Bergville Smallholders Interim Progress Report

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APPENDIX(:(BERGVILLE(PROGRESS(REPORT(
CA#Farmer#Innovation#Programme#for#
smallholders#in#Bergville#
Period:#October#2019#-#February#2020#
Farmer&Centred&Innovation&in&Conservation&Agriculture&
in&upper&catchment&areas&of&the&Drakensberg&in&the&
Bergville&region&of&KwaZulu-Natal&
"
!
Compiled)by:)
Erna&Kruger,&Phumzile&Ngcobo&and&Hendrik&Smith&
March&2020&
! !
2"
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Project!implemented!by:!
Mahlathini!Development!Foundation"
Promoting)collaborative,)pro-poor)agricultural)innovation.)
!
Contact:""Erna"Kruger"(Founder"and"Coordinator)"
Address:"2"Forresters"Lane,"Pietermaritzburg,"3201,"KZN"
Email:"erna@mahlathiniorganics.co.za,"info@mahlathini.org"
Cell:"0828732289"
Time!of!operation:"2003-2016"
Legal!status:"NPC"
BEE!status:""4."–"Certificate"available."
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In!collaboration!with:!
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Funded!by:!
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Contents&
Contents".................................................................................................................................................................................."3
Background"and"Organisational"Information"........................................................................................................."4
Summary"of"the"project"...................................................................................................................................................."7
Description"and"selection"of"study"areas"............................................................................................................."7
Approach"and"Methodology"..........................................................................................................................................."8
Key"activities:"October"2019-February"2020"........................................................................................................."8
Budget"................................................................................................................................................................................."9
Progress"............................................................................................................................................................................."9
Results"achieved"to"date"..............................................................................................................................................."12
CA"practice"....................................................................................................................................................................."13
Year"1(1st"level)"trial"outlines"..........................................................................................................................."13
Year"2"(2nd"level)"trial"outlines"........................................................................................................................."13
Year"3"-7(3rd"level)"trial"outlines"....................................................................................................................."14
Rainfall"and"runoff"..........................................................................................................................................................."14
Soil"Fertility"Tests"............................................................................................................................................................"16
Farmer"Centres"................................................................................................................................................................."18
Stulwane-"..................................................................................................................................................................."18
Ezibomvini"................................................................................................................................................................"19
Ndunwana"................................................................................................................................................................."20
Village"Savings"and"Loan"Associations"..................................................................................................................."20
Stulwane"...................................................................................................................................................................."21
Umntwana"Group"..................................................................................................................................................."21
Sizakahle"Group"......................................................................................................................................................"23
Mbalenhle"and"Vukuzenzele"Groups"............................................................................................................."25
eMabunzini"Savings"Group"................................................................................................................................"27
Progress"snapshots"........................................................................................................................................................."29
Crop"growth"monitoring".........................................................................................................................................."29
Progress"in"specific"villages"...................................................................................................................................."30
Stulwane"........................................................................................................................................................................."30
Eqeleni"top"....................................................................................................................................................................."33
Eqeleni"Bottom"............................................................................................................................................................"34
Ezibomvini"....................................................................................................................................................................."36
Ndunwana"......................................................................................................................................................................"38
Thunzini".........................................................................................................................................................................."38
4"
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Early"and"medium"early"maize"varieties"..............................................................................................................."40
Livestock"integration;"fodder,"supplementation"and"strip"cropping"........................................................"40
Review"of"winter"fodder"supplementation"experimentation".................................................................."40
Results"........................................................................................................................................................................."42
Strip"cropping"with"fodder"crops"...................................................................................................................."43
Issues"and"recommendations"....................................................................................................................................."46
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Background&and&Organisational&Information&
Mahlathini" Development" Foundation" (2003-2020)"is" one" of" the" only" NGOs" in" South" Africa"
focussing" on" promoting" collaborative" pro-poor" agricultural" innovation." As" such" MDF" is" a"
specialist" NGO" working" in" the" fields" of" participatory" research," training" and" implementation,"
focussing"on"agroecological"approaches.""
The"Maize"Trust-funded"CA"Smallholder"Farmer"Innovation"Programme"(SFIP)"in"South"Africa","
as"conceptualized"and"implemented"through""Mahlathini"Development"Foundation"(MDF),"has"
pioneered" the" use" of" agricultural" innovation" systems" as" a" methodological" approach" for" the"
promotion"of"an"appropriate"smallholder"CA"farming"system,"as"well"as"awareness"raising"and"
adaptive"research"into"specific"elements"of"this"system"(Kruger"&"Smith,"2019)."This"approach"
takes"cognizance"of"the"complexity"of"introducing"CA"into"a"farming"system,"including"working"
with" smallholder" farmers" as" partners" in" the" knowledge" co-creation" process" through" on-farm"
research" and" experiential" learning," as" well" as" embedding" the" process" into" the" existing" socio-
political" environments" and" economic" value" chains."The" overall" goal" of" the" CA" SFIP" is" the"
mainstreaming" of" CA" by" grain" farmers" to" ensure" sustainable" use" and" management" of" natural"
resources"while"enhancing"national"and"household"food"security"and"income."
"
The"IS"model"applies"a"family"of"approaches"and"methodologies,"such"as"the"Farmer"Field"School"
(FFS)" approach" and" participatory" monitoring" &" evaluation" (PM&E)," to" facilitate" awareness,"
learning,"implementation"and"research"all"together."The"key"voluntary"participants"of"this"process"
are" farmers" from" a" locality" or" village" who" should" be" organised" into" learning" groups" (farmers"
generally"are"already"organised"into"structures"such"as"savings"and"credit"groups,"associations"or"
cooperatives)." A" number" of" farmers" in" that" group" volunteer" to" undertake" on-farm"
experimentation,"which"creates"an"environment"where"the"whole"group"learns"throughout"the"
season"by"observations"and"reflections"of"the"trials’"implementation"and"results."They"compare"
various" CA" treatments" with" their" standard" practices," which" are" planted" as" control" plots." This"
provides"an"opportunity"to"explore"all"aspects"of"the"cropping"system,"its"socio-economic"context"
and"feasibility,"as"well"as"the"grain"and"legume"value"chain"in"the"area.""The"whole"value"chain"is"
considered:"input"supply,"production"aspects,"harvesting"and"storage,"processing"and"marketing"
Horizontal"expansion"(scaling"out)"from"village"nodes"to"surrounding"farmers"and"villages"in"the"
area,"working"with"organised"farmer"groups"(or"IPs)"in"collaboration"with"stakeholders"in"the"
region"has"shown"great"promise"for"expansion"of"interest"in"and"longer"term"sustainability"of"the"
5"
"
implementation"of"CA"practices"among"smallholders.""It"means"that"a"number"of"villages"in"close"
proximity" become" involved" and" this" provides" an" opportunity" for" organising" farmers" around"
issues" in" the" value" chain" such" as" bulk" buying," transport," storage" and" marketing." It" creates" an"
option"to"set"up"farmer"service"centres"at"central"nodes"that"can"provide"easy"access"to"inputs"and"
services."The"model"also"provides"for"learning"over"a"period"of"time,"which"has"proven"essential"
to"allow"each"participant"farmer"to"experiment"with"and"master/adapt"the"CA"principles"for"at"
least" 4" years." The" more" experienced" farmers" become" mentors" to" the" new" entrants" and" some"
undertake"the"role"of"local"facilitation"and"support"to"their"villages"and"groups."It"also"provides"a"
platform"where"other"farmers"and"interested"parties"in"the"area"can"engage"and"become"involved"
"
6"
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"
To"date"this"model"of"working"with"learning"groups"and"farmer"level"experimentation"has"had"
impressive"results."The"table"below"outlines"the"progress,"using"a"range"of"output"and"impact"
indicators"that"have"been"monitored"for"the"Bergville"area,"between"2013"and"2019."
Table: Innovation systems indicators for the Bergville area 2013-2018
Social'agency'
2013'
2018'
2013'
2018'
Productivity''
2013'
2018'
!"#"$%&'()*(+)$',,-(&%.)#"/"#)01'$"!!)
!"#$%&'()*)&'+,-./01/2,.34561,57,0.581,9/:;<345:7,=54>,2:01,?161?,:@,2:35.?,:/A.752.45:7,
BC, #74/D, 574:, 3:00<754DE, 4>/:<A>, =:/;, :@, 0:<4>, @/:0, 3:00<754D, 010F1/2, G57;565;<.?, .7;, A/:<9,
/1H<1242IJ,A:61/70174,:@@535.?2J,:4>1/,21/6531,:/A.752.45:72,,
KC,L14,<9,574/:;<34:/D,011457A2,.4,3:00<754D,?161?J,573?<;57A,.<4>:/54512J,4:,574/:;<31,%M,.7;,4>1,9/:3122+,
$,L14,<9,?1./757A,:/,5741/124,A/:<9,GKN$ON,91:9?1I,
$,P10F1/2,:@,?1./757A,A/:<9,6:?<7411/,@:/,@./01/,?1;,1Q91/50174.45:7,G<2<.??D,R$BK,010F1/2,57,
4>1,@5/24,D1./IJ,=>5?1,4>1,/124,:@,4>1,A/:<9,?1./72,.?:7A25;1,4>10,
$,*>121,010F1/2,.A/11,4:,;:,.,%M,4/5.?,.?:7A25;1,4>15/,3:74/:?,G7:/0.?,=.D,:@,9?.7457AI,
$,*/5.?2,./1,<2<.??D,BNNJ,SNN,:/,BNNN02,G!"#$$%#&'#!%()%&'*+,'%&-!./,
$,*>1,9/:A/.001,9/:65;12,579<42,@:/,4>1,4/5.?E,4>1,579<42,@:/,3:74/:?,.7;,.??,?.F:</,./1,9/:65;1;,
FD, 4>1, @./01/, G(0'%&-!.%)1%-"2$'"'3(-34%(0'%3'5%-*'#%-3-(-#$$6%!-(!%5-(0%(0'%2&)4&#""'%3)(%(0'%
1#&"'&!7%8&)"%(0'%9nd%6'#&%)35#&*!%(0'%1#&"'&!%2#6%#%!(#3*#&*%:;<%!+=!-*6%()5#&*!%(0'%,)!(!%)1%
-32+(!%1)&%(0'-&%(&-#$!/%
$, -./01/2, ./1, 4/.571;, 57, 4>1, 509?10174.45:7, :@, %ME, 9/1$9?.7457A, 29/.D57A, G<21, :@, T7.92.3T,
29/.D1/2I,.7;,@51?;,9/19./.45:7J,<21,:@,>1/F535;12J,?.D:<4,:@,9?:42,.7;,9?.7457A,57,F.2572,.7;,/:=2,
<257A,.,/.7A1,:@,7:$45??,4::?2,G>.7;,9?.741/2J,.750.?,;/.=7,9?.741/2,.7;,:/,4=:,/:=,4/.34:/$;/.=7,
9?.741/2IC,*>1,3>:531,:@,509?101742,;1917;2,:7,4>1,23.?1,:@,@./057A,.7;,@./01/2U,3>:531C,M291342,
2<3>,.2,4:9,;/12257AJ,=11;57A,.7;,9124,3:74/:?,./1,3:61/1;,;</57A,4>1,21.2:7,.2,=1??C,,
$,*>1,@5/24$D1./,4/5.?,?.D:<4,52,9/1$;141/0571;,4>/:<A>,4>1,9/:A/.001,V,4:,573?<;1,3?:21,29.357AJ,
5741/3/:9957A, .7;, ;5@@1/174, 6./514512, :@, 0.581, G3>:531, :@, 4/.;545:7.?, &!W, :/, >DF/5;, 211;$,
.33:/;57A,4:,@./01/,9/1@1/17312I,.7;,?1A<012,G2<A./,F1.72J,3:=91.2I,
$,-/:0, 4>1, Knd,D1./,:7=./;2, @./01/2, 24./4, 4:, .;;, 4>15/, :=7, 1?101742, 4:, 4>1, 1Q91/50174.45:7,
;1917;57A,:7,4>15/,?1./757AJ,H<1245:72,.7;,9/1@1/17312C,%:61/,3/:92,GF:4>,2<001/,.7;,=5741/I,
.7;,3/:9,/:4.45:7,:945:72,./1,574/:;<31;C,
$,"121./3>1/,0.7.A1;,X4/5.?2Y,./1,.?2:,214,<9,.4,57;565;<.?,>:01241.;2J,4:,=:/T,.?:7A25;1,4>1,
0:/1,174><25.2453,.7;,3:005441;,9./45359.742,.7;,4:,1Q9?:/1,522<12,2<3>,.2,2:5?,>1.?4>J,3./F:7,
21H<124/.45:7,2:5?,@1/45?54DJ,=.41/,9/:;<345654DJ,0:524</1,/141745:7J,/<7$:@@,.7;,29135@53,.291342,:@,
4>1,%M,2D2410J,2<3>,.2,211;57A,.7;,211;57A,/.412,:@,3:61/,3/:92,143C,
$, M2, ., 05750<0J, K$S, ?1./757A, 21225:72, 91/, 21.2:7, 57, 4>1, ?1./757A, A/:<9, ./1, >1?;, 1.3>, D1./J,
F<5?;57A,57,3:09?1Q54D,.7;,3:74174C,B,/1651=,21225:7,@:/,4>1,21.2:7,.7;,:71,9?.7757A,21225:7,4:,
9?.7,1Q91/50174.45:7,@:/,4>1,<93:057A,21.2:7,
$, !?.741/2, .7;, T7.92.3T, 29/.D1/2, ./1, 9/:65;1;, 4:, 4>1, ?1./757A, A/:<9, 4:, 2>./1J, 0.7.A1, .7;,
0.574.57,
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24:/.A1,.7;,05??57A,:945:72,./1,9/:0:41;,
OC,#.3>,21.2:7,@./01/2,;.D2,./1,:/A.7521;,57,1.3>,./1.J,[:574?D,=54>,4>1,?1./757A,A/:<92J,%M,@:/<02,.7;,
577:6.45:7,9?.4@:/02,./1,9/:0:41;,=>1/1,.??,24.T1>:?;1/2,57,.,/1A5:7,[:57,4>121,@:/<02,4:,2>./1J,;523<22,
.7;, 9?.7, 4:A14>1/C, *>52, 573?<;12, /:?1, 9?.D1/2, 2<3>, .2, (M"(J, L:35.?, (161?:90174J, Z.7;%./1J, Z:3.?, .7;,
(524/534,P<75359.?54512J,MA/5F<257122,21/6531,9/:65;1/2J,'\&2,,
7"
"
No.$of$female$
farmers$
89%$
75%$
0%$
28%$
Av.$maize$yield$for$
CA$plots$(t/ha)$
3,2$
2,5$(27%$
decrease$
from$
2017)$
No.$of$
participants$
involved$
51$
487$
0%$
78%$
Intercropping$-$
maize$and$beans$
0%$
92%$
No.$of$Learning$
groups$$
5$
31$
0%$
39%$
Intercropping$
maize$and$other$
legumes$$
0%$
17%$
Months$of$food$
provisioning:$$
1012$
7–9$
4–6$
1–3$
$$
$
$$
$$
100%$
$$
$
15%$
38%$
39%$
8%$
$$
$
97%$
$$
3%$
$$
$
26%$
69%$
5%$
0,5%$
Cover$crops:$
summer$mix$
(sunflower,$millet,$
sunn$hemp,$
sorghum)$
0%$
26%$
VSLAs$(Village$
Saving$and$Loan$
Associations)$-$%$
of$participants$
involved$
0%$
58%$
0$
$$
$$
1$
1$
9$$
Cover$crops:$
winter$mix$relay$
cropping$(saia$
oats,$fodder$rye,$
fodder$radish)$
0%$
31%$
Sale$of$crops$
locally$(maize,$
beans,$cowpeas,$
sunflowers)$
0%$
10%$
0$
4$
Crop$rotation$
0%$
20%$
Innovation$
platforms,$
including$
external$
stakeholders$
0$
6$
0$
3$
Fodder:$
provisioning$for$
livestock:$through$
cut$and$carry,$hay$
0%$
5%$
$
$
$
$
$
Seed$saving:$OPV$
maize,$legumes,$
and$cover$crops$
0%$
11%$
$
$
$
$
$
Reduced$run-off$
in$CA$plots$
0%$
92%$
$
$
$
$
$
Increase$in$
percentage$
organic$carbon:$
Midlands$
(20172018)$
SKZN$(2016
2018)$
Bergville$(2013
2018)$
$
$
$
$
0%$
$
0%$
$
0%$
$
$
$
$
0%$
$
24%$
$
1%$
"
In"addition,"this"learning"approach"has"ensured"that"farmers"have"adopted"CA"as"their"farming""
approach"in"all"their"fields,"not"just"the"farmer"level"trials.""A"survey"of"those"farmers"in"Bergville"
involved"now"for"4-5"years"has"shown"that"100%"of"them"have"fully"converted"to"CA."""
Summary&of&the&project&
Description+and+selection+of+study+areas+
Work"in"the"Bergville"(KwaZulu-Natal)"site"continued"with"the"existing"19"village"learning"groups,"
The"number"of"farmer"participants"in"farmer"level"trials"for""2019-2020"is"225"compared"to"205"
in"2018-2019."The"overall"area"planted"to"trials"is"13,92ha."""
8"
"
Approach&and&Methodology&
In"this"season"(2019-2020)"we"have"continued"to"focus"on"the"following"elements"of"the"model,"
namely:""
a)"Support"farmers"who"are"in"their"1stto"7th"""seasons,"
b)"Conscious"inclusion"of"crop"rotation"to"compare"with"inter"cropping"trials"
c)"Inclusion"of"summer"cover"crops"in"the"crop"rotation"trials"
d)"Continuation"with"experimentation"with"winter"cover"crops,"but"planted"in"separate"
plots"rather"than"in-between"maize"
e)"Inclusion"of"ultra"and"medium"early"maize"varieties"to"accommodate"for"late"planting"
f)"More"focussed"introduction"of"fodder"crop"species"in"selected"villages"and"
g)"Initiation"of"nodes"for"farmer"centres"that"can"offer"tools,"input"packs"and"advice.""
Key&activities:&October&2019-February&2020&
Two"hundred"and"twenty-five"(225)"participants"have"planted"their"farmer"level"trials"across"17"
villages,"with"substantial"support"for"inputs"from"the"KZN"LandCare"unit."Summer"cover"crop"and"
livestock"fodder"farmer"level"experimentation"have"been"included"for"a"selection"of"the"villages."
In"addition,"ultra"-early"and"medium"early"maize"varieties"have"been"included"in"the"experimental"
protocols"as"an"adaptive"strategy"to"deal"with"the"late"onset"of"rains."Local"facilitators"(8)"are"
taking"on"much"more"responsibility"and"this"bodes"well"for"sustainability"of"this"process."
This" season," farmers" have" again" been" plagued" by" late" onset" of" rain" and" rainfall" variability." In"
general,"however,"there"has"been"substantially"more"rain"than"in"the"previous"season"and"crop"
growth"is"promising"a"reasonable"harvest."
Data"has"been"collected"from"the"weather"station,"rain"gauges"and"run-off"plots"and"soil"fertility"
and"soil"health"samples"have"been"analysed."The"use"of"the"e-survey"(Pendragon)"for"crop"growth"
monitoring"has"made"a"huge"difference"in"terms"of"easier"access"to"monitoring"information"and"
along"with"a"good"schedule"of"monitoring,"around"52"farmers"across"13"of"the"19"villages"have"
been"included"in"the"monitoring"process.""
The"relationships"with"KZNDARD"and"LandCare"have"been"strengthened"considerably,"to"a"point"
where" collaborative" action" is" now" possible." A" joint" presentation" on" CCA" was" held" at" the"
Okahlamba"Land"and"Agriculture"Summit"in"December"2019"and"presently"MDF"and"StratAct"are"
negotiating" with" the" LandCare" programme" to" add" the" elements" of" savings," small" loans" and"
enterprise"development"training"and"mentoring"to"all"their"projects."
A"book"chapter"has"been"prepared"for"CABI,"in"an"upcoming"publication"titled"‘Conservation"
agriculture"in"Africa:"Climate"smart"agricultural"development.’"The"chapter"is"entitled"‘CA"
innovation"systems"build"climate"resilience"for"smallholder"farmers"in"South"Africa’"
Researcher-managed"trial"plots"have"now"been"continued"in"Ezibomvini,"Eqeleni,"Ndunwana"and"
Mhlwazini"to"work"on"quantitative"benchmarking"of"some"of"the"visual"CA"indicators"being"used"
in"this"process."This"includes"rain"gauges,"run-off"plots,"a"weather"station"and"gravimetric"soil"
sampling;"with"the"intention"of"comparing"water"balances"across"control"and"CA"trial"plots.""
9"
"
Soil"health"samples"have"been"taken"for"12"participants"across"five"villages,"along"with"soil"fertility"
repeat"samples"for"20"participants"and"new"soil"samples"for"6"participants,"to"build"a"body"of"
information"about"the"soil"fertility"and"soil"health"status"of"the"CA"trial"participants.""
The"elven"(11)"VSLA’s"(Village"savings"and"Loan"Associations)"have"continued"and"members"from"
4"of"these"groups"have"received"small"business"development"training."
Progress"for"the"farmer"centres"in"Ezibomvini,"Stulwane"and"Ndunwana"has"been"monitored"and"
a"review"of"the"annual"progress"of"the"11"VSLAs"(Village"savings"and"Laon"Associations)"in"this"
site"is"underway."
Budget+
The"budget"set"aside"for"the"1st"six"months"(Oct"2019"to"Feb"2020),"according"to"the"overall"work"
plan"is"R366"914."Expenditure"for"the"last"five"months"has"been"R331"358."""Expenditure"is"well"
within"the"present"budget"range."
"
Subsidies"paid"in"by"farmers"for"their"inputs"has"come"to"R12"676"to"date."This"means"that"only"
30%"of"the"participants"have"paid"their"subsidies"this"season,"despite"the"hard"work"put"in"by"the"
facilitators."This"subsidy"process"will"thus"be"discontinued"going"into"the"future."
Progress+
"The"project"is"now"operational"across"19"villages"in"the"Bergville"area,"with"a"total"of"225"farmer-
level"trials."""
The"basic"experimental"design"was"followed"for"all"1st"year"participants"and"most"of"the"2nd"year"
participants" as" well." Variations" for" 3rd"to" 7th"year" participants" have" included" crop" rotation,"
intercropping,"summer"and"winter"cover"crop"mixes,"planting"of"lab-lab"beans,"fodder"crops,"early"
maturing"maize"varieties"and"late"season"planting"of"beans."
The" table" below" outlines" activities" related" to" objectives" and" key" indicators" for" the" period" of"
October"2019"to"February"2020.""""""""""
!Table 1!!"UMMARY!OF!PROGRESS!#$CTOBER!%&'(!)!*EBRUARY!%&%&+!RELATED!TO!OBJECTIVES!AND!KEY!ACTIVITIES,
EXPENDITURE
Milestones/
Outputs
Key activities
OUTCOMES/
DELIVERABLES
Budgets Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb
M
a
r
c
h
Actual
expenditure/
budget item
Pd grainSA
TOTAL
EXPENDITURE
Administraiton
and sundries
travel accommodation, admin,
puvlications, monitoring and
eva l u ati on
R139 008,00R 4 768,10R28 242,00R28 301,2114103,72 R75 415,03
Farmer centred
innovation
systems
farmer exepirmentation,
researcher managed
experi mentation, s avings
gorups, farmer centres…
R510 820,00R 42 727,49R65 346,94R91 593,40R38 442,00R238 109,83
Innovation
platforms
Stakeholder meetings,
platform building and events
R20 400,00R12 603,55R5 229,30R17 832,85
R670 228,00R 47 495,59R93 588,94R0,00R132 498,16R57 775,02
R79 519,00R79 519,00R51 119,00R51 119,00R51 119,00
Workplanbudget
Oct-Sept
R670 228,00
Cumulative budget
R159 038,00
R210 157,00R261 276,00R312 395,00Actual R331 357,71
INVOICES
Bergville Milestones: Farmer Centred Innovation in CA.
October 2019- September 2020; GrainSA
Farmer
experimenta
tion
Bergville
10"
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A"performance"dashboard"is"indicated"below."This"provides"a"snapshot"of"performance"according"
to"suggested"numbers"and"outputs"in"the"proposal."
Table 2!!-ERFORMANCE!DASHBOARD.!*EBRUARY!%&%&,
Outputs!
Proposed!(March!2019)!
Actual!(Feb!2020)!
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Although" the" number" of" beneficiaries" through" this" process," was" meant" to" be" reduced" in" this"
season"to"around"120"farmer"level"experimentation"trials,"the"assistance"of"LandCare"meant"an"
expansion"from"last"year"from"205-225"participants."There"is"a"steady"increase"of"the"number"of"
farmers"who"are"including"cover"crops"in"their"experimental"protocols"and"a"significant"interest"
in" diversification"of" cropping" into" the" production" of" fodder" species" for" livestock" (cattle" and"
poultry)"
Results&achieved&to&date&
The"table"below"outlines"the"villages,"numbers"of"participants"and"experimentation"processes"for"
the"present"learning"groups"in"the"Bergville"area."
Table 3!!/CTIVITIES!AND!NUMBERS!OF!FARMERS!INVOLVED0!PER!VILLAGE!FOR!$CTOBER!%&'()"EPTEMBER!%&%&11!,
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CA+practice+
Going"into"the"3rd""and"subsequent"years,"the"farmer"experimentation"protocols"for"each"level"of"
farmer"participants"has"been"more"clearly"defined,"given"that"those"farmers"with"more"experience"
can"now"incorporate"some"of"their"own"learnings"and"preferences"in"the"trials,"but"the"1st"level"
trial" participants" still" need" to" get" used" to" the" overall" CA" planting" process" and" thus" the" close"
spacing"intercropping"trial"plots"are"‘prescribed’"for"them."
The"protocols"are"outlined"below:"
Year%1(1st%level)%trial%outlines%
Experimental"design"is"pre-defined"by"the"research"team"(based"on"previous"implementation"in"
the" area" in" an" action" research" process" with" smallholders)." It" includes" a" number" of" different"
aspects:"
Intercropping"of"maize,"beans"and"cowpeas"
Introduction"of"OPV"and"hybrid"varieties"for"comparison"(1"variety"of"maize"and"beans"
respectively)"
Close"spacing"(based"on"Argentinean"model)"
Mixture"of"basin"and"row"planting"models""
Use"of"no"till"planters"(hand"held"and"animal"drawn)"
Use" of" micro-dosing" of" fertilizers" based" on" a" generic" recommendation" from" local" soil"
samples""
Herbicides"sprayed"before"and/or"at"planting"
Decis"Forte"or"Kemprin"used"at"planting"and"top"dressing"stage"for"cutworm"and"stalk"
borer"
Planting"of"cover"crops;"winter"mix"in"Autumn"
Experimental"design"includes"2"treatments;"planter"type"(2)"and"intercrop"(2)"
Year%2%(2nd%level)%trial%outlines%
Based"on"evaluation"of"experiment"progress"for"year"1,""this"includes"the"addition"of"options"that"
farmers"choose"from."Farmers"also"take"on"spraying"and"plot"layout"themselves:"
A"number"of"different"OPV"and"hybrid"varieties"for"maize"
A"number"of"different"options"for"legumes"(including"summer"cover"crops)"
Planting"method"of"choice"
Comparison"of"single"crop"and"inter"cropping"planting"methods"
Use"of"specific"soil"sample"results"for"fertilizer"recommendations"
Early"planting"and"
Own"choices."
14"
"
Year%3%-7(3rd%level)%trial%outlines%
Based"on"evaluation"of"the"experimentation"process"to"date"this"protocol"includes"issues"of"cost"
benefit" analysis," bulk" buying" for" input" supply," joint" actions" around" storage," processing" and"
marketing."Farmers"design"their"experiments"for"themselves"to"include"some"of"the"following"
potential"focus"areas:"
Early"planting;"with"options"to"deal"with"more"weeds"and"increased"stalk"borer"pressure."
Herbicide"mix"to"be"used"pre"and"at"planting"(Round"up,"Dual"Gold",Gramoxone)"
A"pest"control"programme"to"include"dealing"with"CMR"beetles""
Intercropping"vs"crop"rotation"options"
Spacing"in"single"block"plantings"
Use" of" composted" manure" for" mulching" and" soil" improvement" in" combination" with"
fertilizer,"or"singly."
Planting"of"dolichos"and"other"climbing"beans"
Summer" and" winter" cover" crops;" crop" mixes," planting" dates," management" systems,"
planting"methods"(furrows"vs"scatter)"
Seed"varieties;"conscious"decisions"around"POVs,"hybrids"and"GM"seeds""
Experimentation"with"annual"and"perennial"fodder"specie"
Inclusion"of"early"maturing"maize"hybrids"
Cost"benefit"analysis"of"chosen"options"and"
Farmer"level"monitoring"of"trials"for"selected"individuals."
Rainfall&and&runoff&
Late"onset"and"erratic"rainfall"still"plagued"the"participants"this"season."This"is"the"fourth"
consecutive"season"that"rainfall"has"not"been"ideal"for"dryland"cropping."Rainfall"this"season"has"
however"been"a"lot"more"than"last"year"and"crop"growth"has"been"promising"to"date."
Table 4: Rainfall patterns (from weather station data) for Bergville (0ctober 2019-January 2020)!
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Planting"was"done"from"Late"November"through"to"mid"to"late"December,"with"further"fodder"
and"early"maturing"maize"plantings"done"in"mid"to"late"January"2020."
Run-off"pans"were"installed"for"four"participants"(Eqeleni,"Ezibomvini,"Ndunawna"and"Stulwane"
in"3-4"of"their"CA"trial"plots"as"well"as"their"conventionally"cropped"control"plots"to"ascertain"
run-off"patterns"for"different"cropping"options"within"the"CA"trials"and"to"compare"these"with"a"
conventionally"cropped"plot"as"a"control."
Below"is"a"summary"of"the"run-off"information"for"Mrs"Msele"from"Stulwane."She"is"in"her"4th"
year"of"CA"experimentation"and"is"using"the"10"plot"CA"trial"layout"with"various"combinations"of"
maize,"legumes"and"cover"crops."
15"
"
"
Table 5: Rain gauge and run-off results for Mrs Nelisiwe Msele fromStulwane (December 2019-February 20200
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From"the"above"table"it"can"be"seen"that"the"averaged"combined"run-off"for"the"CA"trial"plots"
(6,35l)"is"substantially"lower"than"for"the"control"plot"(9,52l)"
A"similar"result"has"been"found"for"Boniwe"Hlatshwayo"from"Ndunwana."She"is"in"her"3rd"year"of"
CA"experimentation"and"the"run-off"plots"have"been"re-installed"in"her"plots"in"this"season."She"
is"still"working"with"the"4"plot"CA"trial"layout"using"maize"and"legume"intercrops."
Table 6: Rain gauge and run-off results for Mrs Boniwe Hlatshwayo from Ndunwana for December 2019-January 2020)
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From"the"above"table"it"can"be"seen"that"the"run-off"for"Mrs"Hlatshwayo’s"CA"trial"plots"is"about"
15%"lower"on"average,"at"1,06l"than"for"her"conventionally"tilled"control"plot"at"1,24l."
Despite"the"variation"for"different"participants"in"different"villages,"it"is"clear"that"run-off"on"the"
CA"trial"plots"is"on"average"between"15-35%"lower"than"for"the"conventionally"tilled"plots.""
Soil&Fertility&Tests&
Soil" fertility" tests" (lab" analyses)" were" again" done" for" new" participants"(6" participants" in"
Emahlathini,"Emafefetheni,"Stulwane"and"Emabunzini)"and"for"15"participants"in"their"4th"to"6th"
year"of"implementation"(N=15)."The"intention"is"to"compare"the"results"at"the"beginning"of"the"CA"
experimentation"process,"with"those"after"3"to"4"years"to"ascertain"any"diffrences"in"soil"fertility"
as"a"result"of"the"CA"implementation."
The"small"table"below"provides"a"summary"of"fertilizer"recommendations"for"both"the"new"and"
repeat"samples."
Table 7: Fertilizer recommendations for new participants and participants in their 4thto 6thyear of CA experimentation
Fertilizer!recommendations!2019!(N=15),!5!villages!
!
MAP!(50kg!
bags/ha)!
LAN!(50kg!
bags/ha)!
Lime!
(t/ha!
Repeat"samples"(4th-6th"year)"CA"trial"
2,3"
3,9"
0"
Repeat"samples"(4th-6th"year)"Control"
2,4"
3,7"
0"
New"Samples"(n=6)"
2,3"
4,0"
2,6"
Note:"Potassium"(K)"recommendations"are"not"included,"as"these"are"zero"throughout."
As"can"be"seen"from"the"small"table"above,"there"are"no"discernable"differences"between"the"soil"
fertiliy" requirements" of" new" entrant" participants" when" compared" ot" the" 4th-6th"year" CA"
participants" for" this" season" 2019-2020," except" for" some" lime"which" is" required" for" the" new"
entrant"participants."
The"generic"recommendation"of"5x"50kg"bags/ha"MAP"and"3"x"50kg"LAN,"along"with"1t/ha"of"lime"
that" was" based" on" soil" fertility" results" between" 2014-2016" is" considerably" higher" than" the"
recommendation"for"this"season."It"is"also"higher"than"the"recommendation"for"2018-2019"which"
was"4,5"x"50kg"bags/ha"MAP,"4x50kg"bags/ha"LAN,"along"with"1,9t/ha"of"lime.""
It"is"now"considered"that"analysis"of"fertilizer"recommendation"requirements,"is"not"a"suitable"
test"for"discerning"changes"in"the"fertility"conditions"of"the"soil"due"to"CA"and"diversified"cropping."
17"
"
The"recommendations"change"substantially"from"year"to"year,""especially"for"Phosphate,"but"are"
similar"for"both"new"entrants"and"participants"who"have"practiced"CA"for"between"4"to"6"seasons,"
which"points"towards"the"fact"that"the"seasonal"variations"in"soil"fertility"results"are"bigger"than"
those"that"can"potentially"be"discerned"by"different"soil"management"options."
The"figure"below"outlines"the"results"for"the"repeat"soil"samples"for"4th"to"6th"year"participants"
from"Stulwane"(7),"Ezibomvini"(2)"and"Eqeleni"(3),"Ndunwana"(2)"and"Mhlwazini"(1)."Results"for"
2017"are"compared"with"2019"given"that"all"participants"have"been"implementing"CA"trials"for"a"
minimum"of"2"and"4"years"respectively"within"these"time"periods"
"
"
Figure 1: Soil fertility analysis results for 4thand 5thyear participants from five villages in Bergville for 2017 and 2019
From"Figure"1,"the"following"observations"can"be"made:"
ØFor"the"CA"trial"plots;"
oThere"is"a"reduction"of"the"required"kg/ha"for"N"(from"72-63kg/ha)"and"P"(from"
36,7-28kg/ha)"between"2017-2019.""
oThere"is"a"reasonably"substantial"increase"in"the"required"K"(2,3kg/ha)"
oThere"is"a"small"reduction"in"required"lime"(from"07-0,2t/ha)"
oThe"average"%"organic"carbon"has"increased"from"1,8%"to"2,5%"and"the"average"
%"N"has"increased"from"0,14%"to"0,23%"
What" this" indicates" is" an" average" decrease" in" soil" nutrients" (N" and" P)" and" lime" required" of"
between"3-5kg/ha"per"annum"and"0,5-1,5t/ha"per"annum"between"2017"and"2019."This"in"turn"
indicates"increased"availability"of"these"nutrients"in"the"soil.""
"
The" %" carbon" in" the" oils" has" increased" by" 0,7%," which" is" an" increase" of" around" 700kg/ha" of"
carbon"in"the"soil."The"%"N"has"also"increased.""
"
2017 2019 2017 2019
Control Trial
Average of pH4,3 4,6 4,4 4,6
Average of N (kg/ha)72 65 72 63
Average of P (kg/ha)44 28 37 28
Average of K (kg/ha)00023
Average of Lime (t/ha)1,9 0,3 0,7 0,2
Average of Org. C %1,8 2,7 1,8 2,5
Average of N %0,17 0,24 0,14 0,23
0,0
10,0
20,0
30,0
40,0
50,0
60,0
70,0
80,0
Soil fertility parameters 2017 and 2019, (N=15)
18"
"
It"is"however"not"possible"to"contribute"these"increases"to"the"CA"system"elements"of"diversified"
cropping" and" soil" cover," given" that"the" conventional" control" plots" have" shown" similar" trends"
across"these"two"seasons."For"the"control"plots,"participants"use"their"own"variants"of"fertilizer"
application," tillage" (tractors" or" hand" tillage)" and" cropping" options" (primarily" mono" cropped"
maize).""It"can"be"seen"from"these"results"that"the"lack"of"soil"cover"in"the"CA"trials"is"constraining"
improvement"in"soil"fertility"criteria."The"diversified"cropping"options"(legumes"and"cover"crop"
combinations)"is"not"influencing"these"results"in"any"substantial"way."
"
Farmer&Centres&
The"farmer"centres"in"Ezibomvini,"Eqeleni,"Nduwana,"Stulwane"and"Emabunzini"are"all"
functioning"and"making"a"small"profit"for"their"owners.""
Table 8:!Villages!and!person!responsible!for!farmers!centre!ownership/!bulk!buying!group!
Village!
Person!responsible!
#0.F<78575,
W.?57;.F.,_><0.?:,
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%:724.731,k?:7A=.71,
';<7=.7.,
]:75=1,k?.42>=.D:,g,Z14>5=1,i50F.,
L4<?=.71,
'1?525=1,P21?1,
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k<0?1?1?,k?:7A=.71,.7;,i:;=.,i5T:;2,
"
Below"are"brief"summaries"of"the"records"kept"by"three"of"the"farmer"centres,"indicating"the"range"
of" products," prices" and" overall" profit" for" each" centre."Incomes" form" these" centres" are" small"
averaging"between"R75"to"R320/month."Sales"of"inputs"have"been"quite"slow"this"season"(as"was"
also"the"case"in"2018/2019),"because"of"the"prolonged"dry"spells"in"the"area."The"owners"are"to"
be"commended"for"keeping"these"centres"going."
Stulwane-%
In" Stulwane" the" sales" between" mid-September" to" mid-December" were" primarily" for" eggs,"
livestock"supplements"and"herbicides"for"spraying"for"the"CA"plots."This"clearly"indicates"the"late"
start" of" the" cropping" season" and" Mrs" Msele’s" strategy" of" selling" other" village" requirements"
through"the"centre."
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
Stulwane
Farmer
centre
Date Description of inputTotal
Mark up
(20-25%)
10/09/20191* Box Large EggsR420,00
25/09/2019Voermol Premix 450 50 kg *2, eggs *1boxR886,90
05/10/20191* Box Large EggsR420,00
22/10/2019Fert- LAN 28% 50 kg *1, MAP(33) 50kgR633,20
22/10/20191* Box Large Eggs, 1x5l Round up PowermaxR970,00
14/11/20191*Box Large EggsR420,00
05/12/20191* Box Large Eggs R420,00
SUB TOTALR4 170,10
R 1042,53
(Profit)
TOTAL R5 212,63
19"
"
Ezibomvini%
This" centre" is" still" the" most" active" and" is" now" in" its"fourth" year" of" operation." "Phumelele"
Hlongwane" has" also" included" sale" of" seedlings," vegetable" seeds" and" vegetables" through" her"
centre;"mostly"produced"by"herself"and"a"few"other"enthusiastic"gardeners"in"the"learning"group."
They"have"also"included"a"range"of"small"household"items"for"sale"through"the"centre."
"
Ezibomvini
Farmer Centre
Records
Date Description of inputTotal
Mark up (20-
25%)
13/04/2019Cabbage SeedlingsR29,35
05/10/2019Matches , candlesR317,99
05/10/2019Insecticide, washing powder, green bar soapR314,79
09/10/2019Washing powder, tea bags, saltR100,55
09/10/2019
Vinegar, methyl spirits, Jeyes fuild, steelwool, cooking oil, 5l
buckets
R142,70
09/10/2019Plastic funnelR21,00
15/10/2019Tomatoes, onions prepackR147,25
15/10/2019Banana Pre packR119,75
15/10/2019Eggs, vinegar, chips, tinned fish, pencilsR300,30
15/10/2019Salt, tinned beans, brwon sugar, AcharR375,92
15/10/2019 Sweets R60,00
19/10/2019Drybeans R365,00
24/10/2019
Seedlings (cabbage, spinach, onions, beetroot, green pepper,
chillies, tomatoes)
R200,00
24/10/2019Brown Sugar, peanutsR156,96
28/10/2019 TobaccoR150,00
28/10/2019Tinned Fish, coffe creamers, biscuits, vinegar, sweets, acharR682,00
28/10/2019Cooking oilR45,00
28/10/2019Seedlings (cabbage, spinach, green pepper, beetrootR75,47
28/10/2019Dry beansR218,00
07/11/2019Veg pockets, produce packagingR153,01
09/11/2019Brown Sugar , candles, matches, acharR335,93
09/12/2019Fertilizer MAP, meat bulkR821,30
11/12/2019Fertilizer MAPR385,20
17/12/2019Fertilizer MAP; 3:2:1R1 459,20
17/12/2019Fertilizer 3:2:1, Seed PAN 6671R84,00
03/01/2020Tobacco and snuffR203,99
03/01/2020 SnacksR34,99
03/01/2020
Maize Seed PAN 53, Kombat stalkborer, Urea 46%, fertilizer
2:3:2 (22)
R1 909,67
07/01/2020Biscuits, aspirin, chips,R208,00
07/01/2020 Sweets R154,00
07/01/2020Eggs, pencilsR150,00
09/01/2020Insecticide, pens, green bar soalR82,73
09/01/2020Mealie mealR460,00
15/01/2020Mealie mealR460,00
15/01/2020Urea 46%R335,00
16/01/2020 Snuff R15,00
SUB TOTALR11 074,05
R 2 768,50
(Profit)
TOTAL R13 842,55
20"
"
Ndunwana%
This" farmer" centre" is" active," but" clearly" not" functioning" as" well" as" it" could." Mrs" Khumalo" is"
reverting"to"running"a"kind"of"a"spaza"shop,"selling"small"household"items"and"very"few"inputs"
have"been"sold"through"this"centre."
"
"
Village&Savings&and&Loan&Associations&
Written"by"Temakholo"Mathebula,"with"assistance"from"Thabani"Madondo"
Introduction!
Currently,"there"are"15"groups"in"Bergville"that"are"supported"by"MDF."In"the"week"of"the"17th"to"
the"21st"of"February,"Tema"and"Mr"Madondo"conducted"savings"meetings"in"Bergville,"at"
Stulwane,"Vimbukhalo,"eMabunzini,"eQeleni"and"Ezibomvini"villages."A"total"of"seven"groups"
were"visited,"four"in"Stulwane,"one"in"Vimbukhalo"and"two"at"Emabunzini."""
The"meetings"went"well"and"although"some"issues"were"raised,"most"of"them"could"be"solved"by"
the"groups"themselves."All"groups"that"were"reviewed"in"the"previous"cycle"are"still"in"operation,"
and"only"one"group"had"a"member"who"left"the"group."UMntwana"group"had"an"issue"last"year"
with"a"member"who"borrowed"money"and"when"she"was"supposed"to"pay"it"back,"threatened"
the"group."She"did"not"return"for"the"current"savings"cycle.""
Emabunzini
Farmer centre
Date Description of inputTotal
Mark up (20-
25%)
22/12/2018PAN 6671 8kgR183,99
16/03/2019Lion matches, salt, tobacco, snuff, instant yeast, sweetsR542,44
30/03/2019Chips (potato and corn)R260,92
12/04/2019Chips, sweets, cigarretesR294,92
30/04/2019 Biscuits R158,96
20/05/2019Sweets , chipsR78,97
25/05/2019Sweets , candlesR144,25
18/06/2019Tobacco , sweets, candles, chipsR381,91
08/07/2019Tobacco, chips sweetsR355,91
17/08/2019 Sweets R143,96
23/08/2019 Sweets R216,94
26/08/2019Chips (corn)R90,97
31/08/2019Candles, yeast, sweetsR194,96
10/09/2019Dry beans 10 kg * 3R420,00
17/09/2019Sweets, chipsR101,97
15/11/2019Chips and sweetsR92,97
SUB TOTALR3 664,04
R 916,01
(Profit)
TOTAL R4 580,05
21"
"
All"the"groups"were"questioned"on"their"objective"for"savings"and"whether"it"made"a"difference"
in"their"lives"since"they"started."Almost"all"of"them"said"that"savings"has"brought"significant"
changes"in"their"lives"and"has"contributed"towards"improving"their"sense"of"self-worth"as"they"
are"now"able"to"do"things"which"they"were"unable"to"do"before"and"they"have"learned"to"manage"
their"money"better."Also,"being"able"to"borrow"money"from"the"group"means"that"they"are"able"
to"pay"for"their"household"as"well"as"farming"needs"during"the"year"and"no"longer"have"to"
borrow"money"from"loan"sharks."However,"some"raised"concerns"that"they"are"still"somewhat"
undisciplined"when"it"comes"to"taking"out"loans"and"thus"take"a"long"time"to"pay"the"money"
back.""
Figure 2: The Stulwane Savings group
annual review session, Feb 2020
Stacking"of"loans"has"become"
entrenched"within"most"
groups"and"many"of"the"
members"said"that"
emergencies"often"put"them"
under"pressure"to"take"out"
more"loans,"despite"still"owing."
Another"reason"this"has"
continued"is"that"there"have"
been"very"few"cases"where"
people"failed"to"pay"the"money"
back,"thus"the"groups"feel"that"
it"is"not"that"big"an"issue."
Rather,"it"is"a"benefit,"because"it"helps"to"increase"the"amount"of"interest"they"receive"at"the"end"
of"savings"cycle."""
Sources!of!income!!
1.Social!grants:!child"support,"pension!
2.Businesses:!selling"of"clothes,"snacks,"ice"blocks,"craft"work,"bead"making,"money"
lending"(on"the"side),"selling"of"alcohol"and"cigarettes"!
3.Spouses:!Many"of"the"women"in"the"VSLA"groups"are"married"and"get"money"from"their"
spouses""
!
Stulwane%%
This"group"is"the"oldest"among"all"15"groups,"with"a"membership"of"38,"Umntwana"group"has"
shown"great"resilience"despite"challenges"over"the"years.""The"group"is"in"its"9th"year"of"
operation."Normally"savings"groups"are"allowed"between"9"and"19"members,"large"groups"go"up"
to"25,"anything"above"is"seen"as"too"large"a"number"to"manage.""Seemingly,"uMntwana"group"has"
proven"otherwise.""The"group"said"30"out"of"its"38"members"save"for"farming"inputs"as"well"as"
household"needs.""
Umntwana%Group%
!
22"
"
Table!1:!Purpose!for!joining!Group!(uMntwana)!
The"group"was"asked"to"break"down"what"they"meant"by"farming"inputs"and"they"gave"the"
following"breakdown"of"their"expenses:""
Table 9: Stulwane VSLA reasons for joining the savings group
!
On"average,"they"spend"between"
R1000"and"R"3000"on"farming"
inputs"per"year,"depending"on"the"
size"of"the"land,"as"shown"in"the"
small"table"alongside."
The"VSLA"plays"a"significant"role"
towards"this"and"some"even"have"
money"left"over"for"household"
needs"after"buying"inputs.""
The"group"was"asked"to"break"
down"how"they"use"the"money"
for"other"household"needs"after"
the"annual"share"out."There"were"
varying"responses,"depending"on"
the"individuals,"shown"in"the"
small"table"alongside."
"
"
"
Name!and!Surname!!
Reason!for!Joining!VSLA!
Mazondi"Buthelezi""
Farming"inputs""
Dombi"Dladla""
Household"needs""
Winile"Mabaso""
Household"needs""
Ntombifuthi"Buthelezi"
To"start"out"a"tent"business"and"for"household"
Hlanganisile"Hlongwane"
Farming"inputs"and"household"needs""""
Ganeni"Nyoka"
Farming"inputs"
Xolisile"Dlamini"
Farming"inputs"
Landile"Nsele""
Farming"inputs,"household"needs""
Busisiwe"Zondo"
Groceries"and"furniture""
Zandile"Dlamini"
Saves"up"for"farming"inputs,"mainly"fertiliser""
Phumelele"Sibisi"
Children’s"education"""
Makhethi"Dladla""
Farming"inputs"and"household"needs""
Thembi"Mlambo"
Farming"inputs"and"household"needs""
Input!!!
Cost!
MAP"
R"580"
3:2:1"
R330"
Maize"seeds"
R300/10"litre"
Herbicide"(Round"Up)"
R"140"
LAN""
R"120/18"kg"
Decis""
R"20/5ml"sachet"
Tractor"(planting)"
"R400-R1000"(R12/row)"
Household!Item!!
Cost!
Groceries""
R"3100"
Clothes""
R"2000"
Beds"
R800-R5000"
"Fridges"
R"2500-R4000"
Fencing"
R"4000"
University"fees""
R"2500""
Wedding"ceremonies""
R"3000-R11000"
23"
"
Below"the"group"situation"is"summarised"using"a"SWOT"analysis."
SWOT!Analysis!for!the!uMntwana!Group!
Strengths!!
Weaknesses!
-Group"now"adheres"to"the"rules,"
although"not"all"of"them,"do"not"always"
check"shares"before"issuing"loans""
-Respect"
-Trustworthiness"
-Transparency""
-Jealousy,"people"try"to"control"how"
many"shares"individuals"buy"
-"Absenteeism"
Opportunities!!
Threats!!
-Other"activities"such"as"a"joint"business"
venture""
"
-Individuals"joining"multiple"groups"and"
using"the"share"out"from"one"group"to"
pay"for"another."This"cancels"out"the"
benefit"of"savings"as"people"are"kept"
stuck"in"cycle"of"debt.""
!
Sizakahle%Group%
The"Sizakahle"group"
in"Stulwane"consists"
of"20"members,"19"
females"and"one"
male."The"group"is"in"
its"first"year"of"
savings"and"reported"
that"everything"was"
going"well"so"far."The"
members"were"asked"
to"state"their"reasons"
for"joining"the"group"
and"whether"they"see"
those"needs"being"
met"according"to"their"expectations.""
Name!and!Surname!!
Reason!for!Joining!VSLA!
Buysile"Sthebe""
Farming"inputs"and"to"pay"for"CA"subsidy"
Ntombifuthi"Zikode""
Farming"inputs,"i.e."tractor"hire,"household"expenses"
Buyisiwe"Hlongwane""
CA"subsidy,"school"uniforms"and"other"household"needs"
Zodwa"Jwara"
Passionate"about"saving"money"and"has"always"made"it"a"habit"
Sbongile"Zikode""
Ease"of"access"to"cash"for"emergencies"and"for"household"needs""
Nqantelani"Zikode"
Wedding"ceremony"
Lungile"Dladla"
Renovations""
Xolile"Zikode""
Farming"inputs""
Phumzile"Zondo"
Farming"inputs""
24"
"
Khohlweyini"Sthebe"
Believes"saving"money"is"important,"saves"for"household"expenses"
Mbhijo"Dladla"
Learnt"about"VSLA"after"joining"CA"and"wanted"to"save"for"
household"needs""
"
Out"of"the"12"members"that"were"present"at"the"meeting,"5"said"they"were"saving"for"farming"
inputs"and"others"mentioned"an"array"of"reasons"for"joining"the"group."All"of"the"group"
members"expressed"that"they"felt"savings"was"meeting"their"needs"as"expected"and"even"though"
their"money"is"often"stretched,"they"are"able"to"do"more"than"they"could"before"joining"the"
group.""
The"members"were"asked"to"break"down"
what"they"meant"by"farming"inputs"and"
breakdown"on"how"much"they"spend"on"each"
season.""Primary"inputs"mentioned"included"
fertiliser,"seeds,"herbicide,"top"dressing,"
transport"and"tractor"hire,"as"shown"in"the"
small"table"alongside"
!
The"most"common"items"listed"under"household"expenditure"were:""
ØBuilding"material"
ØFurniture""
Ø"Groceries""
"
Below"the"group"situation"is"summarised"using"a"SWOT"analysis."
SWOT!Analysis!for!the!Sizakahle!group!
Strengths!!
Weaknesses!
-Members"work"well"together""
-Money"is"easily"accessible"for"
emergencies"
-Improvement"of"lifestyle"
-Sense"of"achievement""
-Protects"dignity,"able"to"cover"
embarrassing"situations""
-Lack"of"punctuality"due"to"too"many"
responsibilities""
-People"taking"too"long"to"repay"loans"
means"less"money"available"for"
borrowing""
-Stacking"of"loans""
Opportunities!!
Threats!!
-Other"activities"such"as"a"joint"business"
venture""
-Bulk"buying"of"things"such"as"fencing,"
building"materials"and"sewing"
machines""
-Concern"over"safety"of"box"as"there"has"
been"a"break"in"before"
-Share"out"is"in"March"and"not"everyone"
has"paid"back"loans"
-No"stable"venue"for"meeting,"change"
monthly,"security"concern.""
!
The"savings"and"loan"repayments"for"this"group,"for"January"2020,"is"shown"in"the"table"below"
Input!!!
Cost!
MAP"
R"499"
Maize"seeds"
R320/"10"litre"
Herbicide"(Round"Up)"
R"180"
LAN""
R"300"
Pesticide"(Kemprin)"
R"180"
Tractor"(ploughing)"
R"20/m"
Tractor"(planting)"
R"12/row"
Transport""
R40/bag"of"fertilizer"
25"
"
Table 10: Sizakahle Group Record January 2020
!
Mbalenhle%and%Vukuzenzele%Groups%
"
The"Mbalenhle"group"has"been"operating"for"and"has"20"members"and"the"Vukuzenzele"group"
has"been"operating"for"2"years,"with"21"members."Their"review"sessions"were"combined"as"a"
number"of"participants"belong"to"both"groups"
!
Name!and!Surname!!
Reason!for!Joining!VSLA!Vukuzenzele!Group!
Buhle"Dubazane"""
To"be"independent"for"the"sake"of"her"children"
Thelumusa"Zondo"
Wanted"to"be"independent"from"her"husband"
Zamambo"Mkhize""
To"be"able"to"budget"for"household"needs""
Bnongiwe"Mkhize""
To"save"up"for"Businesses"
Nelsiwe"Msele"""
In"order"to"plan"ahead"for"her"household"needs"""
Purpose!for!saving!(Mbalenhle!Group)!
Hlaleleni"Duma"
Household"renovations"
Nokulunga"Dubazane"""
To"start"a"new"business"of"selling"clothes"""
Nikeziwe"Ndlovu"
Christmas"clothes"and"school"uniforms"""
Hloniphile"Sishi"
To"buy"furniture"and"appliances""
NO. SURNAME INITIALS
# SHARES
BOUGHT
TODAY
VALUE OF
SHARES
(TODAY)
CUM #
OF
SHARES
VALUE OF
TOTAL
SHARES
LOAN
REPAID
TODAY
LOAN
NEW LOAN
TAKEN
AMOUNT
DUE NEXT
MONTH
1
Zikode S330026 260046046005060
2
Hlongwane B440020 200027027002970
3
Zikode X220022 220060600660
4
Sthebe B330026 2600250300330
5
Zikode S110011 110031031003410
6
Zikode N220022 2200 180015001650
7
Hlongwane S00 10 100030030003300
8
Nyoka D220019 190070048005280
9
Dladla N440016 160045045004950
10
Hlongwane M220015 1500160160010003020
11
Zondo P1100 9900 42018001980
12
Dlamini K220023 2300600500550
13
Zikode H220022 220050500550
14
Zikode N220017 170020020002200
15
Zikode Z220020 200023023002530
16
Dladla K220018 1800 125015001650
17
Zondo S110013 1300190800880
18
Dladla L440022 2200 3300
19 Jwara Z110018 180076010001100
20 Dladla M110013 130035035003850
414100362 36200 1211040600100045920
TOTAL
26"
"
Eunice"Mkhize"
To"supplement"household"income"
Ntombifuthi"Mkhize""
To"pay"off"debts""
Ntokozo"Zimba""
Groceries""
"
Group!Discussion!and!SWOT!Analysis!!
There"was"a"heated"discussion"in"relation"to"buying"of"shares."In"the"Vukuzenzele"group"a"few"
participants"enforced"a"new"rule"that"participants"were"not"allowed"to"save"more"than"R300/"
month,"thinking"that"this"would"favour"those"who"take"loans"more."This"meant"that"a"number"of"
participants"moved"across"to"Mbalenhle"where"they"could"save"more."It"was"spelt"out"why"such"
a"rule"is"hypocritical,"against"the"group"constitution"and"dangerous"for"group"functioning."It"has"
now"been"lifted"again.""The"positive"point"about"this"discussion"was"that"it"made"the"group"
members"even"more"aware"of"the"importance"of"adhering"to"the"non-negotiable"rules."They"
conceded"that"they"were"wrong"and"this"rule"must"be"revoked"because"it"was"instituted"the"
wrong"way"and"for"the"wrong"reasons."If"a"member"borrows"too"much"money,"they"will"not"have"
any"money"to"save"as"their"savings"will"go"towards"paying"interest"for"the"loan."Hence,"the"rule"
says"that"loans"must"only"be"three"times"the"number"of"share"and"no"more"than"that."This"VSLA"
model"was"thought"out"carefully,"and"was"designed"to"protect"the"interests"of"all"individuals."If"
one"can"only"afford"to"pay"back"loans"and"has"no"money"left"to"buy"shares,"they"have"exceeded"
their"borrowing"capacity"and"should"learn"from"that"mistake"rather"than"punishing"others"for"
their"own"choices.""
Mbalenhle/Vukuzenzele!Swot!Analysis!
Strengths!!
Weaknesses!
-Both"groups"have"succefully"completed"
another"savings"cycle"
-Cooperation"within"groups"
-Trustworthiness"of"group"members""
-Issues"related"to"safety"have"been"
overcome"""
-People"who"consecutively"save"R500"cause"
the"final"share"to"drop?"
-Vukuzenzele"group"is"no"longer"allowed"to"
save"5"shares."Members"are"only"allowed"to"
save"between"R100"and"R"300"
-Undermining"of"other"people’s"views,"too"
many"views"and"opinions"
"
Opportunities!!
Threats!!
-All"CA"participants"can"save"towards"
buying"a"second"hand"tractor."
-Hire"out"two"row"planter"and"generate"
income"for"the"group"
-Buy"cold"rooms"and"rent"them"out"to"
the"community"
-Start"a"tent"hire"business""
-Save"a"percentage"every"month"
towards"funerals"
"
-Potential"for"conflict"to"arise"due"to"lack"of"
respect"by"some"group"members""
-Lack"of"attendance"has"divided"group"as"
some"people"at"the"meetings"act"as"
informers"for"those"who"were"absent"and"
often"misrepresent"information""
!
27"
"
The"Share"out"meetings"for"these"two"groups"went"well"and"it"was"quite"encouraging"that"the"
amounts"individuals"get"annually"are"increasing."This"is"shown"in"the"small"table"below"
Table 11: Share out summaries for the Mbalenhle and Vukuzenzele VSLAs for 2019
!
eMabunzini%Savings%Group%
The"two"groups"from"eMabunzini"met"with"Mr"Madondo"and"Tema"for"a"discussion"on"group"
progress,"challenges"and"highlights"and"what"they"would"like"to"change"going"forward."There"
were"no"major"issues"reported"and"both"groups"are"functioning"well.""
The"Sakokuhle"group"has"been"operational"for"4"years"and"has"23"members"and"the"Sibonelo"
group"has"been"operational"for"3"years"and"has"30"members"
Individual!reasons!for!joining!savings!for!Sibonelo!and!Sakhokuhle!Groups!!
Name!and!Surname!!
Reason!for!Joining!VSLA!
Sakhokuhle!Group!
Nobani"Hlongwane"""
To"buy"farming"inputs"and"for"household"needs""
Valindaba"Khumalo"
Supplementary"income""
Yengiwe"Sishi""
VSLA"better"than"stokvel"because"of"interest"gained""
Sangele"Nzimande""
To"learn"how"to"budget""
Thabi"Khanyaza"
To"help"her"mother"and"for"her"children"
Nanzeleni"Khumalo"
Of"advanced"age"and"struggles"to"work,"through"savings"she"is"able"to"
make"money"to"pay"labourers"during"planting"season"
Sibonelo!Group!
Sanelisiwe"Nhlabathi"
To"save"money"during"the"year"and"obtain"loans"for"emergencies"
Silondiwe"Hlongwane""
Struggle"to"save"money"individually,"group"helped"her"to"be"disciplined""""
Thembani"Mthembu"
Household"needs"(Christmas"groceries,"uniforms)"
Zanele"Dlalisa""
To"be"able"to"buy"goods"cash"at"the"end"of"the"year"rather"than"on"credit""
Nozipho"Hlongwane"
Saw"how"members"of"savings"groups"were"buying"furniture"and"
appliances"and"wondered"where"they"got"the"money"from"
Mvelo"Nqubeko"
Owns"a"small"business"and"wanted"to"save"the"extra"income""
Khumbuzile"Ndaba""
Farming"inputs"
Thenjiwe"Hlongwane""
Saves"for"the"end"of"the"year"
Khanyisile"Dlaini"
Joined"group"mainly"for"her"children""
"
The"small"table"below"provides"a"summary"of"these"two"groups’"share"out"information"
Table 12: Share out summaries for the Sakokuhle and Sibonelo VSLAs in eMabunzinin for 2019
Name!of!
Group!
Years!
operational!
No!of!
Members!!
Share!
increase!
Total!
amount!!
Highest!
paid!!
Lowest!
paid!!
Mbalenhle""
3""
20"
46%"
R"133"000"
R"8700"
R"2000"
Vukuzenzele""
2"
21"
49%"
R"136"000"
R"9600"
R"2400"
28"
"
!
"
Sakhokuhle!and!Sibonelo!SWOT!Analysis!
Strengths!!
Weaknesses!
-Patience"for"one"another"
-Trustworthiness"
-Mutual"Respect,"no"gossiping"and"
undermining"of"others"
-Timely"payment"of"loans""
-Absenteeism"
-Non"compliance"to"some"rules""
-Not"paying"of"fines"
-Adding"too"much"on"existing"loans"
close"to"share"out"date""
-Chattering"during"meetings"""
Opportunities!!
Threats!!
-Review"of"rules,"both"negotiable"and"
non-negotiable"at"every"share"out"
meeting"
-Improve"booking"system"by"giving"first"
time"borrowers"first"preference"so"
everyone"gets"a"chance"to"borrow.""
-Members"borrowing"on"behalf"of"those"
not"at"meeting."Group"risks"losing"
money"and"not"knowing"who"to"
recover"it"from"as"they"do"not"confirm"
if"money"lent"is"actually"going"to"the"
said"person.""
-“booking"of"loans”,"some"people"end"up"
not"getting"their"loans"due"to"people"
booking"to"borrow"large"amounts.""
"
"
"
Name!of!
Group!
No!of!
Years!!
No!of!
Members!!
Share!
increase!
Total!
amount!!
Highest!
paid!!
Lowest!
paid!!
Sakhokuhle""
4"
23"
60%"
R"136"000"
R"9600"
R"1896"
Sibonelo""
3"
30"
55%"
R"129"000"
R"9300"
R"1500"
29"
"
Progress&snapshots&
Crop+growth+monitoring+
Fieldworkers"and"interns"used"the"new"e-survey"format"(in"Pendragon)"to"do"the"crop"growth"
monitoring"and"provided"hard"copies"of"the"forms"to"the"3"local"facilitators"who"are"assisting"in"
the"monitoring"this"season."Most"of"the"interns"also"reverted"to"using"had"copies,"finding"working"
with"the"tablets"under"field"conditions"difficult."The"tablets"do"not"hold"their"charge"for"very"long,"
screens"are"difficult"to"read"in"the"sun"and"it"isn’t"possible"to"make"comments"and"notes"related"
to"specific"discussions"held"with"individual"farmers."
Figure 3: Interns Thabiso Mbatha and Lungelo Buthelezi undertaking the crop growth monitoring for Bergville participants!
Thus"far"81"crop"growth"monitoring"forms"have"been"completed"across"13"villages."A"sample"of"
participants"in"each"village"was"used"(between"3-7"per"village).""
The"table"below"indicates"where"monitoring"has"been"conducted."
Village
Number of participants
#85F:06575,
N`,
#H1?175,Gl991/I,
Na,
#H1?175,GZ:=1/I,
NS,
*><78575,
NK,
L4<?=.71,
Ba,
W50F<T>.?:,
N`,
#0.850F175,
NS,
';<7=.7.,
NR,
*>.01?.,
NS,
#0.F<78575,
N`,
'A:F.,
NO,
P>?=.8575,
NO,
P.A.7A.7A:85,
NB,
#0.@1@14>175,
NO,
#0.>?.4>575,
Nd,
&T>:0F1,
NO,
'2<T.,
NB,
%@6<E)
NL)
30"
"
"
This"season"has"shown"a"reasonably"high"incidence"of"a"range"of"different"pests,"not"really"seen"
before."One"of"the"reasons"is"that"most"farmers"did"not"spray"the"Decis"Forte/"Kemprin"either"at"
the"beginning"of"the"season,"or"at"top"dressing,"so"a"lot"more"insects"are"to"be"found."Given"the"
pest"incidence"farmers"have"now"started"sparing"the"pesticides."
"Except"for"the"CMR"beetles,"the"other"pest"populations"are"not"considered"to"be"high"enough"to"
warrant"action."
Figure 4: Incidence
of CMR
beetleaphids, flea
beetle and stlak
borer in crops
"
"
"
"
"
For"the"first"time"the"programme"had"enough"lime"to"distribute"to"all"programme"participants","
due"to"assistance"from"LandCare"(KZNDARD)"and"this"was"warmly"welcomed."The"challenge"was"
that"a"large"quantity"of"lime;"20"tons;"arrived"relatively"late"into"the"delivery"process."The"planting"
season"had"begun"and"the"rains"had"started"which"also"caused"a"major"challenge"for"deliveries"
with"the"poor"quality"of"roads"in"
the"some"of"the"areas."The"team"
had" to" organize" themselves"
quickly" to" be" able" to" deliver" to"
all" respective" villages." " To" fast"
track" the" progress" there" was" a"
need" to" enlist" the" services" of"
general"labour,"farmers"through"
local" facilitators" and" the"
Bergville"team."
Figure 5: Views of lime delivery to
different villages.
!
Progress+in+specific+villages+
Stulwane+
Below"is"a"summary"of"the"crop"growth"monitoring"for"a"selection"of"participants"from"Stulwane"
Table 13:Summary of monitoring of StulwaneVillage.
31"
"
>?@AB%@0'%#!!'!!"'3(%)1%!)-$%,)C'&%1&)"%&'!-*+'!%-!%'D(&'"'$6%$)57%%E(%-!%2)!!-=$'%(0#(%&'#$%C#$+'!%#&'%
!)"'50#(%0-40'&%(0#3%(0'!'%F#!%(0'6%5'&'%"#*'%=6%(0'%G),#$%8#,-$-(#()&%F>'$-!-5'%H!'$'/7%I+(%-(%-!%#$!)%,$'#&%
(0#(%4#-3!%(0#(%0#C'%=''3%"#*'%(0+!%1#&%-3%&'!-*+'%,)C'&%0#C'%=''3%$)!(%)C'&%(0'%$#!(%(5)%!'#!)3!%J%5-(0%
1#&"'&!%)=C-)+!$6%2&-)&-(-K-34%(0'-&%0+34&6%$-C'!(),.%L%#!%&'!'&C'!%-3%(0'%C'$*%0#C'%*5-3*$'*%()%#$")!(%
3)(0-347%
This"season"these"participants"planted"maize"(M)"(PAN6479),"beans(B)"(Pan"148),"cowpeas"(C),"
lablab"beans"(LL)"and"a"summer"cover"crop"mix"(SCC)consisting"of"sunflowers,"millet,"sunnhemp"
and" turnips." The" turnips" have" now" been" included" for" all" participants" in" Stulwane" after" their"
experimentation"with"this"as"a"cover"crop"in"2018/2019."A"few"participants"have"also"included"
forage" sorghum" " (FS)in" their" planting" mixtures;" a" practice" that" was" initiated" in" Eqeleni" a" few"
seasons" ago" ," by" one" of" the" CA" participants" there""Participants" have" rotated" their" 10" block"
experimental"trial"sites."All"experienced"reasonably"heavy"leaf"damage"in"legumes"form"CMR"and"
flea"beetle"infestations,"
Below"are"a"few"examples:"of"participants"how"have"been"involved"since"2013"and"2014"
Dlezakhe Hlongwane
Below is Mr Hlongwane’s plot design for the 2019/2020 season.
1.M+C
2.Lab-lab
3.M+B
4.B
5.M+B
6.C
7.M
8. SCC
9.M+C
10. M+B
Name'and'Surname'
Size'(m²)'
%'of'
resid
ue'
%'Germination'
Summer'
cover'
crops'
(Yes/No)'
Crop'
rotation'
Maize'
'
M'
M+B'
M+C'
B'
C'
Thulani$Dlamini$
1000$
1-2$
55.6%$
55.3%$
65%$
57.5%$
35%$
Yes$
Yes$
$
Satisfactory$growth$of$both$maize$and$beans.$Visible$signs$beetle$damage$in$beans.$
Khulekani$Dladla$
1000$
0-1$
53.9%$
67.8%$
59.2%$
73.8%$
62.5%$
+$FS$
Yes$
Yes$
$
Good$beans$germination$and$growth.$Uneven$maize$stand$-crows$and$subsequent$replanting.$Heavy$
weeds$in$some$parts$due$to$repeated$rains$
Dlezakhe$Hlongwane$
1000$
1-2$
78.9%$
77.1%$
79.5%$
52.5%$
30%$
Yes$
Yes$
$
Good$maize$stand.$Beans$affected$by$beetles$
Dombolo$Dlamini$
1000$
0-1%$
57.5%$
51.3%$
$$-$
26.3$%$
43%$
Yes$
Yes$
$
Poorly$performing$legume$plants$complete$die$out$of$lab$lab$plot.$
Phasazile$Sthebe$
1000$
1-2%$
73.2%$
81.6%$
73.7%$
65$%$
53%$
Yes$
Yes$
$
Good$crop$growth$and$germination,$challenge$with$stray$livestock$feeding$on$some$parts$of$the$trial$
Mtholeni$Dlamini$
1000$
1-2%$
90%$
89%$
-$
69.5%$
89%$
Yes$
Yes$
$
Very$good$germination$and$growth.$
Nokwaliwa$
Hlongwane$
1000$
0-1%$
57%$
69.7%$
71.1%$
43.5%$
55%$
Yes$
Yes$
$
Satisfactory$germination,$uneven$stunted$growth$with$signs$of$yellowing$in$some$parts.$
Nothile$Zondi$
1000$
0-1%$
68.1%$
82.8%$
-$
73%$
73%$
Yes$
Yes$
$
Good$overall$growth$and$germination$
Cuphile$Buthelezi$
1000$
1-2%$
61%$
75%$
-$
52.5%$
59%$
Yes$
Yes$
$
Satisfactory$growth,$beans$growth$good$with$+50$cm$plant$spacing.$
32"
"
Like most other participants this season, Mr Hlongwane did not spray pesticides, having had little
trouble with pests over the last few years. He was forces to spray after a heavy infestation of CMR and
flea beetles in his beans
Figure 6:Above left and right; Mr Hlwongwane in his field and a view of his beans (PAN148) with beetle feeding damage
Khulekani Dladla
Below"is"a"comparison"of"Mr"Dladla’s"CA"trial"plot"layout"for"2019/2020"and"2019."
Plot"layout"2019/2020:"
10.Scc"
9.Ll"
8.M+B"
7.B"
6.M"
5.FS+"C"
4.M+C"
3.M+B"
2.B"
1.M"
Plot"Layout"2018/2019:""
10.Scc"
9.M+C"
8.M+C"
7.M+B"
6.B"
5.M"
4.LL"
3.M"
2.B"
1.M"
"
From"the"above"and"form"comparing"the"plot"layouts"of"other"participants"in"Stulwane,""it"can"be"
seen"that"participants"use"their"memories"and"“rotate”"their"plots"so"as"to"ensure"a"different"crop"
or"crop"combination"than"the"previous"year."
Their" memories" are" not" infallable." But" it" is"
considered" that" this" practise" is" potentially"
enough" for" smallhodler" farmers" ot" ensure"
crop"diversity"
Figure 7: Right a view of Khulekani’s CA trial and Far-right
his M+B intercropped plot.
"
33"
"
Belwo"are"a"few"more"photos"from"different"Stuwlane"trial"participants"
"
"
Figure 8: Mtholeni
Dlamini’ s SCC plot and his
maize and bean intercrop
plot
"
"
"
"
"
Figure 9” Pasazile Sthebe standing in her CA trail
plots.
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
Eqeleni+top+
Eqeleni"was"divided"into"two"groups"in"2018."Ntombakhe"Zikode"is"the"local"facilitator"for"Eqeleni"
top"and"one"of"the"‘quantitative"measurement”"participants."
Ntombakhe Zikode
She"has"been"in"the"programme"since"2014,"along"with"a"number"of"participants"form"this"village."
They"all"have"planted"their"10"block"CA"trials"to"a"diversified"range"of"inter"cropped"and"mixed"
crop"plots"and"are"practising"rotation"along"similar"lines"to"those"participants"in"Stulwane."
34"
"
For"the"most"part"her"CA"trial"has"been"doing"well,"although"weeding"is"being"done"a"little"late."
Ntombakhe"is"one"of"the"participants"who"is"not"managing"to"build"up"any"residue"or"soil"cover"in"
her"field"(as"her"field"is"unfenced"and"livestock"grazing"in"her"fields"is"not"managed)"and"also"who"
still" insists" on" clearing"
away" weeds," rather"
than" using" them" for"
mulch.""This"has"meant"
that" the" water" holding"
capacity"of"the"soil"has"
not" improved" much"
and" capping" and" run-
off"is"still"visible."
Figure 10: Right a viewof
Ntombakhe’s CA trial layout
and Far-rgiht Ntobakhe and
her daughter weedingthe
Lab-Lab plot in early January
2020
Na Khumalo
The"situation"for"this"participant,"who"also"has"a"10"block"CA"trial,"but"who"has"only"been"involved"
for"three"years,"is"similar,"
but" even" more" severe"
than" for" Ntombakhe"
Zikode"
She" has" not" managed" to"
keep" up" with" weeding"
and" once" weeded" her"
soils" are" bare" and"
vulnerable" to" heat" and"
erosion,"She"has"suffered"
from" cattle" invasion" into"
her"field"as"well."Her"crop"
growth" is" reasonable"
nonetheless."
Figure 11: Right: Na Khumalo indicating un weeded portion of her trial andfar-right standing in a maize only block that has
been damaged by livestock, where capping and run-off is clearly visible.
Eqeleni+Bottom+
Here"Smephi"Hlwtshwayo"is"the"Local"facilitator."She"has"been"participating"in"the"CA"trial"process"
since"2013,"but"is"ageing"and"thus"working"with"a"smaller"group."It"is"evident"from"the"monitoring"
in"this"village"that"more"attention"to"detail"is"given"to"the"CA"process"and"this"is"a"direct"result"of"
Smephi’s"dedication"to"the"process.""She"is"however"not"particularly"fond"of"inter"cropping"and"
thus"the"trials"in"this"village"are"primarily"single"cropped"blocks"of"maize,"beans,"cowpeas,"SCC"
and"Lab-Lab"beans"Filling"in"of"the"monitoring"forms"has"however"been"a"little"limited."As"shown"
in"the"table"below"
Table 14” Monitoring information submitted by Smpehi Hlatshwayo for Eqeleni bottom.
35"
"
!
Below"are"some"photographs"of"the"progress"
Figure 12:SmephiHlatshwayo and helping members of the learning group planting her plot on the 10thof December and
Above right her plot layout, showing her preference for single crop blocks and her focus on maize and beans as her staple
crops.
Figure 13Above Left to Right: CA trial plots for Smephi Hlatshwayo, Nomavilal Ndaba and Lungile Dladla form Eqeleni
bottom. Here there is much greater evidence of residue cover of the soil, better attention to spacing and better crop growth
than in Eqeleni top.
Name'and'
Surname'
Size'
(m²)'
%'of'
residue'
%'Germination'
Summer'
cover'
crops'
(Yes/No)'
Crop'rotation'
Maize'
'
M'
M+B'
M+C'
B'
C'
Smephi$
Hlatshwayo$
1000$
-$
89%$
-$
-$
90%$
-$
Yes$
Yes$
$
Good$germination$for$both$Maize$and$beans$
Lungile$
Dladla$
1000$
-$
96%$
-$
-$
80%$
-$
Yes$
Yes$
$
Good$germination$for$both$Maize$and$beans$
Nomavila$Ndaba$
800$
-$
98%$
-$
-$
90%$
90%$
Yes$
Yes$
$
Good$germination$for$both$Maize$and$beans$
36"
"
Ezibomvini+
For" this" area" Phumlele" Hlongwane" is" the" Local" facilitator." Participants" started" the" CA"
experimentation"in"2014-2016,"with"various"degrees"of"success"and"improvement."Phumelele"has"
been"a"very"enthusiastic"implementer"of"CA"and"the"learning"for"her"group"members"has"been"
good,"incorporating"all"the"CA"principles"and"working"well"with"the"cover"crops"and"principles"of"
inter"cropping"and"crop"rotation."
Nombono Dladla
She"only"started"her"CA"experimentation"in"2016,"but"has"been"an"extremely"enthusiastic"and"
meticulous"implementer"of"the"CA"principles."Her"crop"growth"is"extremely"good"and"she"has"
achieved"very"high"yields"to"date."
Below"are"her"plot"layouts"and"rotations"for"the"2019/2020"and"20182019"seasons."
Trial"Plot"layout"2019/2020"
1.LL"
2.M"
3.B"
4.M"
5.SCC"
10.M+B"
9.M+B"
8.""""""""""M+C"
7.M+C"
6.M"
"
2018/2019"
1.M"
2.LL"
3.M"
4.B"
5.M"
10.M+C"
9.M+C"
8.""""""""""M+B"
7.M+B"
6.SCC"
It"can"be"seen"from"her"choice"of"rotation"that"she"has"a"much"clearer"understanding"of"rotation"
than"the"participants"in"Stulwane""
%
Figure 14” Above; Nombono’s plot after her first weeding in Decemeber
2019 and more recently during crop monitoring in the middle of January.
"
"
"
37"
"
Phumelele Hlongwane
She"started"her"CA"experimentation"in"2014"and"continues"to"incorporate"new"elements"into"her"
10"block"CA"trial"on"a"yearly"basis."She"is"also"a"participant"in"the"quantitative"measurement"
process."
"
Figure 15: Right; Lungelo taking
gravimetric water soil samples
in a plot of SCC where
Phumelele has intercropped
turnips with a sunnhempand
millet mixture. And Far right; A
view of her CA trial. The few
scraggly plants in the
foreground are a control plot
that suffered limited
germination due to predation by
crows.
"
"
There"are"however"a"number"of"participants"in"Ezibomvini"who"have"not"progressed"much"in"
terms"of"improving"their"soil"health"and"yields.""For"the"most"part,"these"participants"have"not"
embraced"the"CA"principles"that"well"and"tend"to"weed"late,"remove"weeds"from"their"fields"and"
have"little"or"no"soil"cover,"with"the"consequent"ongoing"soil"quality"issues"of"compaction,"capping"
and"run-off."
Figure 16: Above Left to right: Participants who have bad growth in CA trial plots, mainly due to their own management
practices lacking attention to the required detail; Ntombenhle Hlongwane, Gcinekile Zikode and Zodwa Zikode, although
Zodwa’s trial plot looks a lot better than her control and there is some progress in here fields
38"
"
%
Ndunwana++
Boniwe" Hlatshwayo" is" the" local" Faiclitator""for" this" area." She" has" however"only" done" the"
moniotring"for"herself"and"did"not"see"her"way"clear"to"doing"it"for""rest"of"her"learning"group."
Belwo"is"her"moniotring"infromation"
Table 15:Summary of Monitoring for Boniwe Hlatshwayo in Ndunwana
She"is"still"following"the"4"block"CA"trial"layout"of"maize"and"legume"
inter"cropping"and"is"in"her"4th"year"of"CA"experimentation"
Her"plot"layout:"
1.M+B!
2.M+C!
3.M+B!
4.M+C!
!
Figure 17: Boniwe Hlatswhayo’s maize and bean intercropped plot in her CA trial
"
"
"
Thunzini+
In"this"village"participants"have"not"followed"the"CA"experimental"protocols"well"at"all;"under"
the"direction"of"their"Local"facilitator,"Thembekile"Khumalo."They"planted"their"Ca"plots"in"long"
strips"of"mono-cropped"maize"and"beans"and"reverted"back"to"the"wide"spacing"typical"of"the"
area."They"have"had"inordinate"problems"with"weeding"and"crop"growth"has"suffered,"as"has"
Name' and'
Surname'
Size'
(m²)'
%' of'
residue'
%'Germination'
Summer'
cover'
crops'
(Yes/No)'
Crop'
rotation'
Comments'
Maize'
'
M'
M+B'
M+C'
B'
C'
Boniwe$
Hlatshwayo$
400$
0-1%$
-$
68.5$%$
65.2%$
-$
-$
No$
No$
Satisfactory$
growth,$ patchy$
germination$ of$
cowpeas$&$beans$
39"
"
germination"at"around"70%"for"maize"and"40%"for"the"beans."They"did"not"plant"cowpeas"or"
cover"crops."This"group"will"either"need"a"refresher"on"the"principles"of"CA"or"will"need"to"be"
removed"from"the"experimentation"process."
Figure 18: Above Left: Thembekile Khumalo’s Ca plot showing strips of mono cropped maize with hihg weed pressure and
Right Nikiwe Hadebe’s field, similarly mono cropped, showing patchy germination and mediocre growth. Water stress is
also evident; mainly due to inability of the participant to coherently implement the CA cropping system.
Emabunzini
Here"the"Local"facilitator"is"Valindaba"Khumalo"and"she"has"also"influenced"her"learning"group"
to"implement"practices"that"are"not"fully"within"the"CA"processes"being"undertaken."She"decided"
to"monocrop"her"plots"to"maize"and"to"only"plant"the"beans"into"the"maize"much"later"in"the"
season."This"has"led"to"high"weed"pressure"for"this"group."The"group"members"did"intercrop"
their"plots"with"the"SCC"mix"(sunflower,"millet"and"sunnhemp),"in"a"tramline"arrangement"
Figure 19: Above Left; Florence Ndaba’s field with weeds, Centre; T Ngoboka’s field, showing wide spacing and bare soil and
Vlaindaba Khumalo’s field with inter planting of maize tramlines with SCC
Okhombe
The"group"showed"very"variable"results,"with"a"number"of"participants"who"didn’t"plant"at"all,"
others"whose"germination"and"growth"were"very"low"and"then"around"5"participants"with"
excellent"growth"in"their"CA"trials"
Figure 20:Left: Thulisile Mlaba’s CA trial plot in Okhombe and Right; Nompumelelo Shembe’s CA trial She practiced mono
cropping
40"
"
Thamela
This"group"has"been"improving"their"cropping"practices"and"a"proportion"of"the"participants"
have"adopted"the"CA"practices"as"suggested"and"demonstrated."They"have"brought"new"
participants"on"board"
"
&
&
&
&
Figure 21: Above left: Fikile Hlongwane in her plot, with beans and maize showing signs of nitrogen deficiency possibly due
to low limingand incorrect fertilizer application. She is a new participant and was not given enough direction by her group
members. Above right: Dombi Ntuli’s intercropped CA trial plots were doing very well and there is a marked improvement in
her fields, since she started the CA experimentation 3 years ago.
Early&and&medium&early&maize&varieties&
These"have"bene"introduced"ins"an"attempt"to"adapt"to"the"late"onset"of"seasonal"rain"and"have"
bene"incorporated"for"a"number"of"participants;"
Stulwane:"Cuphile"Buthelezi,"Nothile"Zondi,"Dombolo"Dlamini"and"Khulekani"Dladla."
Ndunwana:"Lethiwe"Zimba"and"Boniwe"Mthembu""
Ezibomvini:"Phumelele"Hlongwane"
These"participants"planted"the"early"maturing"varieties"in"separate"experimental"blocks,"from"
their" main" CA" trials,"towards" the" end" of" January" 2020" and" have" in" some" cases" included" inter"
cropping"with"late"season"beans."Monitoring"of"these"plots"is"to"commence"within"5"to"6"weeks"of"
planting."
Livestock&integration;&fodder,&supplementation&and&strip&cropping&
Review+of+winter+fodder+supplementation+experimentation+
A" process" was" undertaken" to" cut" and" bale" grass" and" also" some" of" the" cover" crop" residues"
participants"had"planted"–"namely"cowpea,"lab-lab,"Teff"and"maize."In"addition,"supplements"were"
introduced"that"could"be"included"in"these"“rations”"for"winter"feeding."These"included"LS"33"and"
Premix" 450." Seven" participants" undertook" this" experimentation"process" and" recorded" their"
feeding"as"well"as"the"results"using"the"livestock"condition"scoring"sheet."For"participants"who"did"
not"want"to"undertake"such"a"focussed"experiment,"the"idea"of"licks"was"introduced"to"supplement"
the"grazing"from"the"veld"during"winter."The"experiments"are"outlined"in"the"two"slides"below."
"
41"
"
Table 16:!Bergville!Participants!who!undertook!experimentation,
/7EE<C4)
(<>4)@A)0<?6757B<F6)
#85F:06575,
!><01?1?1,k?:7A=.71,
,
'4:0F17>?1,k?:7A=.71,
L4<?=.71,
P4>:?175,(?.0575,
,
(?18.T>1,k?:7A=.71,
,
_><?1T.75,(?.;?.,
#H1?175,
'4:0F.T>1,i5T:;1,
"
Figure 22!,The!fodder!supplementation!experiment!outlines!
Figure 23!,Experimental!outlines!for!7!of!the!15!participants!who!recorded!their!process!and!results!between!August!and!
October!2019,
42"
"
Results%
Participants"undertook"the"fodder"and"supplementation"for"between"2-4"cattle"from"their"herd;"
either"cows"with"calves"who"struggle"in"winter"or"cows"in"poor"condition."They"were"fed"with"a"
mixture"of"the"supplements"and"baled"grass"or"crushed"maize,"either"every"2nd"day"or"twice"a"
week"between"mid-August"and"mid-October."
In"general,"this"process"managed"to"either"maintain"or"improve"the"livestock’s’"condition"for"all"7"
participants."At"the"end"of"the"experimental"process"livestock"were"all"scored"at"ratings"3"(ribs"
well"covered"and"body"outline"smooth)"or"4"(ribs"not"visible"and"body"outline"rounded),"according"
to"the"condition"scoring"sheet"shown"above."Below,"are"a"few"examples."
Figure 24:!Results!for!supplementation!experiment!for!Ntombakhe!Zikode,!who!fed!one!cow!and!calf.!
Participants" are" very" satisfied" with" the" outcomes" of" these" experiments" and" feel" that" they" can"
continue"with"supplementation"in"future."The"supplements"are"not"that"expensive"and"now"that"
they"have"some"experience"with"cutting"and"baling"grass,"they"also"feel"this"is"manageable"and"a"
good"idea."Participants"also"commented"that"they"did"not"need"to"herd"the"animals"that"were"
being"fed"as"they"all"now"come"home"to"the"kraal"in"the"evenings"for"their"“meals”."This"is"in"fact"
a"major"advantage."Participants"also"agreed"that"the"cattle"prefer"the"LS33"over"the"premix"450."
The" LS" 33" however," is" a" bit" more" expensive" (R180/20l" vs" R230/50kg)."16" Participants"
volunteered"to"try"out"the"supplementation"experimentation"process"in"the"coming"season,"of"
whom"around"50%"are"women.""
Comments from the farmers
Dlezakhe!Hlongwane-!Stulwane:!Cattle)did)not)like)grass,)used)yellow)maize)mixed)with)lab-lab)
bales)and)premix.)One)of)the)two)cattle)that)were)part)of)the)experiment)was)with)calf)and)the)other)
not.)At)the)start)of)the)experiment)the)cattle’s)condition)was)poor)and)after)the)inclusion)of)the)yellow)
maize)the)condition)improved."Yellow)maize)is)very)important)to)have)especially)when)the)cattle)do)
not)like)grass.)Use)of)grain,)cowpea)bales,)drybean)residue)mixed)with)LS)33)are)good)and)addition)
of)Premix)450”"
Khulekani!Dladla-!Stulwane:Bales)help,)I)started)experimentation)late)and)the)condition)score)2)
for)my)cattle)now)the)condition)score)has)improved)to)condition)score)4.0"My)cattle)did)not)like)
Voermoel)Premix)450)and)preferred)Molatek)LS)33)supplementation.”"
43"
"
Phumelele!Hlongwane-!Ezibomvini:!Experimentation)is)going)well,)condition)score)of)my)cattle)
is)4.5)going)onto)condition)score)5.)I)supplement)the)feeding)with)waste)from)my)vegetable)garden,)
spinach)leaves)&)umbido.)Premix)450)mixed)with)grain)and)bales)mixed)with)LS)33.)
)
Strip%cropping%with%fodder%crops%
Mr"Manson"(Cedara)"presented"slides"to"cover"the"concepts"of"strip"cropping"on"steep"slopes"for"
soil"and"water"conservation."He"showed"how"this"practice"promotes"the"slow"formation"of"bench"
terraces"for"the"maize"strips"between"the"grass"and"also"indicated"that"the"grass"can"be"cut"and"
used"for"fodder."
"
He"introduced"a"few"strip"cropping"options:"
1.Strip"cropping"with"annual"fodder"crops"such"as"velvet"bean,"oats,"vetch"and"ryegrass,"as"
well"as"kale"and"Japanese"radish.""Some"of"the"benefits"of"kale"include"drought"tolerance"
and" dual-purpose" use" (animal" and" human" consumption)." Japanese" radish" is" highly"
drought"tolerant"although"it"requires"a"lot"of"water"at"planting"and"is"also"a"good"crop"for"
animal"feeding."
2.Strip"cropping"with"perennial"grass"species"
a.Selected"by"using"a"broad"leaf"herbicide"and"repeated"mowing"–"which"selects"for"
perennial"grasses"such"as"Digiteria"/Catstail"grass-"dubbed"“msila"wekathi”"in"the"
workshop"
b.Planting"specific"species"such"as"Paspalum/"Bahia"grass-"dubbed"“Mbili"grass”"in"
the"workshop"
c.Lespediza"/"poor"man’s"Lucerne,"which"is"a"hardier"legume"than"Lucerne"without"
the"high"liming"requirement,"that"can"also"be"interplanted"with"grass."There"are"
low"tannin"varieties"now"available,"which"removes"the"need"for"carefully"managed"
intake"by"livestock"and"
d.Tall"fescue;"which"is"a"grass"planted"in"either"spring/autumn","that"remains"green"
throughout"winter."
e.Napier" grass-" grows" considerably" slower" than" the" other" perennials" but" lasts"
longer,"grown"extensively"in"other"African"countries"such"as"Kenya"where"it"is"cut"
and"fed"and"to"cattle."
44"
"
Perennial"grasses"are"planted"once"and"require"no"repurchasing"of"seed"and"acts"as"a"good"cover"
for" the" soil" all" year" round."Careful" consideration" needs" to" be" taken" to" make" sure" that" grasses"
growing"in"the"field"are"not"left"to"grow"vigorously."At"planting,"the"grasses"and"perennials"are"
mowed" to" decrease" competition" with" the" established" crop." During" the" first" season" of"
establishment"mowing"takes"place"at"least"4"times"and"decreases"to"about"twice"per"season"during"
the"third"and"fourth"seasons"of"establishment."
3.Strip"cropping"with"the"summer"cover"crop"mix"(Sunnhemp,"babala"and"sunflower)"and"
cutting"this"during"the"season"to"dry"and"bale"–"rather"than"growing"out"these"cover"crops"
to"seed."
Below"are"some"indicative"images"
Figure 25:!Above!left;!strip!cropping!maize!and!Paspalum!(Mbili!grass)!and!Above!right:!Strip!cropping!with!Digiteria/!
Catstail!grass!!
Figure 26!,Above!left;!Vetch!and!black!oats!strip!crops!with!maize!and!Above!right;!A!plot!showing!Maize!following!a!
winter!planting!of!vetch!(left)!without!fertilizer,!compared!with!maize!planted!without!
fertilizer!and!without!the!cover!crop!(right)!
Figure 27!,An!example!of!Lespediza!(Poor!man’s!Lucerne),!brought!as!a!sample!to!the!
workshop.,
A"discussion"followed."Some"participants"were"worried"about"the"grass"
attracting"livestock"during"the"growing"season."It"was"pointed"out"that"
the"grass"could"and"potentially"should"be"cut"at"least"cone"during"the"
season,"to"dry"as"hay"and"that"in"winter"it"would"be"grazable"along"with"
the" maize" stover." The" grass" is" now" treated" as" a" “cropping" field”" and"
livestock"are"excluded,"as"they"would"be"for"maize"only"fields."
45"
"
An"experimental"layout"plan"was"considered"as"follows:"Strip;"2,5m"x"10"m."Seeding"rate"20kg/ha"
–"thus"50g"per"strip"for"perennials."Trial"size"thus"20mx10m"
Paspalum"
Maize"
Lespediza"
Maize"
Digiteria"
Maize"
Lespediza"+Paspalum/Digiteria"
Maize"
Tall"fescue"(optional"to"be"planted"later"in"the"season)"
"
Thereafter"a"list"of"participants"who"wanted"to"undertake"the"experiments"was"compiled."
Village'
Name'and'surname'
Strip' cropping' with' SCC'
(and'cutting'for'hay)'
Strip' cropping' with' perennial'
grasses'and'legumes'
Ezibomvini$
Phumelele$Hlongwane$
Y$
Y$
$
Ntombenhle$Hlongwane$
Y$
Y$
Vimbukhalo$
Sibongile$Mpulo$
Y$
$
Emabunzini$
Valindaba$Khumalo$
Y$
Y$
Stulwane$
Nelisiwe$Msele$
$
Y$
$
Khethabahle$Miya$
Y$
Y$
$
Cuphile$Buthelezi$
Y$
Y$
$
Nothile$Zondi$
Y$
$
$
Fikile$Hlatshwayo$
Y$
Y$
$
Phasazile$Sithebe$
Y$
Y$
$
Khulekani$Dladla$
Y$
Y$
$
Dlezakhe$Hlongwane$
$
Y$
$
Thulani$Dlamini$
Y$
Y$
$
Mtholeni$Dlamini$
Y$
Y$
$
Matolozana$Gumbi$
$
Y$
$
Dombi$Dlamini$
Y$
Y$
$
Dombolo$Dlamini$
Y$
Y$
"
The" Fodder" strip" cropping"
demonstration" planting" was"
conducted"in"early"January."Initially"
spraying"had"to"be"done,"as"the"field"
was"infested"with"nutgrass,"but"then"
the" learning" group" did" the"
preparation" and" planting" of" the"
strips" together" thereafter"(14th"
January).""
Figure 28: Preparation and planting of the
fodder strip cropping demonstration trial in
Stulwane
"
46"
"
There"has"however"been"0%"germination"to"date,"due"to"inordinately"hot"and"dry"conditions.""
"
"
Issues&and&recommendations&
1.Subsidy"payments"for"CA"trial"inputs"
The"arrangement"with"the"project"participants"has"been"that"they"pay"a"subsidy"of"
around"33%"towards"the"inputs"provided"for"their"CA"farmer"experimentation"
processes,"from"their"2nd"year"of"participation."These"sums"are"ploughed"back"into"the"
budget,"to"ensure"access"for"the"large"number"of"participants."
In"seasons"with"late"onset"rains,"as"the"present"season"has"been,"the"farmers"are"
reluctant"to"pay"in"their"subsidies"before"the"planting"season"begins,"opting"to"wait"and"
see"whether"planting"will"be"possible"at"all,"which"makes"the"distribution"of"inputs"very"
problematic"when"the"planting"starts"to"happen"in"a"rush."The"Local"facilitators"are"
meant"to"only"distribute"inputs"to"those"who"have"paid."This"system"has"been"awkward"
and"difficult"to"manage"and"will"be"discontinued."""
2.Learning"groups"and"CA"experimentation"
The"Bergville"site"has"expanded"to"19"learning"groups"and"over"350"participants"within"
the"horizontal"scaling"process"piloted"as"an"awareness"raising"and"implementation"
strategy"for"CA"in"smallholder"farming"systems.""As"a"strategy"to"manage"this"many"
participants,"Local"facilitators"have"been"trained"and"mentored"to"assist"their"learning"
47"
"
groups"in"input"delivery"and"management,"the"CA"experimentation"process"as"well"as"
monitoring"of"crop"growth."
"
This"process"has"had"mixed"success"with"around"six"of"the"learning"groups"doing"very"
well"(Stulwane,"Eqeleni",Ezibomvini,"Mhlwazini,"Thamela"and"Vimbukalo)."These"are"
also"the"oldest"groups"who"have"had"the"most"mentoring"and"training"support"from"
MDF.""
"
Some"of"the"newer"learning"groups"introduced"form"2015"onwards,"including"
Emabunzini,"Emafefetheni,"Emazimbeni"and"Nsuka-Zwelisha"have"not"been"given"
enough"attention"by"the"implementation"team"and"have"only"half"grasped"the"CA"
principles"and"experimental"protocols."
"
A"few"other"groups"have"been"reluctant"to"implement"the"CA"process"as"suggested"and"
have"incorporated"their"own"thinking,"mixed"with"some"ideas"from"KZNDARD"extension"
officers"and"have"mixed"ideas"from"both,"with"limited"success."They"have"typically"been"
resistant"to"inter"cropping,"close"spacing"and"hand"weeding"after"crop"establishment"
and"have"tried"various"herbicides"during"crop"growth."These"groups"include"Ngoba,"
Magangangozi,"Thunzini,"Okhombe"and"Emangweni"
"
It"is"suggested"that"in"future"the"CA"learning"and"experimentation"process"continues"
only"with"the"groups"that"have"done"well"and"potentially"the"newer"learning"groups"and"
that"the"villages"where"there"is"some"resistance"and"confusion"be"removed"into"the"
future."
"
3.Soil"fertility"analysis"(CEDARA)"
It"was"thought"that"it"would"be"possible"to"ascertain"from"these"results"whether"a"
reduction"in"the"need"for"application"of"fertilizer"was"evident"over"a"period"of"time,"in"
the"CA"implementation"process."This"has"been"a"goal"for"the"experimentation."
It"has"however"not"bene"possible"to"quantify"any"changes"as"differences"in"climatic"
conditions"from"one"year"to"the"next"has"a"much"larger"impact"on"the"soil"fertility"results"
than"the"CA"implementation"has."In"addition,"most"of"the"smallholders"have"not"
improved"their"soil"cover"through"crop"residues"substantially-"given"the"local"practice"of"
grazing"of"stover"over"the"winter"months."This"practice"is"reducing"the"ability"of"the"CA"
cropping"system"to"improve"soil"fertility"and"soil"health"conditions."This"aspect"of"the"
research"process"will"be"discontinued"in"favour"of"a"much"more"concerted"effort"in"
provision"of"soil"cover"with"analysis"of"the"soil"characteristics"under"these"conditions.""
It"will"mean"working"with"participants"to"provide"fenced"areas"within"which"to"do"these"
experiments."
"
"
"
"
48"
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&