schauinsland-reisen enables 4 hectares of vegetables and fruits at the Okavango Delta
Okavango farm project bears first fruits
It was only a few weeks ago that schauinsland-reisen pledged its support for the expansion of the Okavango Farm in Botswana.
This project, which SAVE is implementing as part of its Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) program, is about both food security and sustainable income for the people around the Okavango Delta. This region was hit particularly hard by the Corona pandemic. Many people have lost their jobs in tourism.
The Okavango farm was originally a two-hectare vegetable garden. With the support of schauinsland-reisen, the area could be doubled to four hectares.
In the last few weeks, hard work has been done here. Because growing fruit and vegetables in one of the driest regions on earth is not child’s play! 30 farmers, who can build up a new existence through the SAVE project, first had to prepare the hard soil and equip it with an irrigation system. A shading system has also been partially completed, but more heat-resistant netting is needed to prevent the plants from burning under the sun.
Another area was prepared to preplant vegetable seedlings and later move them to the large fields. Among the plants were cowpeas, corn, watermelons, reeds and green pepper.
In addition, a workplace was created to process the harvest, that is, a place where the vegetables can be sorted, weighed, cleaned and prepared for distribution. This is because the goal is to sell the surplus harvest at markets and to lodges, thus creating an income.
This project is so important for species conservation because the project site in Quqao village was a sad hotspot of lion killings until some time ago. SAVE is already active there with several projects, including the lion conservation projects “Next Generation” and “Living with Lions”.
The Okavango Farm is designed to provide people with an alternative to cattle ranching. The idea behind it: If the predatory cats no longer attack cattle and goats, they will also no longer be shot or poisoned – as so often in the past. Thus, the Okavango Farm, like all CSA projects, is an important contribution to lion conservation.