Improving livestock production and regenerating rangelands

June 19, 2017

Kenya Placeholder
Kenya

Improving livestock production and regenerating rangelands

About the Implementing organization

Name: Mara Beef and the Enonkishu Conservancy

Country: Kenya

Year of establishment: 2013

Type of organization: Community-based association or organization / Community enterprise or business

Description

The Enonkishu Conservancy is a new, exciting and innovative initiative seeking to promote and facilitate sustainable natural resource management. To achieve this it seeks a balance between conservation of the ecosystem and appropriate enterprise. Our project is adopting a unique approach to conserving land by creating a viable livestock enterprise and contributing to land rent through cattle.

Our project has the potential to have the following impacts;
• Major ecological benefits such as enhancing ecosystem resilience, sequestering carbon and building biodiversity.
• Solid financial results through competitive annual cash dividends and low-risk, long-term capital storage in the form of productive grassland.
• Long-term stability for rural communities by providing employment opportunities for both experienced and up-and-coming land managers.

By managing the husbandry alone, the productivity of the livestock herd improves by 15 %, deworming, vaccinating, tickborne disease control, vitamin boosting and putting the cattle onto good grazing sees an average weight gain on a 250kg cow of 20 kg per month. By improving the genetics and introducing better breeding into the Masai pastoralist herds also sees a dramatic change in just 1 generation. By providing market access through the Mara Beef distribution network the pastoralists get directly to the market without middlemen.

Nature Element

Grasslands / Drylands / Wildlife

Type of Action

Restoration / Sustainable use / Mainstreaming into sectors / Pollution prevention, clean up

Sustainable Development Element

Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Water security / Disaster risk reduction / Peace and security / Climate action

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s)

      

Environmental Impacts

Our business project will focus on improving the grazing, reversing the desertification, improving soil health and grassland management, increasing organic matter in the soil and to sequester thousands of tons of carbon, while at the same time, improving soil fertility and its water storage capacity.
Enhanced plant and wildlife diversity, less deforestation and clearing land for unsustainable cultivation.
Less human - wildlife conflict as wildlife is more secured with habitats restored and conserved, and less likely to raid crops and get killed by communities.
Less poaching - indirectly if there is less elephant wildlife raiding crops and increased security this will be reduced. Also as we encourage the wildlife habitat conservation and engage with landowners to do this, they will see benefits of eco-tourism and in turn try to protect environment and wildlife rather than destroy it.

Sustainable Development Impacts

Food Security: Mara Beef with its irrigation systems can guarantee year-round production of high-grade beef to Kenyans. Poverty

Alleviation/Social Upliftment: Mara Beef is setting out to provide real income generation opportunity to pastoral communities by providing a reliable market for their livestock, whilst providing knowledge transfer, improving livestock breeding, and allowing them to keep their land (via rental income) and retain their traditional values.

Employment: Mara Beef will ultimately directly employ in the region of 200-250 Kenyans who currently live below the poverty line.

Education: Mara Beef currently supports, and will continue to support the Emarti School by providing funding for additional infrastructure and classrooms, and any other project that is deemed necessary, where possible.

Wildlife Protection & Encouragement: The regenerative grazing will not only improve grazing for the livestock but will also, in turn, improve the grazing for the wildlife in the area.

Scalability

The successful implementation of this project will see a significant shift of the revenue model in the region and on a wider level, away from the volatile Tourism revenue, which is under threat. We aim to regenerate the revenue stream from pastoralism.

Our project has the potential to have the following impacts:

• Major ecological benefits such as enhancing ecosystem resilience, sequestering carbon and building biodiversity.
• Solid financial results through competitive annual cash dividends and low-risk, long-term capital storage in the form of productive grassland.
• Long-term stability for rural communities by providing employment opportunities for both experienced and up-and-coming land managers.

We have a successful demonstration site and training facility and capacity to train, and links to the market. We are providing an innovative approach that works, at a time when the Markets, Pastoralists, conservationists and communities are looking for solutions.

Replicability

Our neighboring conservation areas in the region are willing to replicate what we are doing. We are a member of The Savory Global Network, which is a thriving community of people working to advance Holistic Management. The network is comprised of Savory Hubs, Accredited Professionals, and Savory Champions. Together, the global network advocates, trains, implements, and facilitates Holistic Management and regenerative agriculture practices in their own contexts to create enduring returns for the land and all who depend upon it.

The Mara Training Centre has had requests across the country to train communities and has worked with a team from the University of Nairobi among others to develop the best curriculum for communities looking to improve their livestock production and grazing management. Mara beef is looking for better quality cattle, from pastoralists and has a market ready for them.

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