Game meat, wildlife economy | The Sunday Mail

The Sunday Mail

Andre Moyo

On Africa Day, the Zambezi House in the resort town of Victoria Falls was full of life as it hosted the ‘Taste of Game’ event.

A collaboration between Oppenheimer Generations Research and Conservation with celebrity chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, the occasion drew guests from around the world.

On Africa Day, the Zambezi House in the resort town of Victoria Falls was full of life as it hosted the event

As the name suggests, the event aimed to give attendees a taste of game meat while creating a platform to discuss the role of wildlife economies in Africa.

Prior to the main event, there was a dialogue on the growth of the Zimbabwe wild foods market and he also explored the opportunities that exist.

A recent Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) report on biodiversity and food was cited, highlighting the importance of wild foods for food security, nutrition and health, among others.

The report also proposed improving landscape structure and connectivity to provide habitats for associated biodiversity and wild food species.

Upon entering the riverside venue, guests were greeted by a spellbinding landscape where multiple fires worked their magic on large pots and traditional style roasting pans.

On Africa Day, the Zambezi House in the resort town of Victoria Falls was full of life as it hosted the event

The menu featured eland, warthog, impala and beef among other unique wild delicacies.

Within the fanfare and the tastings, one of the questions that came up constantly was that of the availability of game meat for the ordinary citizen.

Walking through most butcher shops, apart from those in tourist resorts, one would even be lucky to get some rabbit meat.

Wild food is generally limited to tourist destinations and specialty restaurants.

The meat that was cooked at the “Taste of Game” was purchased from Shangani Ranch with the help of professional hunters.

The Ranch is a wildlife and livestock facility located in Matabeleland South, specializing in Nkone/Nguni cattle native to Zimbabwe.

In an interview with The Sunday Mail Society, Shangani Ranch manager Max Makuvise said it was unfortunate game meat was not actively traded in Zimbabwe and Africa in general.

“To ensure that our citizens participate in the wild meat sector, the task at hand is twofold,” Makuvise noted.

“We need a massive education campaign on the benefits of game meat to create consumer demand and we also need to educate meat companies to expand their offering to include game meat. game.

“This is something we are committed to doing as Shangani Ranch in partnership with Oppenheimer Generations Research and Conservation as well as the African Wildlife Economies Institute.

“We have entered into conversations with the government to find a way to ensure that our smallholder communities can benefit from this lucrative activity which above all must be sustainable.”

The local wildlife population is said to be one of the most diverse and thriving on the continent.

Unfortunately, the number of animals that can be hunted for food fluctuates with weather conditions, with some of them highly migratory.

Zimbabwe's wildlife population is said to be one of the most diverse and thriving on the continent.

Impala

However, there are peak seasons for some plains game when they can be hunted without fear of compromising the population.

Shangani Ranch’s management principles encourage livestock interaction working side by side with elephant, zebra, eland, giraffe, leopard and hyena among other plains game found in Zimbabwe. see the economic opportunities of having abundant wildlife sharing the land with us.

“For example, Shangani’s holistic model provides the perfect opportunity for communities and wildlife to thrive, while being financially viable.

“Our wildlife is an economic asset which, if managed sustainably, can contribute to household income and the private sector should partner with community members to ensure a fair and equitable business model that helps both parties under the laws of our country.”


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Raymond I. Langston