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Thatch Grass Harvesting as a Veld Fire Management Strategy

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Thatch Grass Harvesting as a Veld Fire Management Strategy

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Thatch grass harvesting plays a critical role in biomass reduction. In the Midlands Province, thatch grass harvesting is mainly done in Ascot, Somabhula and Chirumanzu areas. In addition to biomass reduction, those involved in thatch grass harvesting also make a living out of selling the grass bundles. 

One such group is the old Ascot Kushinga group which is made up of 63 members. They started harvesting thatch grass in 1999. According to Beatrice Madhende the cooperative’s chairperson, venturing in thatch grass harvesting has promoted financial independence amongst their group. Youths are following on their parents’ footsteps as they have joined their parents in harvesting thatch grass. 

The group has sold more than 27 000 grass bundles this year at $1 for 5 bundles. The grass bundles are sold to those involved the thatching business. The substandard grass that remains after combing is sold to chicken and livestock farmers. 

Besides the financial benefits, the grass harvesters now have an understanding of the benefits of thatch grass harvesting in relation to veld fire management.

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Thatch grass harvesting at Ascot, Gweru, Midlands Province

 

 

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