Conservation South Africa - Ecorangers and Meat Naturally

Ecorangers Help To Mitigate Impacts of Herding

By training cattle herders and communal herding techniques to minimize the negative impacts of climate change and alien plant invasions to wetlands and riparian zones, Conservation South Africa uses an innovative business model, Meat Naturally Pty, to implement communal grazing systems that result in improved water and food availability. Meat Naturally Products (MNP) is having broad-ranging impacts on 1,658 households and 8,290 users through signed agreements to remove invasive species and implement planned grazing for communal farmers on 92,555 hectares of land in South Africa.

Four-hundred-and-fifty-one farmers have received nutritional and veterinary support.

Of these, 1,433 farmer households are receiving the planned grazing services that MNP provides, with 67 Ecorangers (funded by the South African Department of Environment Affairs) who rotate livestock to feed in rangeland that has been cleared of invasive plant species by 158 rangeland restoration workers.

Four-hundred-and-fifty-one farmers have received nutritional and veterinary support, increasing the supply of higher-value cattle into the mobile auctions through which MNP empowers communal farmers to receive market prices for their livestock. In the three auctions completed in Year 1, 240 livestock were sold, generating $89,000 in sales income for 175 farmers, of whom 39 were women.

By emphasizing the hiring of rangeland restoration workers who are women, and by facilitating improved management of livestock for women who are often less prepared to do so due to the cultural context, MNP is empowering groups who have been historically excluded from the meat value chain in South Africa to improve their livelihoods sustainably.

USAID, Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Government of South Africa, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands provide this innovator with funding and technical assistance.