Rural cattle farmers gathered on a hillside outside the town of Bergville recently to initiate a new mobile auction scheme that aims to safeguard KwaZulu-Natal’s sensitive grasslands and help traditional farmers to boost their incomes. Known as Meat Naturally, the scheme offers financial and other incentives to rural communities based on the premise that well-managed livestock grazing can be compatible with conservation and restoring healthy ecosystems. By holding mobile auctions close to where the cattle are raised, communal farmers can take advantage of lower transport costs and lower auction commission rates. In return, the farmers agree to implement better land care practices such as rotational grazing to reduce soil erosion and damage to grasslands. Meat Naturally is a Conservation SA project that has been piloted in the Eastern Cape, partly based on a land management concept developed by livestock farmer and ecologist Allan Savory in Zimbabwe and the US. According to a recent ...

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