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Educational Programs – Future Farmers of Africa

Building Capacity to Live in Harmony with Nature

CCF believes that efforts to support public education, build national pride and raise international awareness about the threats facing the cheetah are critical to its survival. A major portion of CCF’s work is focused on education – primarily for farmers, students, and teachers – about methods to conserve biodiversity and about the role of the cheetah and other predators in healthy ecosystems.

Reducing Human-Wildlife Conflict by Educating Farmers

Since over 90 percent of cheetahs live outside protected areas, and near people, one of the major threats to the cheetah is human-wildlife conflict.  Most cheetahs live near commercial or communal farming communities where farmers raise cows, sheep, and goats.

To the farmers, many of whom are poor, the loss of even a single animal can be devastating. Cheetahs and other predators are seen as a threat to their livelihoods.

CCF’s program, Future Farmers of Africa, is an outreach to farmers across Namibia. CCF collaborates with farmers to better understand farm management techniques and to share CCF’s expertise in non-lethal livestock management and predator control practices. CCF’s Education Team also conducts week-long training courses at CCF covering farming production principles, such as cattle husbandry, herd and veld management, disease and vaccination programs, business principles, and ‘predator-friendly’ farming practices. Over 3,000 participants have undergone this training.

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One of the most successful CCF programs has been the Livestock Guarding Dog Program which involves the breeding, training and placement of approximately 40-50 livestock guarding dog puppies annually on Namibian livestock farms. Since CCF introduced the guarding dogs program in 1994, six hundred have been placed with farmers. Most importantly, farmers have reported up to an 80 per cent decrease in livestock losses post-placement of these dogs.

Thanks to CCF, there is a greater awareness by farmers of the cheetah’s role in the ecosystem, and a growing number of farmers are adopting predator-friendly livestock management practices. The end result is that fewer cheetahs are being killed.

Livestock Guarding Dog Puppies, possibly on their way to their new farms.

Livestock Guarding Dog Puppies, possibly on their way to their new farms.