Rural communities urged to bio-fence against wild animals

Source: Rural communities urged to bio-fence against wild animals – NewsDay Zimbabwe


RURAL communities in areas that often experience human-wildlife conflicts have been urged to use bio-fencing methods to protect their homes.

This was said by Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs minister Mary Mliswa-Chikoka during the launch of the Pfumvudza programme in Kariba last week.

Bio-fences are lines of trees planted on-farm and field boundaries that give protection against cattle and wildlife, act as windbreaks, enrich the soil, and control dust.

“Human wildlife conflicts have devastating effects, and therefore there is need for rural farmers to remain afloat and erect bio diversity fencing around their homes and fields,” Mliswa-Chikoka said.

“These bio-fences can be in the form of bee hives. The time animals know that there are bees in the area, they won’t visit the fields or homesteads,” she said.

Mliswa-Chikoka said besides keeping away animals, putting bees as a bio-fence was a money-making project which would benefit everyone in the community and beyond.

She said rural people must enter into partnerships to keep away wild animals and ensure that the Pfumvudza concept is a success.

“We must enter into partnership with companies such as Carbon Green which will assist us in making sure the bio-fence issue comes into being  because we don’t want to experience a situation where what is farmed
by our local farmers is harvested by animals.”

The Pfumvudza programme targets smallholder farmers who are the most vulnerable to calamities and vagaries of climate change. The concept aims at ensuring food, nutrition and livelihood security at household level.