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Type Journal Article - Journal of Human Ecology
Title Rangeland management and drought coping strategies for livestock farmers in the semi-arid savanna communal areas of Zimbabwe
Author(s)
Volume 44
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 9-21
URL http://www.krepublishers.com/02-Journals/JHE/JHE-44-0-000-13-Web/JHE-44-1-000-13-Abst-PDF/JHE-44-1-0​09-13-2468-Moyo-B/JHE-44-1-009-13-2468-Moyo-B-Tx[2].pmd.pdf
Abstract
Communal rangelands in semi-arid areas of Zimbabwe are heavily stocked, poorly managed and
drought prone resulting in high livestock losses during drought years. Resettlement interventions attempting to
reduce the impact of drought have had little success. This suggests a lack of understanding of the community’s view
on rangeland condition, use and its drought coping strategies. This study therefore assesses and documents the
perceptions of farmers on rangeland condition and improvement; current rangeland management practices and
also identifies factors that explain the failed resettlement interventions. The documented drought coping strategies
were assessed in relation to the farmers’ socio-economic characteristics through a multinomial logistic regression
analysis. A single visit survey method was used to gather data through a structured questionnaire in 34 households.
Continuous grazing (100%) and open access (68%) were dominant grazing practices, while herding (97%) and
stocking rate control (100%) were not practiced. About 60% of the respondents indicated that the rangelands were
good in summer, and were very poor in winter (71%). Drought coping strategies included mobility to relief grazing
farms (22%), moving animals to key resource areas (16%) and supplementation (54%). Predictors which were
significant in explaining drought coping strategies were household herd size, total household income and access to
relief grazing farms in winter. Most respondents (60%) view resettlement intervention as a failure since fences
were removed and restrictions to access plus grazing management ceased. There is need for community cooperation
in the utilization and maintenance of the common pool resources for efficient livestock production.

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