Compensation Rates For Wildlife Damage Under Review


The Ministry of Environment and Tourism is currently in the process of amending the compensation rates for damages caused by wildlife  both  for commercial and subsistence farming.

The proposed amendment will consider revising the rates payable to farmers and inclusion of some wildlife species which had not been attracting compensation.

This was revealed by the Minister of Environment and Tourism, Phildah Kereng when responding to a question in parliament. Member of Parliament for Serowe North Baratiwa Mathoothe had asked the minister if she has any intentions of amending the law pertaining to compensation of damage caused by wildlife in commercial and subsistence farms.

Mathoothe also wanted to know why compensation rates are solely based on the damage caused to property by lions and elephants and no other animals. The MP further asked the minister why the compensation rates are not consistent to damage caused to property for commercial and subsistence farmers.

When responding, Kereng explained that her ministry is in the process of amending the compensation rates for both commercial and subsistence farming. She indicated that they will soon bring the proposed amendments to parliament after consultations with different stakeholders.

Kereng stressed that compensation rates are set after consultation with relevant stakeholders who advise her ministry on standard rates of compensating farmers in line with the current market prices for agricultural inputs. In this regard, the minister stated that her ministry has consulted the Ministry of Agriculture for guidance on market rates for both livestock and crops.

She said that the difference between commercial and subsistence farmer’s rates which only happens for crops and not livestock is that commercial farmers are paid more than subsistence farmers per unit cost. The minister noted that this is informed by the high unit per hectare that commercial farmers spend relatively to subsistence farmers.

Meanwhile Kereng stated that the compensation is not only based on damage caused by lions and elephants but it is also extended to other seven species being buffalo, rhino, crocodile, hippo, leopard, cheetah and wild dogs.

‘The choice of species was guided by the level of danger that these wildlife pose to farmers, considering that farmers cannot be expected to defend from those dangerous wildlife,’ she stated.

Kereng explained that the threats from other species that damage crops and livestock but are presently not included in the list can for the most part be mitigated by the farmer through for example livestock herding and setting kraals.


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