Farmers in the Luangwa Valley find themselves in a difficult situation. Isolated, they struggle to get their crops to market. When they do, they cannot get the prices they need to support themselves. This means they often turn to poaching in an area known for its exceptional wild game population, setting traps for elephants, lions or antelope.
COMACO helps creates networks to sell their produce through, to encourage farmers to scale up rather than rely on poaching. It also offers them a deal. If they abstain from poaching they receive 20% above the standard market price for their goods. If COMACO find that someone in their community has been poaching then the price drops to market or below market price. If communities show they are managing their land and resources responsibly, then the COMACO creates further market opportunities for the communities, such as investing in infrastructure, wildlife or renewable fuel.
Today you can still see farmers ranging the bush with their guns, only now instead of bullets they are loaded with crushed chilli and gunpowder, a non lethal mixture used to scare off wild animals who try to eat their growing crops.
Claire is an international producer/ director based in London. The South African spends most of her time making content in sub-Saharan Africa about tech, healthcare and gender.
Dale Lewis, President and Founder, Director of Conservation and Agriculture