Africa / Livestock Systems / Pastoralism / South Africa / Southern Africa

Rangeland management must listen to locals

South Africa must build bottom-up needs-based policies for communal livestock grazing.

‘Nothing about us without us!’ It’s a popular slogan in development work and one that agricultural policymakers should embrace to ensure their decisions address rural communities’ needs. Recent experience with communal cattle keeping in South Africa is again providing valuable lessons on why and how to build needs-based policies from the bottom up.

In South Africa, many government staff and scientists view livestock keeping as a purely economic venture, to be improved through technical management interventions. And they often assume that areas under communal land tenure will be suffering high soil erosion, caused by overstocking and overgrazing.

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