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Lolldaiga Hills Ranch’s ‘Crisis Grazing Programme’

Harry Wells & Peter Karani, Lolldaiga Hills Ranch

Increased pressure of grazing by livestock, together with a reduced time for vegetation to recover from grazing, have led to degradation in the rangelands of Laikipia County, Kenya. The community-owned rangelands neighbouring Lolldaiga Hills Ranch are no exception.

Cattle in North Valley, Lolldaiga Hills Ranch, central Kenya. Notice, in the background, the extreme degradation of the rangeland on the neighbouring Makurian Group Ranch. Photograph by Per Aronsson.

Since 2013, Lolldaiga Hills Ranch has operated the ‘Crisis Grazing Programme’ to provide grazing to cattle from local communities during dry periods. Under bilateral grazing agreements, the Ranch provides crisis grazing to Makurian Group Ranch, Kimugandura Community, Mumonyot Community, and Lekurruki Group Ranch.

The bilateral grazing agreements are developed though Community Grazing Committees, which decide the composition of the herds. Each community pays a small fee for the right to graze on Lolldaiga (KShs 150/animal/month). The poorest families are permitted to graze a total of 200 cattle free-of-charge.

Cattle on Lolldaiga Hills Ranch. Photograph by Yvonne de Jong.

During 2013, Lolldaiga Hills Ranch provided crisis grazing to 1,000 cattle for 34 days (34,000 animal-days). This has steadily increased over the past 4 years. In 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, the Ranch provided 61,000, 161,324, 157,620, and 264,980 animal-days of crisis grazing, respectively.

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