelihoods and wellbeing, will have positive co-benefits for the families of the farmers through increases in food production and food security. We hope to demonstrate with this project that enhanced SLM can be implemented on commonage systems.