Huge Date Collected to Help Communal Farmers

A huge amount of data has been collected in the Northern Communal Areas (NCAs) over the past few months.

This data will provide a valuable and comprehensive insight into the status and dynamics in the different grazing area with regards to community based management of livestock and natural resources. Collecting the valuable information formed part of the Millennium Challenge Account-Namibia’s Community Based Rangeland and Livestock Management (CBRLM) activity, which has been implemented over the past four years. The purpose of the data collection is to determine the performance of the grazing areas with regard to CBRLM as well as the communities’ ability and determination to carry on with CBRLM activities after the end of the MCA-N support in order to generate and sustain long-term benefits.

The evaluation exercise saw participation by staff of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry’s Directorate of Extension and Engineering Services, the MCA-N and the Polytechnic of Namibia. Four teams, each consisting of two enumerators and two interpreters, travelled through the NCAs for five weeks to meet the communities of each of the 58 grazing areas. In order to capture the grazing area level picture from different perspectives, the evaluation entailed a set of four focus group interviews as well as observational elements for every grazing area. All interviews were guided by extensive questionnaires.

In general, participation showed that they are willing to continue with the good rangeland practices adapted over the past four years. Even though climatic conditions were tough last year, and communal farmers were struggling with the effects of fodder shortage, focus groups from all the grazing areas attended the interviews. The corresponding qualitative and quantitative results will enable MCA-N to inform the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry with regards to the final CBRLM implementation phase, and will hopefully also be of value for other stakeholders beyond the end of the current project period.

Source : New Era