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University of KwaZulu-Natal (2005)

Grazing management in the communal rangelands of the Upper Thukela, Kwazulu-Natal.

Tau, Mahlodi Solly.

Titre : Grazing management in the communal rangelands of the Upper Thukela, Kwazulu-Natal.

Auteur : Tau, Mahlodi Solly.

Université de soutenance : University of KwaZulu-Natal

Grade : Master of Science in Agriculture 2005

Résumé partiel
The grazing management project in the Okhombe ward of the Amazizi Tribal Authority formed part of the National Department of Agriculture’s LandCare program to address communal natural resource management issues. Okhombe land is communal whereby every member of the community is the legal owner of the rangeland with individual ownership of stock with the chieftaincy playing a major role in land allocation. In order to avoid critics of the past and address the top-down approach of the past interventions, a participatory approach was conducted in the planning and implementation of the grazing system. The service providers held a series of visioning workshops with the community in an effort to better understand community resource use patterns, needs, constraints and opportunities as part of the participatory approach. Issues identified by the community were the need for fencing grazing camps, animal health improvement, subdivision of rangeland and crop fields and the development of a rotational grazing system. The main aims of this study were to develop a participatory grazing plan with the community, develop and support institutional structures governing range management, and build capacity of the community in range management. The effect of the current grazing system on species composition was determined. In addition to these, the project investigated the potential different fodder trees has on alleviating feed and nutritional deficit, particularly during the dry winter months of the Upper Thukela. Among the main achievements of this study was the development and strengthening of local institutional structures and effective liaison by all structures with the Inkosi and the tribal council. The community developed a rotational grazing plan, marked the camp boundaries, produced digital maps and successfully built fence boundaries (approximately 20 kms of fencing) to divide their land. The fence boundaries separated the crop fields and rangeland, closed ward boundaries in the upland to prevent access by cattle from neighbouring wards, and divided the land into three camps. Six crush pens were constructed in each subward of the Okhombe ward. A communal herders fund opened and fence construction improved crop yields due to a decrease in crop damage by cattle. Okhombe ward, located in the Highland Sourveld region of KwaZulu-Natal, experiences feed and nutrition deficits to ruminants during winter.


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