On the 25th May 2018, 10 members of the Ghanzi Farmers Network (GFN) in partnership with Cheetah Conservation Botswana went on an exchange visit to their counterparts from the Southern Livestock Farmers network (SOLIFANE) members in Jwaneng. The main purpose of the visit was to give the GFN members an opportunity to meet up with SOLIAFNE members to exchange and share ideas on livestock farming experiences. While there, members from both networks had the opportunity to attend the Southern District Beef Farmers Association field day at Moleleme cattle post under the theme, “Increasing profitability for communal farmers”. The event was graced by the Minister of Agriculture Production and Food Security, Honorable Patrick Ralotsia, other stakeholders and farmers from the region. The day was filled with various activities for farmers to enjoy, among them information dissemination on farming issues, visits to cattle and goat kraals and chances to meet and engage farming giants in the Southern region. In the end, the trip was a success; all objectives of information and experience sharing were met. All members gained invaluable information on how to improve their farm performances in order to achieve desirable farming results.
Livestock guarding dogs (LGDs) have a long and fascinating history with mankind, spanning thousands of years. Anywhere that you find humans raising livestock, you’re likely to discover a specialized breed of LGD dutifully living and working alongside their masters. CCB has adopted this technique as one of their initiated mitigation strategies in tackling human-wildlife conflict in Botswana, especially with cheetahs. So far, CCB has placed around 40 LGDs with farmers experiencing conflict in the Ghanzi farms alone. To boost morale of the LGD recipients and to provide support, CCB hosted a workshop in Ghanzi on the 21st of May 2018 which was attended by 50 farmers to share and exchange ideas on how to improve the LGD program, how to improve LGD training and care as well as hear testimonies from recipients. The workshop went very well. LGDs are seen as an effective conflict mitigation technique to be used to successfully reduce livestock loss to depredation and promote coexistence with carnivores, especially cheetahs. We are looking forward to continuing the support we extend to these network members so that they can strive to find ways to improve their livelihoods through farming.