EU Avails N$1.8 Million to Support Rangeland, Marketing Development

The Rangeland and Marketing Development Support Project has been announced here at the 18th Namibian Rangeland Forum.

The lead applicant of this European Union (EU) funded project of some N$1.8 million is Meatco Foundation and the Co-applicant is Co-operative Agriculture Namibia. Six regional livestock marketing co-operatives are associate members and Meatco is an affiliated entity to the proposal. The Ministry of Lands and Resettlement (MLR) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) are being pursued as associate members as well.

Colin Nott of the Cooperative Agriculture Namibia says the project duration is 30 months and targets Kunene North, Omusati, Oshana, Ohangwena, Oshikoto and the regions of Kavango East and West. This intervention builds on previous initiatives started by IRDNC????? and continued with Millennium Challenge Account – Namibia (MCA- Namibia) under the CBRLM?????? project that was implemented by GOPA ??????. The new approach intends to work through Regional Livestock Marketing Committees (RLMCs) to assist them to become sustainable entities that can take forward work related to the full chain of production of livestock by improved rangeland management, improved animal production and improved marketing. The partnership with Meatco is intended to create a win-win scenario and enable the RLMCs to be become sustainable over the medium term. The active involvement of local traditional authorities, regional councils and governors offices as well as DEES????? and MLR is intended to help farmers make the mind shift that is required to secure the livestock industry in the NCAs.

The initiative hopes to improve the active involvement of key regional players in all targeted seven regions to climate adaption activities through implementation of regionally appropriate responses, improved uptake and application of best practise rangeland management practises, improved herd production, improved marketing options and more receptive sellers in at least 30 grazing areas. Other issues to be addressed include increased awareness of cropping best practises, the development of synergies with croplands and livestock, as well as local level land use planning, grass poaching, fire control and other key issues that affect livestock and rangelands. Improved co-ordination of support organisations to the livestock sector will be supported or facilitated.

The initiative hopes to train and expose key stakeholders, through regional meetings to agree on locally appropriate key messages and material for rangeland, livestock, marketing, cropping and local level land use planning. Dissemination of these strategies in locally appropriate manner to increase uptake and sustainability. Facilitate changed behaviour at the locally agreed sites to support improved grazing planning, more productive herds and more effective marketing of livestock as well as synergies between crops and livestock. Investigate new markets, conduct auctions according to regional auction calendars. Conduct quarterly reviews of plans with stakeholders and assist in co-ordinating support organisations in the rangeland sector. Create awareness of cropping best practises and the need for local level land use planning and addressing grass poaching.

Source : New Era