We conduct an impact assessment of the Community Based Rangeland and Livestock Management (CBRLM) program in Namibia. This program is part of a larger set of interventions in the agricultural sector designed to reduce poverty among the population of the northern regions of the country. Many people in the area rely on cattle production for their economic livelihoods, however overuse of the communal grazing areas and suboptimal grazing practices threaten the long-term viability of the land and contribute to persistent poverty.
To increase the productivity of livestock and other animals using the land, the Namibia Millenium Challenge Compact funds a pilot program designed to help communities improve their livestock practices, address rangeland degradation, and improve market access.
The evaluation is designed to test the impact of the various activities within the CBRLM intervention on household income, cattle productivity, and the condition of the rangeland. The intervention targets both inadequate information about appropriate cattle production practices and the social or other behavioral preferences of farmers. At the moment, there is a collective action or “tragedy of the commons” problem – individual farmers are hesitant to reduce their herd’s impact on the rangeland because they are fearful that others will not follow suit which often results in overuse and degradation of the land.