Farmer workshop at a cattle post
Whilst new Covid19 recommendations has made our work a little more challenging, this has certainly not stopped us and we are happy to report that we have been able to continue to engage with farmers in Khumaga and the surrounding cattle posts to deliver workshops on various mitigation measures in place to curb elephant crop-raiding. In order to adhere to covid-19 restrictions, the workshops were conducted with small groups of farmers, not exceeding 15 participants.
During the last quarter, we conducted four workshops on solar electric fencing in the cattle posts of Tsoi, Marotobolo, Bosobiya and Menoakwena. We are discussing electric fencings to encourage farmers to form cluster farms (where a group of farmers come together to protect their land) to limit the time each farmer needs to invest in protecting their land and decrease the footprint of agricultural land so that elephants can move easier through community lands. As with any mitigation tool, it is not a one tool-job and therefore all farmers are encouraged to continue to burn chilli as a means of communicating to elephants that this is not where they want to be.
To help increase local production of chilli we built the first chilli plot in the village of Moreomaoto. This is an expansion of our Community Coexistence Project into the village of Moreomaoto, so it a major milestone and one worth celebrating. The community members graced the occasion, with some expressing interests to have chilli plots in their own yards and as and when funding permits, we shall certainly facilitate this. Still, in Moreomaoto, we also held a stakeholder meeting, which was attended by the Tribal Authority, the Crop Officer in the village, Chief crop officer overseeing the Boteti area and local farmers. The farmers who were present expressed their interest to form a cluster farm so that they could benefit from EfA’s mitigation measures, particularly solar electric fencing and so word spreads quickly in these rural parts!
It is only through the generosity of you, our funders, that we have been able to achieve this and continue to support communities living alongside wildlife. This will be the last report for this particular project as due to some success funding bids and other private donors we have met our total.
We will soon be bringing you a new project and introducing you to our Schools Education Program, a program that we are incredibly proud of and is part of our Community Outreach Program. Stay tuned and stay safe.
Dr Kate Evans
Finishing touches to the chilli plot
Building the chilli plot in Moreomaoto