EC SKZN Interim Report

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APPENDIX : EASTERN CAPE AND
SOUTHERN KZN PROGRESS REPORT
CA Farmer Innovation Programme for
smallholders.
Period:October 2019 - February2020
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Compiled"by:"
Erna"Kruger,"Mazwi"Dlamini"and"Hendrik"Smith"
February"2020"
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Project"implemented"by:"
Mahlathini(Development(Foundation(
Promoting"collaborative,"pro-poor"agricultural"innovation."
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Contact:""Erna"Kruger"(Founder"and"Director)"
Address:"2"Forresters"Lane,"Pietermaritzburg,"3201,"KZN"
Email:"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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Table&of&Contents&
Executive"Summary"..........................................................................................................................................................."4
Background"and"Organisational"Information"........................................................................................................."4
Key"activities:"October"2019-February"2020"........................................................................................................."6
Progress"............................................................................................................................................................................."6
Budget"..................................................................................................................................................................................."10
Overall"trial"design"process"........................................................................................................................................."10
Year"1:"........................................................................................................................................................................."10
Year"2:"........................................................................................................................................................................."11
Year"3"onwards:"......................................................................................................................................................"12
Soil"fertility"........................................................................................................................................................................."12
Rainfall"and"run"off"plot"readings"............................................................................................................................."16
Progress"per"area"of"implementation"....................................................................................................................."17
Introduction".................................................................................................................................................................."17
Madzikane"(Creighton)"............................................................................................................................................."18
Mr"Cosmas"Xaba"....................................................................................................................................................."18
Ofafa".................................................................................................................................................................................."19
Phathisile"Ndlovu"..................................................................................................................................................."19
Nyasa"Ndlovu"..........................................................................................................................................................."20
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Springvalley"..................................................................................................................................................................."21
Bonginhlanhla"Dlamini"........................................................................................................................................"21
Ntombifuthi"Shoba"................................................................................................................................................"21
Emazabekweni"............................................................................................................................................................."22
Sekhutlong""(Matatiele)"............................................................................................................................................"23
Matsepo"Futu"..........................................................................................................................................................."23
Mamolelekeng"Lebueoa"......................................................................................................................................."24
Tsoloane"Mapheelle".............................................................................................................................................."24
Sikhulumi"........................................................................................................................................................................"25
Noluthando"Pili"......................................................................................................................................................."25
Early(maturing(maize(varieties"............................................................................................................................."25
Stakeholder"forum"and"innovation"platform"......................................................................................................."26
Field"visits"......................................................................................................................................................................"27
Presentations"................................................................................................................................................................"28
Village"Level"Savings"and"Associations".................................................................................................................."29
Cooperative"formation".................................................................................................................................................."30"
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Executive)Summary)
Ninety-three"(93)"of"129"participants"have"planted"their"farmer"level"trials"across"11"villages,"
with"limited"support"for"inputs"form"the"KZN"LandCare"unit."Summer"cover"crop"and"livestock"
fodder"farmer"level"experimentation"have"been"included"for"a"selection"of"the"villages,"as"has"
planting"of"short"season"maize"varieites"to"accommodate"for"late"onset"of"summer"rainfall."
One"awareness" day" has" been" run" with" the" Madzikane" Stakeholder" Forum" in" association" with"
KZNDARD,"LandCare,"Cedara"Soils"Lab"and"the"Famring"Systems"unit."
Rain-gauges"and"run-off"plots"have"been"installed"for"a"selection"of"participants"in"Madzikane"and"
Spring" Valley" and" soil" fertility" (15" repeat" samples"and" 11" new" samples)" and" soil" health" (7"
participants)"samples"have"been"taken"and"analysed."
Crop"growth"monitoring"has"been"undertaken"for"around"3"to"6"participants"in"each"of"7"villages.""
Background)and)Organisational)Information)
Mahlathini" Development" Foundation" (2003-2019)" 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.""
Introduction"of"CA"into"any"farming"system"requires"the"creation"of"a"process"and"environment"
of"continuous"innovation,"learning"and"change"in"a"number"of"different"areas,"including"social,"
economic,"environmental"and"agronomic"considerations."In"the"smallholder"context"it"requires"
the"design,"introduction"and"facilitation"of"a"reasonably"complex"IS"(innovation"system)"approach"
by" the" implementers," and" of" practice," labour" and" resources" (including" natural" and" financial"
resources)"by"the"farmer"that"has"system"wide"implications."There"is"an"interplay"of"a"number"of"
different"factors,"all"of"which"need"to"be"integrated,"thus"requiring"a"well-designed"and"facilitated"
IS"approach."
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"
implementation"of"CA"practices"among"smallholders.""It"means"that"a"number"of"villages"in"close"
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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"
In"this"season"(2019-2020)"we"have"focused"on"the"following"elements"of"the"model,"namely:""
a)Support"farmers"who"are"in"their"1st,"2nd,"3rd""and"4th"seasons"of"implementation,"
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b)Conscious"inclusion"of"crop"rotation"to"compare"with"intercropping"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)Initiation"of"a"livestock"CA"fodder"strip"cropping"demonstration"trial,"for"production"of"
winter"fodder"and"grazing"and"as"an"erosion"control"practice"
f)Initiation"of"nodes"for"farmer"centres"that"can"offer"tools,"input"packs"and"advice"and"
g)Initiation"of"a"marketing"Cooperative"in"Ngongonini."
Key)activities:)October)2019-February)2020)
Implementation"has"continued"in"three"southern"KZN"areas"(Matatiele,"Creighton,"and"Ixopo)"in"
11"villages."Plaatestat"and"Nokweja"have"been"discontinued"due"to"dwindling"interest."Learning"
group" numbers" in" Springvalley,"Ofafa"and" Emazabekweni" have" increase"by" 13,"22"and" 3"new"
participants"respectively."The"partnership"with"KZNDARD"has"been"initiated"and"a"fodder"strip"
cropping"CA"trial"has"been"set"up"in"Madzikane.""Support"for"the"3"existing"VSLAs"has"continued"
and"included"small"business"development"training."Two"more"VSLA’s"have"been"initiated;"one"in"
Ofafa"and"one"in"Ngongonini.""A"marketing"cooperative"has"been"established"in"Ngongonini."This"
cooperative"also"plays"a"central"role"in"input"supply"and"distribution"as"well"as"management"and"
use"of"shared"CA"equipment"and"is"in"the"beginning"stages"of"being"set"up"as"a"farmer"centre"for"
the"area."
The"stakeholder"forum"in"Madzikane"has"been"continued"and"a"farmers’"day"was"held"on"the"11th"
of"December,"including"stakeholders"such"as"KZNDARD,"LandCare"representatives,"the"Farming"
Systems"Unit"at"Cedara"and"the"LED"section"of"the"Nkosazana"Dlamini"Zuma"LM.""
Soil"fertility"samples"have"been"taken"for"11"new"participants"in"Ofafa"and"repeat"samples"have"
been"done"for"15"participants"across"3"villages."Soil"health"samples"have"been"taken"again"for"a"
selection"of"participants"(5"participants"across"3"villages)"for"%SOM"analysis"as"well"as"a"range"of"
other"soil"health"indicators."
Progress'
"The"project"is"now"operational"across"11"villages"across"Matatiele"and"SKZN,"with"a"significant"
increase"in"learning"groups"and"participants"as"mentioned"above."
The"basic"experimental"design"was"followed"for"all"1st"year"participants"and"most"of"the"2nd"year"
participants" as" well." Variations" for" 3rd"and" 4th"year" participants" have" included" crop" rotation,"
intercropping,"summer"and"winter"cover"crop"mixes,"planting"of"lab-lab"beans,"fodder"crops"and"
late"season"planting"of"beans."
The" table" below" outlines" activities" related" to" objectives" and" key" indicators" for" the" period" of"
October"2019"-February"2020.""""""""""
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Table 1:!SUMMARY&OF&PROGRESS&(OCTOBER&2019&-&FEBRUARY&2020)&RELATED&TO&OBJECTIVES&AND&KEY&ACTIVITIES%
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Objectives*
Summary*of*progress*
%* completion*
and*comment*
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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:&PERFORMANCE&DASHBOARD;&FEBRUARY&2020%
Outputs*
Proposed* (March*
2019)*
Actual* (Feb*
2020)*
R=;Q-3),>)03-07),>),2-3041,.)
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R=;Q-3),>)<1990/-7)0541<-)
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R,),>)9,509)>05191404,37)
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R,),>):13-54)Q-.->151031-7?)>03;-3)9-<-9)-E2-31;-.4041,.)
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H)
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G40I-8,9:-3)$<-.47)
H)
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(09=-)5801.)7=22,34)
R,4):->1.-:)
S)(G]M7)KF).-AL)
F)%,,2-3041<-7)
M34159-7@)5,.>-3-.5-7)
*NH),>)-0)
*)Q,,I)58024-3)
G,19)70;29-7)
UZ)
HS)
"
The" table" below" summarises" the" planned" and" actual" farmer" level" experimentation"
implementation"for"the"2019-2020"planting"season."A"total"of"one"hundred"and"twenty-nine"(129)"
trial"participants"volunteered"through"the"planning"processes"across"11"villages"in"three"areas."
Ninety-three"(93)"of"these"farmers"planted"their"CA"farmer"level"experimentation"trials"(around"
72%"of"participants)."For"this"season"the"weather"was"variable,"with"late-onset"rains"and"large"
variability"in"rainfall"across"areas"and"time.""
Table 3:!SUMMARY&OF&FARMER&INNOVATION&NUMBER&AND&AREAS&PLANTED&PER&VILLAGE&IN&THIS&CA&PROCESS;&EASTERN&CAPE,&2019-
2020
M3-0)
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9-<-9)
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Budget)
A"total"budget"of"R595"527"was"approved"for"this"project"by"the"Maize"Trust."An"amount"of"R357"
320"is"available"until"the"end"of"March"(1st"6-month"period)."At"the"end"of"January"and"amount"of"
R178"386" had" been" spent." The" project" is" slightly" underspent" and" well" within" the" limits" of"
expenditure.""
The"figure"below"indicates"expenditure"to"date."
Figure 1:Expenditure on the MT EC&SKZN SFIP budget October 2019-Janaury 2020
Overall)trial)design)process)
As"this"is"an"existing"‘technology’"the"farmer"level"experimentation"is"in"essence"an"adaptation"
trial"process.""
Year%1:%
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:"
BUDGET EXPENDITURE
Milestones/
Outputs
Key activities
OUTCOMES/
DELIVERABLES
Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb
Actual expenditure per
budget item
Pd grainSA
Research
Fodder trials and
sundries
R19 200R 17 933,79R17 933,79
Administraiton
and sundries
travel accommodation,
admin, puvlications,
monitoring and
evaluation
R97 312R 4 100,25R 25 222,00R 19 336,85R48 659,10
Farmer centred
innovation
systems
farmer
experimentation,
researcher managed
experimentation,
savings groups,farmer
centres…
R466 019R 42 132,58R 52 008,00R60 808,00R154 948,58
Innovation
platforms
Stakeholder meetings,
platform building and
events
R12 996R0,00
R 46 232,83R 52 008,00R 0,00R 80 144,85
R595 527R 72 352,00R 72 352,00R 53 154,00R 53 154,00R 53 154,00
Workplan budget Oct-SeptR 357 320,00
144 704,00R
R 197 858,00R251 012,00R304 166,00Actual 178 385,68R
Sub - TOTAL: Oct 2019-Sept 2020
INVOICES
Farmer
experimenta
tion
NorthEastern EC and SKZN Farmer Centred Innovation in CA. October 2019- September 2020
11"
"
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"or"at"planting"
Decis"Forte"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)."See"the"diagram"
below."
"
Figure 2: Exampleof plot layout for the 1stlevel farmer trials
The" basic" process" for" planting" thus" includes:" Close" spacing" of" tramlines" (2" rows)" of" maize"
(50cmx50cm)"and"legumes"(20cmx10cm)"intercropped,"use"of"a"variety"of"OPV"and"hybrid"seed,"
weed"control"through"a"combination"of"pre"planting"spraying"with"herbicide"and"manual"weeding"
during"the"planting"season"and"pest"control"using"Decis"Forte,"sprayed"once"at"planting"and"once"
at"top"dressing"stage."
Year%2:%
Based" on" evaluation" of" experiment" progress" for" year" 1," 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."
PLOT 1: Hand HoePLOT 2: Planter
Maize1, bean1Maize2,Bean1Maize1, bean1Maize2, Bean1
Maize1, Bean2Maize2, Bean2Maize1, Bean2Maize2,Bean2
PLOT 3: OR repeat plot 1 and 2PLOT 4:
Hand hoePlanter Hand hoePlanter
Maize1,cowpeaMaize1,cowpea
Maize1, Dolichos
Maize1, dolichos
Maize 2, CowpeaMaize 2, Cowpea
Maize2, Dolichos
Maize2, Dolichos
10m or 5m
10m or 5m
12"
"
Year%3%onwards:%
Trials"are"based"on"evaluation"of"experimentation"process"to"date;"to"include"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"
Soil"sample"results"and"specific"fertilizer"recommendations"
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"and"
Cost"benefit"analysis"of"chosen"options."
Soil)fertility))
Soil"fertility"samples"are"taken"for"a"selection"of"participants"on"a"yearly"basis"for"the"following"
reasons:"
1.Samples"are"taken"for"new"entrant"CA"participants"to"ascertain"their"soil"fertility"status"
and"fertility"amelioration"needs."These"results"are"added"to"the"existing"database"of"
around"200"participants"for"SKZN"and"EC"to"determine"both"a"generic"recommendation"
for"the"area"and"to"ascertain"any"specific"requirements"for"individuals"for"whom"the"
generic"requirements"are"not"appropriate"
2.Repeat"samples"are"taken"for"participants"in"their"3rd"and"4th"year"of"implementation"of"
CA,"to"ascertain"any"potential"soil"fertility"differences"related"to"CA"when"compared"to"
conventional"cropping."
"
This"season"repeat"samples"were"taken"for"5"participants"from"Madzikane,"3"from"Springvalley"
and"3"from"Ofafa."The"results"are"summarised"in"the"figures"below"
"
13"
"
"
(NOTE:"RT=repeat"CA"trial"plot"and"RC="Repeat"Control"plot)"
Figure 3: Soil fertility results for 2016,2018 and 2019 for 5 participants from Madzikane (SKZN)
From"the"figure"above"for"Madzikane,"the"following"points"can"be"made:"
"
The"pH"of"the"CA"trial"plots"have"increased"fractionally"between"2016-2019"(4,6"to"4,9),"
while"that"of"the"control"plots"has"decreased"fractionally"(4,2"to"4,0).""It"is"likely"that"the"
maintenance"lime"applications"(1t/ha"annually)"on"the"CA"plots"are"having"a"positive"
effect."This"practise"is"not"undertaken"on"the"control"plots"
The"acid"saturation"percentage"in"the"CA"plots"has"decreased"significantly"(11,2%"to"
4,6%),"while"that"in"the"control"plots"has"increased"to"12,4%."This"is"an"interesting"
outcome,"related"potentially"not"only"to"the"application"of"lime,"but"also"to"the"balancing"
of"soil"minerals"in"solution"due"to"multi-cropping"option"used"in"the"CA"trial"plots"
The"percentage"of"N"in"the"CA"trial"plots"has"increased"from"0,21%"to"0,38%"and"for"the"
control"plots"from"o,28%"to"0,35%.""As"the"soil"samples"are"taken"after"harvest"and"prior"
to"planting"and"fertilization,"this"figure"is"indicative"of"the"nitrogen"available"in"the"soil"
for"use"by"crops."The"proportional"increase"for"the"CA"trial"plots"is"20%"higher"than"that"
of"the"control"plots."This"is"an"outcome"of"the"increase"in"soil"organic"matter"as"well"as"
inclusion"of"legumes"and"multi-cropping"options"in"the"CA"system,"as"compared"to"
conventional"maize"production""
Accumulation"of"organic"carbon"(%"Organic"C)"in"the"CA"trial"plots"can"be"seen"on"a"
yearly"basis;"2,86,"3,22"and"3,75"for"2016,2018"and"2019"respectively."This"indicates"an"
average"annual"increase"in"%"organic"carbon"of"0,5%"in"the"CA"system.""For"the"control"
plots,"the"increase"is"around"0,3%"on"average.""This"indicates"an"increase"in"carbon"in"
Madzikane Madzikane Madzikane Madzikane Madzikane
2016 2018 2018 2019 2019
RT RC RT RT RC
pH 4,60 4,16 4,32 4,94 4,04
N (kg/ha)40,00 60,00 60,00 60,00 60,00
P (kg/ha)40,00 40,00 42,00 23,00 20,00
K (kg/ha)19,000,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
Lime (t/ha)0,50 0,20 0,00 0,00 0,40
MAP (50kgbags/ha)3,28 1,80 1,80 2,08 1,80
LAN (50kg bags/ha)1,54 2,98 3,56 3,45 3,04
Org. C %2,86 3,30 3,22 3,75 3,60
N %0,21 0,28 0,23 0,38 0,35
Acid sat (%)11,2010,80 9,604,60 12,40
0,00
10,00
20,00
30,00
40,00
50,00
60,00
70,00
Axis Title
Madzikane Village; Soil fertility repeat samples 2016,2018,and 2019
14"
"
the"CA"plots"of"around"2,4t/ha"more"in"the"CA"system"as"compared"to"conventional"
cropping.""
Fertilizer"requirements"for"the"CA"trail"and"conventional"control"plots"are"equivalent"for"
N"(60kg/ha),"P"(20kg/ha)"and"K"(0kg/ha)."
In"summary"it"can"be"seen"that"the"fertilization"system"for"the"CA"trial"plots"which"includes,"soil"
cover,"legumes"and"cover"crops,"rotation,"addition"of"maintenance"lime"and"micro-dosing"of"
fertilizer"has"a"beneficial"effect"on"soil"properties"such"as"acid"saturation,"pH,"%N"and"%"organic"
C,"when"compared"to"conventional"cropping"of"maize""with"fertilizer"applications"only."
"
(NOTE:"RT=repeat"CA"trial"plot"and"RC="Repeat"Control"plot)"
Figure 4: Soil fertilityresults for 2016,2018 and 2019 for 3 participants in Springvalley
From"the"figure"above"for"Springvalley,"the"following"points"can"be"made:"
pH"and"percentage"acid"saturation"has"remained"stable"for"both"the"CA"trail"plots"and"
the"conventional"control"plots"between"2016"and"2019."
Percentage"organic"carbon"has"increase"fractionally"for"the"CA"trial"plots"from"3,57%"to"
4%"between"2016-2019,"suggesting"an"annual"increase"of"around"0,2%"organic"C."For"
the"control"plots"the"figure"has"remained"stable"at"4%."This"result"is"similar"to"that"in"
Madzikane"indicating"a"2,4t/ha"increase"in"organic"carbon"annually"under"the"CA"
system."
Percentage"N"has"increased"for"both"the"CA"trial"plot"and"the"conventional"control"plots"
by"around"0,5%.""
Fertilizer"requirements"for"the"CA"trail"and"conventional"control"plots"are"equivalent"for"
N"(60kg/ha),"P"(40kg/ha)"and"K"(0kg/ha)."
Springvalley Springvalley Springvalley Springvalley Springvalley
2016 2018 2018 2019 2019
RT RC RT RT RC
pH 4,84 4,96 4,86 4,83 4,95
N (kg/ha)40,00 60,00 60,00 60,00 60,00
P (kg/ha)60,00 46,67 55,00 36,25 40,00
K (kg/ha)0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
Lime (t/ha)0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
MAP (50kgbags/ha)5,50 2,40 2,25 3,20 3,65
LAN (50kg bags/ha)0,70 4,30 3,90 2,80 2,60
Org. C %3,57 5,13 4,77 4,00 4,00
N %0,24 0,29 0,27 0,33 0,34
Acid sat (%)0,67 1,00 1,00 0,50 0,75
0,00
10,00
20,00
30,00
40,00
50,00
60,00
70,00
Axis Title
Springvalley village soil fertility repeat samples 2016,2018 and 2019
15"
"
In"summary,"for"Springvalley,"the"CA"system"has"shown"a"small"increase"in"availability"of"
organic"carbon"in"the"soil,"but"other"soil"properties"are"similar"to"those"in"the"conventional"
control"plots."
"
(NOTE:"RT=repeat"CA"trial"plot"and"RC="Repeat"Control"plot)"
Figure 5: Soil fertility results for 2016,2018 and 2019 for 3 participants in Ofafa
From"the"figure"above"for"Ofafa,"the"following"points"can"be"made:"
pH"for"both"the"CA"trial"plots"and"the"conventional"control"plots"have"increased"from"
between"2016"and"2019,"by"about"0,5%."
The"acid"saturation"percentage"has"however"decreased"marginally"for"the"CA"plots"
(O,7%)"and"increase"marginally"for"the"conventional"control"plots"(0,7%)."These"small"
differences"are"not"considered"significant"
Percentage"N"has"decreased"for"the"CA"trial"plots"between"2016"and"2018"from"0,38%"to"
0,25%"and"then"increased"fractionally"to"0,28%"in"2019."For"the"control"plots"the"
increase"in"%N"between"2018"and"2019"has"been"more"significant;"0,21%"to"0,32%"
These"differences"are"difficult"to"relate"to"the"cropping"practices"employed."It"has"
however"been"noted,"in"a"sister"site"(Bergville)"that"the"multi-cropping"options"used"
under"the"CA"system"in"dry"years"can"lead"to"a"temporary"reduction"of"soil"nutrient"and"
water"availability."When"compared"to"mono-cropped"maize."This"could"explain"the"
present"results,"as"both"2017"and"2018"were"difficult"cropping"seasons"in"Ofafa,"while"
this"season"has"seen"more"and"more"even"rainfall."
The"percentage"organic"carbon,"shows"a"sharp"drop"between"2018"and"2019"for"both"
the"CA"trial"plots"and"the"conventional"control"plots"from"5,5%"to"2,8%"and"4,9%"to"
2,9%"respectively."This"is"on"average"a"decrease"of"28t/ha"of"carbon"in"this"season"for"
Ofafa Ofafa Ofafa Ofafa Ofafa
2016 2018 2018 2019 2019
RT RC RT RT RC
pH 5,40 5,78 5,43 5,90 6,19
N (kg/ha)40,00 60,00 66,67 60,00 60,00
P (kg/ha)20,00 46,67 55,00 60,00 40,00
K (kg/ha)0,000,00 11,67 0,000,00
Lime (t/ha)0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
MAP (50kgbags/ha)1,80 1,80 1,80 5,50 3,60
LAN (50kg bags/ha)2,10 2,10 2,10 2,10 2,87
Org. C %3,77 4,93 5,50 2,80 2,87
N %0,38 0,21 0,26 0,28 0,32
Acid sat (%)0,67 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,67
0,00
10,00
20,00
30,00
40,00
50,00
60,00
70,00
Axis Title
Ofafa village osil fertility repeat samples 2016,2018 and 2019
16"
"
both"the"trials"and"controls."The"result"is"difficult"to"explain,"but"indicates"that"soil"and"
environmental"factors"here"have"strongly"outweighed"the"potential"differences"nad"
benefits"from"different"cropping"practices"
Fertilizer"requirements"for"the"CA"trail"and"conventional"control"plots"are"equivalent"for"
N"(60kg/ha)"and"K"(0kg/ha)."P"requirements"for"the"CA"trial"plots"are"higher"than"the"
control"plots"at"60kg.ha"and"40kg/ha"respectively."
"
In"Ofafa,"there"has"been"no"visible"accumulation"of"N"or"org"organic"carbon"in"the"soil"when"
comparing"CA"trial"plots"and"conventional"control"plots."Difficult"weather"conditions"(late"onset"
rain,"heat"and"late"season"storms)"have"outweighed"the"potential"benefit"of"accumulation"of"
nutrients"and"organic"matter"in"the"soils"in"Ofafa."
Rainfall)and)run)off)plot)readings)
Rain"gauges"and"run-off"plots"have"been"installed"for"both"Mr"C"Xaba"in"Madzikane"and"Mrs"L"
Ngubo"in"Springvalley."The"farmers"have"undertaken"to"take"regular"readings"and"record"the"
data."
Below"is"a"summary"of"the"records"kept"by"Mrs"Letta"Ngubo."
Table%4:%Rainfall%events,%trial%and%control%run%off%readings%from%January%2019%to%February%2020;%Springvalley.""
Date*of*rainfall*event**
Amount*of*rainfall*
event*(mm)*
Trial*run*off*
reading*(litres)*
Control*run*off*
reading*(litres)*
29/01/2019*
Z)
Z)
Z)
30/01/2019*
Z)
Z)
Z)
04/02/2019*
HH)
H)
*S@[)
10/02/2019*
FZ)
Z)
*)
23/02/2019*
*Z)
Z)
Z)
01/03/2019*
`)
Z)
Z)
10/03/2019*
FZ)
Z@S)
*)
11/03/2019*
FF)
*)
*)
21/03/2010*
*S)
Z)
Z)
22/03/2019*
*Z)
Z)
Z)
27/03/2019*
^)
*)
Z@S)
08/04/2019*
FS)
H)
F)
23/04/2019*
US)
F)
*@S)
Subtotal*
217*
10,5*
22,7*
06/11/2019*
FZ)
Z@S)
H)
12/11/2019*
HZ)
F@S)
S)
15/11/2019*
FZ)
`)
*F)
16/11/2019*
S)
Z)
Z)
04/12/2019*
FZ)
Z@S)
F)
11/12/2019*
UZ)
Z@S)
*)
13/01/2020*
cZ)
H)
`)
13/01/2020*
cZ)
H)
`)
17"
"
26/01/2020*
HS)
*)
*)
11/02/2020*
F[)
Z@S)
Z@^)
Subtotal*
317*
19,5*
40,9*
"
From"the"above"table"it"can"be"seen"that"the"rainfall"for"the"second"half"of"the"2018-2019"season"
was"217mm,"with"run-off"from"CA"trial"plots"and"conventional"control"plots"recorded"as"10,5"
and"22,7"litres"respectively."Run"off"in"CA"the"trial"plots"have"been"reduced"by"50%"when"
compared"to"the"conventional"control"plots."This"is"a"significant"reduction,"which"as"been"
mirrored"again"in"the"present"season"with"run"off"in"the"CA"trial"plots"and"conventional"control"
plots"measured"at"19,5"and"40,9"litres"respectively.""
The"overall"run-off"for"both"treatments"is"however"considered"to"be"quite"high"and"further"
improvement"is"still"possible.""Improved"soil"cover"and"soil"and"water"conservation"are"
considered"important"practices."
Below"are"two"graphs"illustrating"the"distribution"of"rain"in"Springvalley,"for"this"season."
Rainfall"in"November"2019"averaged"70mm,"in"December"40mm"and"in"January"2020,"90mm."
In"both"December"and"January,"the"bulk"of"this"rain"occurred"through"only"two"large"rainfall"
events.""Rainfall"in"November"2019"was"spread"more"evenly"across"4"rainfall"events."These"
results"provide"a"good"indication"of"why"the"overall"run"off"in"the"area"is"quite"high;"given"the"
intense,"large"rainfall"events"in"the"area."
"
Progress)per)area)of)implementation)
Introduction'
Planting"for"the"2019/2020"growing"season"commenced"in"the"last"week"of"November"2019,"due"
to"rains"arriving"later"than"expected."Inputs"were"successfully"delivered"in"all"villages;"St"Elios,"
eMazabekweni,"Plainhill,"Ngongonini," Spring" Valley," Ofafa,"and"Madzikane,"as"well"as"the"four"
villages" in" Matatiele." Local" Facilitators" again"played" an" important" role" in" ensuring" that"
participants"were"ready,"with"inputs"provided"and"assisted"in"the"spraying"and"layout"of"trials."
Figure 16: Springvalley rainfall distribution and run off reading; left; November 2019 and right; December January and February 2020%
18"
"
Field"staff"could"easily"attend"to"newer"groups"with"local"facilitators"holding"down"the"fort"in"their"
respective"areas."
Madzikane'(Creighton)'
Mr%Cosmas%Xaba%
Mr"Cosmas"Xaba,"the"Local"Facilitator,"has"continued"with"his"ten"plot"rotation"trial,"which"he"
started"in"the"2018/2019"season."This"design"was"meant"to"provide"for"options"for"production,"
soil"regeneration"and"fodder"production,"also"using"different"planting"methods;"summer"cover"
crop"(SCC),"bean"(B),"lablab"and"maize"only"plots"were"planted"using"the"Haraka"planter,"with"
intercrop"plots"planted"by"hand."Below"is"the"design"from"the"2018/2019"season."This"design"has"
been"rotated"clockwise"with"the"green"block"maintained"for"run"off"measurements."Each"of"the"
plots"is"14m"x"8m",with"the"entire"trial"making"1120m²."
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
%Figure%3:%Mr%Xaba%ten%plot%trial%design%2018/2019%
"
"
"
"
"""
"
"
"
"
Figure%4:%Mr%Xaba%ten%plot%trial%2019/2020%
This" year" we" changed" from" Sahara" ,which" is" a" maize" variety" they"have" been" using" since" the"
beginning"of"the"program"to"PAN"5A"95A"(a"medium"short"-season"variety)."We"had"planted"Gadra"
Maize-beans"
(5)"
Lab"Lab"
(4)(
Maize-cowpea"
(3)"
Maize""
(2)"
Maize"+beans"
(1)"
Control"plot"planted"with"maize"(at"homestead)"
"
SCC"
(6)"
Beans"
(7)"
"
Maize"-cowpea"
(8)"
Summer"cover"
crops"
(9)"
Maize"
(10)"
SCC"
(5)"
Bean"
(4)"
Maize-cowpea"
(3)"
"""""""""SCC"
(2)"
Maize"
(1)"
Maize-beans"
(6)"
Lab"Lab"
(7)"
Maize-cowpea"
(8)"
Maize"
(9)"
Maize-bean"
(10)"
Control"plot"planted"with"maize"(at"homestead)"
19"
"
beans"the"previous"season"and"this"year"we"planted"in"PAN"148"along"with"mixed"brown"cowpeas"
for"the"intercrops."Summer"cover"crops"included"a"mix"of"sunflower,"sunnhemp"and"millet.""
The"Madzikane"farmers"have"been"exposed"to"CA"for"a"number"of"years"prior"to"Mahlathini’s"
program." This" group" of" organized" farmers" belong" to" an" association" where" they" buy" inputs"
together" as" they" are" now" implementing" CA" on" larger" fields." The" introduction" of" the"two-row"
planter"has"proven"beneficial"to"the"smallholders"in"this"group"as"they"efficiently"and"effectively"
make"use"of"inputs"in"the"shortest"time"possible."This"implement"allows"farmers"to"plant"and"
finish"on"time."Below"is"a"picture"of"Simon"Dlamini’s"CA"plot"planted"using"the"two-row"planter."
Here"he"planted"yellow"maize"that"he"will"sell"and"feed"to"livestock."
"
Ofafa''
Phathisile%Ndlovu%
This"is"one"area"that"started"off"with"a"poor"performance"as"a"result"of"shallow"soils"and"poor"
fertility,"with"little"organic"matter"and"extended"dry"periods"with"high"temperatures"and"no"rains."
Trial" performance" has" improved" since" then," with" farmers’" believing" more" and" more" in" the"
process."Phathisile"Ndlovu’s"trial"last"year"did"very"well,"unlike"this"year"where"her"maize-bean"
and"maize-cowpea"intercrop"was"eaten"by"birds."Crows"and"weavers"ate"her"maize"crop"as"it"shot"
out" of" the" soil" and" she" has" had" to" replant" those" basins"leading" to" uneven" growth." Her" beans"
Figure5: Simon Dlamini's CA plot planted using the two row planter%
20"
"
germinated"and"are"growing"very"well."Her"maize-cowpea"plot"though"is"not"doing"as"well,"with"
less"than"2%"of"cowpea"germinating."Her"maize"on"the"maize-cowpea"intercrop"is"also"not"doing"
well" as" birds" feasted" on" it" and" she" has"
replanted" twice" already." This" could"
potentially"be"because"she"planted"very"
early’"on"the"21st"of"November"2019;"and"
not" a" lot" of" people" in" the" locality" had"
planted"as"yet."
Her"control"plot"is"looking"better;"which"
would"make"sense"as"she"planted"it"later."
Her"maize"is"now"above"knee"height"but"
she" will" not" be" top" dressing" it" due" to"
unaffordability." She" also" planted" using"
hand" hoes" with" MAP" as" basal" fertilizer"
applied"through"micro"dosing.""
"
Nyasa%Ndlovu%
Mrs"Ndlovu"is"a"first-year"participant"in"the"2019/2020"season"who"has"been"growing"maize"for"
as"long"as"she"can"remember."Over"the"years"she"realized"that"her"soils"were"slowly"losing"quality"
and"that"she"needed"to"change"how"she"treats"it."She"has"been"ploughing"and"pumping"in"cattle"
manure"in"her"fields."After"visiting"Mrs"Phatheleni"Ndlovu,"a"fourth"year"CA"participant"in"the"
2018/2019"season,"she"couldn’t"believe"the"tall,"dark"green"strong"maize"she"saw."She"was"then"
invited"to"the"meeting"where"she"put"her"name"down"for"the"current"season."Mrs"Ndlovu"planted"
her"trial"on" the" 29th"of" November" 2019" with" the" assistance" of" the" local" facilitator" and" her"
neighbours." On" the" 17th"of" January" we" visited" her" house" and" below" are" pictures" of" her" green"
healthy"maize"with"very"good"germination."Her"maize"is"under"stalk"borer"attack,"decis"has"been"
supplied"for"spraying"against"the"pest."
"
Figure 7: Right; Phatheleni Ndlovu'smiaze-bean plot and left' maize-cowpea plot%
Figure 6: PhathisileNdlovu's control plot%
21"
"
'
'
'
'
'
'
'
'
'
'
Springvalley'
Bonginhlanhla%Dlamini%
Cutworm"was"quite"a"problem"for"our"local"facilitator’s"trial"this"season,"a"lot"of"his"maize"was"
eaten."Together"with"his"wife"they"replanted"basins"where"maize"was"eaten"but"there"was"a"storm"
the"following"day"which"potentially"washed"away"a"lot"of"the"seed."There"is"clear"evidence"of"soil"
washing"down"the"trial"towards"the"fence."In"efforts"to"close"these"spaces"up,"a"winter"cover"crop"
relay"was"sown"in"on"the"15th"of"January"2020"using"the"Haraka"planter"which"would"also"serve"
as"feed"for"the"couple’s"goats,"see"below"snapshot."
Ntombifuthi%Shoba%
Mrs"Shoba"is"a"first"year"participant"who"was"encouraged"by"Letta"Ngubo’s"trial;"a"fourth"year"
participant."She"was"very"much"interested"in"finding"out"how"she"grew"her"maize"yet"she"has"
never"seen"a"tractor"at"her"house."Like"everyone"else"she"couldn’t"picture"digging"up"a"basin"and"
Figure 9: Snapshots from Bonginhlanhla Dlamini's trial%
Figure 8: Mrs Nyasa Ndlovu's trial plot%
22"
"
sowing"seed"and"expecting"food"to"grow."She"was"invited"and"then"joined"in"the"learning"group"
this"season"and"tried"out"the"CA"process"in"her"plot."She"has"three"plots"planted;"one"with"maize-
cowpea" (5m" x" 12m)" and" two" with"maize-beans;" 5m" x12m," 5m" x" 15m;" planted" on" the" 17th"of"
December" 2019" using" hand" hoes." Her" maize" is" looking" very" good" with" god" germination" and"
growth."Her"beans,"however,"is"doing"wonders"with"cowpea"coming"in"behind."She"also"has"a"
control"where"manure"was"broadcasted"and"traditional"seed"planted,"however"that"was"planted"
much"earlier"and"is"approaching"tasseling."Below"are"pictures"of"Mrs"Shoba’s"trial"and"control"
plots.""
'
Emazabekweni'
After" seeing" Mr" Million" Ngubane’s" CA" maize" the" past" season," the" three"new"ladies" in"
Emazabekweni"were"more"than"delighted"to"see"their"CA"plots"germinating"and"growing"so"well"
to" a" point" they" wished" they" had" planted" bigger" pieces." Their" CA" trials" have" germinated" and"
continue"to"grow"well."On"the"29th"of"January"2020,"LAN"and"cover"crops"were"delivered."The"
cover"crops"they"will"plant"by"hand"wherever"there"are"gaps"within"the"plots;"which"is"minimal"
and"in"between"maize"rows."The"ladies"are"very"much"interested"in"the"potential"of"cover"crops"
to"increase"the"health"of"their"soils"for"sustained"maize"production."Mrs"Physllis"Miya"was"excited"
when"she"saw"the"Mahlathini"vehicle"with"field"staff"coming"to"check"on"progress"and"she"couldn’t"
hide"her"excitement."Her"maize"is"looking"healthy"with"exceptionally"good"germination"of"maize"
and" beans." She" however," decided" to" put" cowpeas" in" a" separate" plot" and" these" germinated"
exceptionally"poorly"to"a"point"where"she"over"sowed"the"plot"with"maize."Her"beans"are"doing"
well" very" and" are" close" to" flowering" already." " She" mentioned" that" they" had" a" storm" recently,"
though"she"could"not"remember"the"date,"where"she"thought"all"her"work"had"gone"to"waste"and"
she"would"lose"her"entire"bean"crop."Luckily"the"beans"had"not"flowered"then"and"managed"to"
recover.""
She"had"planted"her"control"using"traditional"seed"she"had"kept"form"the"previous"season."With"
heavy"rains"the"control"plot"grew"with"weeds"also"creeping"in"quickly"taking"up"most"of"the"space"
and" heavily" competing" with" her" crops." Mrs" Miya" then" mixed" up" roundup" with" water" into" a"
knapsack"to"spray"the"weeds;"unfortunately,"her"maize"did"not"survive"the"spray."Despite"the"
Figure 10: Ntombifuthi Shoba; first year maize-bean intercrop%
23"
"
spraying"workshop"held"prior"to"planting,"she"took"a"chance"to"spray"weeds"on"a"plot"with"non-
roundup"ready"seed"which"resulted"in"total"crop"loss."She"has"since"planted"another"plot."
Mrs"Miya’s"neighbour;"Mrs"Shezi;"also"planted"the"CA"trial"for"the"first"time"this"year"and"her"crops"
are" doing" very" well." She" planted" two" maize-bean" plots" and" two" maize-cowpea" plots."
Unfortunately,"upon"monitoring"we"discovered"that"she"doesn’t"have"a"control"plot."Below"is"a"
picture"of"her"plots"taken"on"the"29th"of"January"2020."She"is"also"intending"to"plant"in"winter"
cover"crops"as"a"relay"crop"to"her"maize"and"legume"intercrop."
"
"
"
)
"
)
)
"
"
Sekhutlong''(Matatiele)'
Matsepo%Futu%%
Matsepo"is"still"battling"to"get"good"performance"from"her"trial,"and"this"year"is"not"better"for"the"
grandmother"of"three."The"seed"she"sowed"in"the"first"time"germinated"poorly"and"she"has"had"to"
replant"again."Her"maize-bean"and"maize-cowpeas"intercrop"did"not"do"well"at"all"and"she"has"had"
to"replant"these"as"well."She"ran"out"of"seed"and"ended"up"mixing"yellow"and"white"maize,"hybrids"
and"traditional"seed.""The"handful"of"beans"she"had"left"she"put"in"a"small"block"in"between"her"
Figure 11: from left to right, traditional control maize, trial and control and CA trial plot
Figure 12: Mrs Shezi's CA plot
24"
"
maize."This"made"it"a"bit"difficult"to"monitor"as"she"had"mixed"and"matched"and"also"did"not"plant"
in"basins"and"tramlines."She"also"doesn’t"have"a"control"plot"this"year"but"plans"to"plant"her"entire"
garden"the"coming"season"as"she"looks"to"properly"fence"her"household.""
"
Mamolelekeng%Lebueoa%
Mamolelekeng"has"been"faced"with"soil"borne"fungal"diseases,"leading"to"mycotoxin"presence"in"
her"maize."These"were"drastically"spreading"across"the"entire"field"and"compromised"her"entire"
crop."We"were"to"get"chicken"litter"and"spread"a"thick"layer"of"it"on"the"field"in"an"effort"to"break"
the"cycle"of"the"disease."Sourcing"chicken"litter"proved"harder"than"we"thought"and"as"a"result"we"
do"not"have"any,"she"has"left"her"garden"with"no"crop"in."She"now"plans"to"cultivate"turnips/rappa"
for"the"winter"season"to"further"disturb"the"cycle"of"fungal"growth"and"will"be"planting"in"her"CA"
trial"for"the"2020/2021"season."
Tsoloane%Mapheelle%
This"gentleman"is"still"determined"to"keep"going"with"the"CA"process"on"his"shallow"sandy"soils"
with"poor"organic"matter"content."This"
year,"he"planted"his"seed"by"hand"as"he"
felt"the"animal"drawn"planter"wasn’t"
providing"the"correct"amounts"of"
fertilizer"ad"also"not"depositing"the"seed"
well."He"marked"his"rows"with"lime"using"
a"rope"and"then"opened"those"up"to"put"
in"maize"and"bean"seed,"although"he"
planted"these"in"separate"blocks."His"
crops"germinated"very"well"but"overall"
growth"is"not"so"good",with"his"maize"
looking"pale"seemingly"in"desperate"
need"of"nitrogen."He"is"adamant"that"the"
application"of"LAN"will"be"very"good"for"
his"maize,"LAN"was"delivered"for"him"to"
apply"and"we"will"wait"and"see."
""
Figure14: CA trial for Tsoloane for the 2019/2020 season
Figure 13: Matsepo's plot that has been replanted three times
25"
"
Sikhulumi'
Noluthando%Pili%
Things"seem"to"be"going"very"well"for"Noluthando"Pili,.CA"has"been"responsive"in"her"soils"and"
her"maize"and"beans"seem"to"agree."For"the"past"seasons"her"plot"has"been"doing"better"than"the"
rest"of"the"participants"in"Matatiele,"even"in"dry"periods."She"also"doesn’t"have"as"much"of"a"weed"
problem"at"the"start"of"the"season"when"compared"to"the"other"participants."She"has"been"happy"
with"her"crop"performance"and"of"course"yields."Her"maize-bean"plots"are"looking"very"good"with"
maize" already" tasseling" and"
beans" well" covering" the" spaces"
in" between"the" maize"
suffocating"weeds."She"has"only"
had" to" weed" once" and" she" has"
not"weeded"again"as"her"beans"
are" doing" the" job" for" her;" now"
she" really" appreciates" the" idea"
behind" intercropping." Planting"
in" cover" crops" here" proved" a"
tough"job"and"she"opted"to"put"
them"in"once"her"beans"mature"
and"have"been"harvested."
"
Early)maturing)maize)
varieties)
Mandla"Mkhize"and"Cingeni"Kheswa"in"Ngongonini"and"Cosmas"Xaba"from"Madzikane"sowed"the"
early"maturing"white"maize"variety"PAN"5A"190.They"planted"these"as"additional"plots"to"their"
normal"trials,"somewhat"later"in"the"
season."Mandla"Mkhize"planted"two"
1000m²"plots"of"PAN"5A"190"using"
the" two-row" planter" around"
December"the"13th"of"2019."He"was"
taken"by"surprise"when"maize"grew"
aggressively" fast" and" weeds"
proving"a"problem"to"a"point"that"he"
could" not" apply" LAN" to" the" crops."
When" monitored" on" the" 13th"of"
January" 2020" his" maize" is" already"
tasselling"and" promises" a" good"
yield.""
"
Cingeni"Kheswa"(73)"is"a"third"year"CA"participant"under"the"Ngongonini"learning"group"and"a"
member"of"the"Ikusasalethu"savings"group"in"the"locality."The"main"source"of"income"for"the"
household"is"her"old"age"pension"grant"that"she"buys"shares"at"the"savings"group."
Figure 15: Noluthando Pili's maize-bean intercrop
Figure17:Mandla Mkhize's PAN 5A 190 plots%
26"
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Mrs"Kheswa"planted"both"Colorado"and"PAN"5A"190"intercropped"with"beans"back"in"January."
The" PAN" 5A" 190" plot" is" looking" very" good," with" maize" cobs" already" formed" with" each" stalk"
carrying"more"than"two"cobs"and"some"even"up"to"four"cobs."Beans"are"doing"well"on"both"plots"
but"Colorado"doesn’t"seem"to"be"doing"so"well,"with"poor"germination."She"has"also"had"to"fill"in"
the"gaps"where"maize"was"eaten"by"cutworm."She"is"sold"that"short"term"seed"varieties"promise"
a"better"yield"in"less"time."Below"are"two"pictures"of"her"two"trial"plots,;she"unfortunately"does"
not"have"a"control"plot"to"compare"these"against.""
Stakeholder)forum)and)innovation)platform)
This"is"an"annual"event"held"in"the"Madzikane"Community"Hall"where"stakeholders"meet"and"get"
to"share"information"on"different"projects"as"well"as"experiences"and"this"year’s"attendees"were"
Siyanda"Memela"(Department"of"Agriculture)"Charmaine"Mchunu"(Soils"and"analytical"services),"
Nqe"Dlamini"(StratAct),"Sibusiso"Madiba"(FarmSystems"Research),"Ntokozo"Zulu"(LandCare)"and"
visiting" farmers" from" Ofafa," Ngongonini" and" Plainhill"," as" well" as" around" 60" farmers" from"
Madzikane." The" farmer" to" farmer" sharing" of" information" is" key" to" the" improvement" and"
sustainability" of" livelihoods." This" also" serves" as" a" platform" for" coming" up" with" pro-poor"
collaborations"geared"at"improving"and"sustaining"livelihoods."The"different"organizations"also"
put"together"ideas"on"issues"communities"bring"up"that"hinder"development"such"as"livestock"
control," bulk" buying"of" inputs" and" savings" ect." Stakeholders" come" in" from" different" angles" in"
attempts" to" cure" troubling" communal" situations" with" learning" group" as" leaders" in" their" own"
situations."
For"example,"in"the"2018/2019"season,"the"issue"of"livestock"control"and"poor"grazing"n"winter"
was"raised"as"a"major"issue"in"the"commonages."The"2019/2020"season"saw"attempts"where"
fodder"production"options"were"introduced"on"both"household"and"field"scales"where"fields"are"
continuously" fenced" off" and" these" were" attempts" achieved" only" through" collaboration."This"
platform"has"also"opened"the"collaboration"between"MDF,"the"local"farmers"association"and"the"
soil"science"section"in"Cedara"to"try"out"strip"cropping."Here"farmers"will"be"planting"their"maize"
in"strips"with"strips"of"grasses"that"cattle"will"feed"on"in"winter"to"supplement"the"degrading"
rangelands."
Figure 18: Left, Cingeni's PAN 5A 190 plots; right; her Colorado plot%
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"
Field'visits'
"
Figure19: Participants walking into trial site
The"audience"got"in"vehicles"and"drove"down"
to"look"at"the"trials"in"the"fenced"off"fields."At"
these" fields" was" an" experiment" by" Farming"
Systems" Research" (FSR)" in" Cedara," where"
they"were"trying"out"different"spacing"under"
CA"where"they"maintained"30cm,"50cm"and"
75cm" spacing’s" using" different" maize"
varieties." Here" they" wanted" to" see" crop"
performance"and"weeds"under"the"different"
spacing.""
Alongside"the"FSR"experiment"was"MDF’s"CA"rotation"trial."
The"trial"has"ten"plots"of"MB-M-MC-L-MB-SCC-B-MC-SCC-M"
that" were" rotated" from" the" original" plot" of" M-SCC-MC-B-
SCC-MB-L-MC-M-MB" from" the" previous" season." The"
inclusion"of"cover"crops"was"explained"as"very"beneficial"for"
the" soil" as" they" provide" nitrogen;" reducing" the" need" for"
chemical"fertilizers;"as"well"as"providing"the"much"needed"
organic"content"and"soil"cover."These"cover"crops"may"be"
cut" and" stored" for" livestock" feed" in" the" harsh" winters,"
especially"given"our"degrading"rangelands."
A"few"metres"from"there"was"Mr"Xaba’s"plot"that"he"planted"
using" the" two-row" planter" from"Edenequip." His" plot" has"
perfectly"spaced"lines"with"minimal"to"no"spaces"within"the"
rows.""
When"we"got"to"the"field"there"was"quite"a"discussion"regarding"CA"and"its"applicability"in"rural"
systems." We" talked"about" the" importance" of" retaining" crop" residue" on" the" ground," more"
importantly"now"retaining"the"roots"as"these"play"an"important"role"in"giving"back"some"of"the"
nutrients"used"when"maize"crops"were"growing."Maize"stalks"also"serve"as"a"source"of"organic"
matter"in"the"soil,"improving"fertility"and"soil"structure"for"better"water"holding"capacity."There"
was"than"a"question"of"trade-offs"between"cover"retention"and"livestock"feed;"typical"of"rural"
areas,"maize"stover"is"grazed"by"cattle"in"the"fields"but"this"causes"traffic"and"soil"compaction"
which"is"precisely"what"were"are"working"against."One"of"the"visiting"farmers"from"Ngongonini"
then"suggested"that"the"stover"be"carried"and"grazed"in"the"kraals,"which"gave"MDF"a"chance"to"
talk"about"the"production"of"fodder"as"it"is"quite"clear"that"crop"production"and"livestock"cannot"
be"separated."We"talked"about"options"for"production"of"feed"through;"relay"cropping,"dedicated"
fodder"production"blocks,"strip"cropping"with"fodder"species"and"so"forth.""
"
"
Figure20: Sibusiso Madiba from FSR, explaining his
trial with the farmers
28"
"
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"
Our"last"stop"was"at"Mr"Xaba’s"homestead"where"the"group"got"to"view"and"test"the"different"
implements"placed"in"the"yard."A"lot"of"the"attendees"on"the"day"were"fairly"new"people"and"so"
we" opted" to" start" with" handheld" implements;" the" MBLI" and" the" Haraka"planter." Ladies" in"
particular"were"very"keen"on"trying"out"the"Haraka"as"they"felt"it"was"easy"enough"to"do"bigger"
sized"fields"with"it."The"downside"to"it"they"said,"was"the"fact"it"doesn’t"accommodate"for"fertilizer"
application."Mr"Xaba"mentioned"that"there"was"one"with"two"columns"on"either"side"that"he"saw"
at"the"Land"Care"Biennial"Conference"in"the"Northern"Cape"back"in"2016"and"he"would"be"in"
contact"with"officials"from"Cedara"on"more"information"about"it."We"then"proceeded"to"look"at"the"
two-row" planter." Mr" Mkhize" from" Ngongonini" also" emphasized" the" great" performance" and"
wonders"of"this"implement."Here"the"ladies"said"they"would"rely"on"the"men"for"this"as"they"are"
more"clued"up"on"tractors."We"then"spoke"about"the"thresher"that"Mr"Xaba"purchased"and"the"
importance"of"savings"groups,"which"is"how"he"managed"to"finance"the"thresher."Next"stop"was"
the"boom"sprayer"followed"by"the"four-row"planter"awarded"by"Land"Care."After"all"the"views"and"
discussion"we"then"went"back"to"the"hall"to"listen"to"presentations"and"plan"our"way"forward."
Presentations'
All" stakeholders" present" had" presentations" prepared" which" they" delivered" sparking" engaging"
discussions" with" the" rest" of" the" audience." Temakholo" from" MDF" opened" the" floor" with" her"
presentation"that"spoke"on"the"role"and"importance"of"stakeholder"forums."Ntokozo"Zulu;"Land"
Figure21:Xaba addressing farmers on his trials and the importance of spacing and intercropping
Figure22: Snapshots from thevisit atMrXaba's homestead
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"
Care;"briefly"explained"the"role"of"the"organization"in"terms"of"their"scope"of"work"and"what"it"
entails."She"voiced"out"her"gratitude"as"she"saw"huge"fields"under"CA"with"reduced"erosions"and"
good"soil"management."She"did"stress"the"fact"that"current"dongas"in"the"community"need"to"be"
attended"to"immediately"as"they"threaten"grazing,"crop"production,"river"capacity"and"so"on."MDF"
followed"with"a"presentation"of"results"and"lessons"for"the"three"seasons"of"CA"done"in"the"area"
of"Creighton."Nqe"Dlamini;"StratAct;"talked"to"the"importance"of"agricultural"focused"savings"and"
the" role" these" have" for" rural" livelihoods." Charmaine" Mchunu" from" Cedara" than" closed" off" the"
presentations" with" her" presentation" on" strip" cropping" maize" with" nitrogen" fixing" perennial"
grasses"that"also"serve"as"livestock"feed.""
Village)Level)Savings)and)Associations)
The" three" VLSA’s" in" southern" KZN;" Masibambane" and" Senzokuhle" in" Madzikane"as" well" as"
Ikusasalethu" in" Ngongonini" have" been" getting" on" well" with" their" monthly" savings." The"
Masibambane" group;" the" oldest" of" the" three"groups;" is"getting" ready" for" its" March"share" out"
meeting"with"members"paying"off"loans"in"preparation"for"the"share"out."No"loans"are"being"issued"
at"this"stage.""
The" Ikusasalethu" savings" group" in" Ngongonini" has" generated" interest" from" the" greater"
community"with"another"group"to"be"established"soon."
In"Ofafa"the"process"of"forming"the"village’s"first"group"
is" already" underway." Nqe" Dlamini" (Stract" Act)" and"
Nontokozo"Mdletshe"facilitated"at"introductory"meeting"
held" on" the" 24th"of" January" 20120" at" Mama" Ndlovu’s"
homestead" with" 18" participants" and" four" reporting"
absent."Two"groups"will"be"formed"in"the"village"due"to"
people"staying"far"apart"from"each"other"i.e."lower"and"
upper"Ofafa."Another"resolution"taken"from"the"meeting"
was"that"only"CA"participating"individuals"will"take"up"
VLSA"membership."
"
Figure 23: Snapshot from the Masibambane savings meeting
Figure 24: Nqe addressing the Ofafa interested
savings participants%
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Cooperative)formation)
Learning"groups"have"been"given"the"option"to"formalise"their"groups"into"marketing"and"value"
adding"cooperatives,"in"collaboration"with"Nqe"Dlamini"of"StratAct."Despite"the"poor"performance"
of"these"self-controlling"social"enterprises"there"are"still"benefits"to"their"establishment;"such"as"
owning" and" controlling" decisions," joint" sourcing" of" inputs" and" marketing" as" well"as" sourcing"
funding."These"cooperatives"are"being"registered"on"these"conditions;"the"group"must"be"active"
for"over"a"year,"currently"farming,"have"manifested"social"cohesion"and"have"a"confirmed"market.""
These"co-ops"are"being"set"up",have"proved"themselves"worthy"of"registration"based"on"the"above"
mentioned"criteria."The"co-ops"will"be"producing"and"selling"to"the"Harry"Gwala"Development"
Agency"as"a"central"point"where"the"health,"correctional"services"and"education"departments"will"
source" fresh" produce" as" per" the" RASET" programme." The" Masikhule" Co-operative" based" in"
Madzikane;"Creighton,"has"been"successfully"registered"and"issued"a"certificate."The"Ngongonini"
co-op"is"almost"registered"as"well;"the"co-op"will"be"supplying"beans,"cabbage,"spinach,"tomatoes,"
butternut"and"other"fresh"produce."Upon"registration,"the"co-ops"will"be"regarded"as"independent"
businesses"where"they"will"be"eligible"to"apply"for"funding"to"fund"their"activities"with"MDF"and"
StratAct"assisting"with"the"compliance"side"of"things.""
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