Our 3,200-hectare learning site is 32 km south of Victoria Falls. It is home to a large wildlife population, a mixed herd of cattle and goats, and an ever-improving landscape.
Allan Savory and his wife, Jody Butterfield, co-founded the Africa Centre for Holistic Management in 1992 to support the dissemination of Holistic Management in Africa through innovative training and outreach programs based on a practical learning site that provides evidence of land, water and wildlife restoration using livestock. In 2009 they co-founded the U.S.-based Savory Institute with others to expand the work globally.
ACHM is a Zimbabwean-registered social welfare organisation affiliated with the Savory Institute as the first member in what has become a global network of hubs, or learning centres. Learn More. Based on the 3,200-hectare Dimbangombe Ranch, near Victoria Falls, ACHM has been able to demonstrate the effectiveness of Holistic Management and Holistic Planned Grazing on its own land for over a decade. From this solid foundation of proven results ACHM began working directly with local communal farmers in 2005 and with NGO’s and government agencies in 2010 following receipt of a five-year, multi-million dollar grant from the US Agency for International Development to develop a training of trainers program to extend the knowledge more rapidly.
Dimbangombe’s training center now hosts several hundred community leaders and NGO staff each year for training in “Holistic Land and Livestock Management.” The program uses the curriculum we jointly developed with Savory Institute to address the specific needs and context of subsistence farmers living and grazing on communal lands. This curriculum is now used throughout Southern Africa and increasingly elsewhere.
In 2010 ACHM won the international Buckminster Fuller Challenge (USA), which awards a $100,000 annual prize to support the development and implementation of a strategy that has “significant potential to solve some of humanity’s most pressing problems.” In 2014 ACHM was recognised as a “leading-edge innovator in food security” on receiving the Humanitarian Water & Food Award (Denmark) and in 2019 ACHM’s work was named one of 15 Outstanding Practices in Agroecology by the World Future Council.
In a million years, I would never have thought that cows could be so beneficial for the wildlife I love.
Dr. M. Sanjayan
Conservation biologist and host of Earth: A New Wild – The Plains (2015 National Geographic series filmed on Dimbangombe)
Holistic Management was developed by Zimbabwean-born ecologist Allan Savory following a lengthy personal search for solutions to the land deterioration occurring in Africa and the wildlife destruction and human impoverishment that always resulted.
In the 1960s he made a significant breakthrough in understanding what was causing the desertification of the world’s grassland ecosystems and, as a resource management consultant, worked with numerous farmers and land managers, eventually on four continents, to develop sustainable solutions. What he had learned as a research biologist tracking large herds of game was that the healthiest grasslands were those in which large herds of wild grazers remained bunched and moving due to equally high levels of predators that hunted in packs. Savory later discovered that livestock could be managed to mimic the behaviour of the wild herds using a unique planning process he developed and tested on the farms of his clients as well as his own.
In essence, Savory combined livestock into large herds to harness the power of their hooves to break up hard ground so that air and water can penetrate, and to trample down old grass so the soil is covered and less prone to the drying effects of sun and wind. Their dung and urine help enrich the hoof-prepared soil. Their grazing (which is timed to prevent overgrazing) keeps perennial grasses healthy and growing over a longer period. This minimizes the need to burn and expose soil.
WHAT WE DO
We enhance food and water security and human livelihoods through training that utilizes livestock to restore degraded watersheds, wildlife habitat, and croplands to health.
We are part of a global network of entrepreneurial leaders committed to serving our regions with Holistic Management training and implementation support.
All Hubs are accredited by the Savory Institute following a rigorous application and training process that enables us to in turn facilitate the training of trainers who are eligible for accreditation as educators and field professionals, and whom we hire or contract to help implement our programs and services.
As a Savory Hub, ACHM has access to the Holistic Platform,™ a digital, multi-media, interactive online platform that provides us access to our colleagues in the Savory Hub network plus a global network of experts and Holistic Management practitioners, training curriculum, materials and content management, data management tools, entrepreneurial development support, and funding and financing resources. The Holistic Platform provides the structure and support that helps each local hub ensure that local regenerative work is consistent, sustainable and successful.
The Savory Institute promotes the large-scale restoration of the world's grasslands through Holistic Management. It does so through the growth and development of the Savory Hub Network, the growth and development of the Holistic Platform, including innovative curricula and management tools. It also informs policy, establishes market incentives, increases public awareness, and coordinates research, cultivating relationships with aligned partners. Founded in 2009, the Institute is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, USA. LEARN MORE