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Rangeland management for cattle owners in communal areas

Combined herding of cattle has multiple advantages and herders play a key role in the well being of both livestock and grass (Photograph by Christine Skowski).

Combined herding of cattle has multiple advantages and herders play a key role in the well being of both livestock and grass (Photograph by Christine Skowski).

The Community Based Rangeland Livestock Management (CBRLM) programme of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) is a pilot project supported by the Millenium Challenge Account (MCA)
In 21 pilot areas across the Kunene, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Ohangwena and Okavango regions, experts and field facilitators show farmers the benefits of combining livestock of different owners around one water point into one large herd which is herded according to a grazing plan to fresh grazing every day by trained herders. The size of the combined herds range from just over 200 to over 1500 cattle.
Communal farmers who started practising CBRLM six years ago in the Kunene region, as well as farmers who have only started 12 months ago, report of the multiple benefits they have experienced from adopting the revolving grazing schedule. Livestock get sufficient water and a more even nutrition over the whole year and the herders prevent theft and losses from predators and they can spot health problems quickly. These problems are then reported to the owners and treated quickly. Both the condition and reproduction of the animals have improved.
More calves are born and stay alive due to the better care and protection by the herders. Livestock damages to crop fields are minimized and in some areas livestock is kraaled overnight in already harvested crop fields to improve the soil for the next planting season.
In most CBRLM grazing areas farmers share the wages of herders and the cost for water pumping and animal medicine.The CBRLM field facilitators help the grazing area committees with training and facilitation for budgeting, accounting and self-monitoring these “grazing area funds”. The most important and high-return investment a livestock owner can make is into the services of dedicated and qualified herders.
Through the CBRLM programme farmers now know from personal experience that it is not only the amount and distribution of rain that determine the productivity of the grass and their animals, but also the management of grazing and livestock that makes the difference.
This is confirmed by Mr Siegfried Schneider, a leading commercial farmer in the Grootfontein district and the chairperson of the Livestock Producers Organization as well as chair of the working group that drafted the recently adopted National Rangeland Management Policy and Strategy of the Namibian government. At a certification ceremony held in December last year, he congratulated the stakeholders in the CBRLM programme in helping to link the environmental protection stipulated in the Namibian constitution and rangeland management policy with a practical strategy for improving livestock and healing degraded land.

About The Author

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.