Zero-grazing Key to Sustainable Livestock Farming
Throughout our 32-year history, the sustainability of our work has been key to the Bóthar ethos. When operating livestock programmes in tropical climates the concept of zero-grazing is a key element of success. The purpose built zero-grazing unit, used primarily for housing cows and goats, ensures an effective use of the available space for our smallholder farmers. The zero-grazing unit is constructed of locally available materials and has several separate areas for milking, feeding and sleeping. Space for offspring and an enclosed exercise space are also included. These specially constructed pens ensure a healthier living environment for the animals by protecting them from the elements and potential spread of disease.
This controlled environment also allows farming families to monitor food and water intake and to observe the animals’ wellbeing. Recipients are trained in fast-growing fodder planting, which is then cut and brought to the animals. Bóthar’s animals are never placed in areas where water availability does not meet their needs. Water conservation and irrigation are widely practiced ensuring the availability of water in drier periods. Water harvesting facilities are built adjacent to the grazing areas to facilitate the needs of the families and the animals.
Given the importance of the animals as the primary source of income, and the fact that the farming is done on an easily manageable scale, the animal benefits from great longevity that ensures a firmer hand up for the family and the entire community. This video illustrates this story from the point of view of a Rwandan farmer and our supporters, to whom we are extremely grateful to for the opportunity to facilitate this life-changing mission. As always we are happy to answer any questions or receive feedback on 1800 268 463 or firstname.lastname@example.org