Optimising Conservation Agriculture System Madzikane Presentation

Download PDF
GRAIN-SA SMALLHOLDER FARMER INNOVATION PROGRAMME
Optimising the Conservation Agriculture system for non-commercial and semi-
commercial smallholders
2013-2017
February 2017
Adaptive research into CA processes appropriate for smallholder farmers:
looking at the whole value chain; inputs, appropriate tools and equipment,
different production options, storage options, milling, fodder etc
Partnership: MDF, KZN DARD, Lima RDF, Siyazisiza Trust,KwaNalu, StratAct,
Ubuhlebezwe and other Municipalities, LandCare …….
Saving and credit groups and organised farmers, organisations and
cooperatives to work within the whole value chain; inputs- production-
storage- marketing.
Horizontal scaling model starting with a nodal village in each area and
expanding within and between villages:
2013: 3 Villages EC and 3 in Bergville (total trial participants: 50)
2014: 7 villages EC, 9 villages Bergville (Total trial participants: 100)
2015: 8 villages EC, 10 Bergville, 2 Nkandla (total trial participants: 210)
2016: 12 Villages EC; 4 Midlands, 17 Bergville
Farmer volunteers, local facilitators, farmer centres (for each node
surrounded by 3-5 villages close by for input and equipment provision as
well as production advice)
Description of Model and Process
Awareness raising events and farmers days spread across the
regions and including many different stakeholders; research ,
government and agribusiness included
Presentations, at conferences, papers, book chapters,
CA manual
Farmer experimentation linked to larger learning groups using the
Farmer Field School approach. People work together in teams,
belong to savings groups, do bulk buying and support each other
with food and marketing
Awareness raising and community learning
Farmer level experimentation
Year 1: Predefined with the research team:
Choice of planting method; hand hoes, hand planters, animal
drawn planters
Year 2: Choices and options within the same overall design:
Different varieties maize (white yellow, OPV, hybrid)
Different varieties and types of legumes
Early planting
Manure and fertilizer combinations
Targeted fertility regimes and pest control measures
Year 3 +: Own design of experiments by participants :
Intercropping vs crop rotation options
Summer and winter cover crops
Mulching
Organic options
Different herbicide and pesticide spray regimes
Different planting times
As well as options for year 2.
Incremental change in yr 1,2,3
Average Maize
price 2017:
R2 500/ton
Break even yield:
3,9 t/ha
Average yield:
1,4 - 4,2t/ha
Costs of inputs
What does this
mean??
CONSERVATION AGRICULTURE PLOTS, KZN 2016
-2017
0.1= Ha PLOTS
Events
Cost
Costs (0.1ha)
-
2015
Costs 0,1ha
-
2016
INPUTS
ha
lit / kg
( R / kg,l)
Seeds
- maize (PAN
6479)
0,075
25
1
104
R 195,00
R 216,45
Seeds
- drybeans(PAN
148 or
Gadra)
0,05
75
1
42,6
R 159,75
R 177,32
Fertilizer MAP
0,1
250
1
9,2
R 230,00
R 255,30
Fertilizer LAN
0,1
150
1
5
R 75,00
R 83,25
Lime
0,1
1000
1
1
R 100,00
R 111,00
Pesticides (
Decis Forte)
0,1
0,1
3
875
R 26,25
R 29,14
Herbicides: Roundup
0,1
3
2
109
R 65,40
R 72,59
Herbicides: Dual Gold
0,1
1,2
1
250
R 30,00
R 33,30
Summit/surfactant
0,1
0,2
1
296
R 5,92
R 6,57
Input costs per 0.1 ha
R 887,32
R 984,93
Input costs per 1 ha
R 8 873,20
R 9 849,25
We need more
than 4 tons/ha
to make a
profit
Biggest cost is fertilizer…. Even when micro-dosing
Need ways to reduce fertilizer needs
The next cost is seed (Here Hybrid, plus legume)
Carefully weigh up different seed types against other costs and yields.
Labour costs for weeding; ~R250/0,1ha (R50pppd x 5days),
ploughing ~R500/0,1ha
Compare these prices with ploughing and labour for weeding
SEED PRICES
25kg
Pesticides, herbicides
R 141,60
OPV
R 400,00
Fertilizers
R 449,55
Hybrid (generic)
R 1 150,00
Seed
R 393,77
GM
R 2 700,00
Cost summaries; How to deal with rising costs
Not ploughing
saves a lot of
money,
Seed costs
need to be
weighed
against yield
increase
Reduce
fertilizer and
chemical use
to a minimum
Ways to
improve soil
health
Minimal soil
disturbance
Soil cover
Diversity
Right: A 3year old CA
plot with developing
cover
Far right: A ploughed
plot with no soil cover
Insert: Mulching…..
Conservation Agriculture: All three principles
To ensure soil organic matter build up
Improve soil fertility
Improved soil structure and soil health
Reduce prevalence and types of weeds
Management of pests and disease
incidence and severity
Summer and winter mixes used in relay and separately
Crop diversification
Temperature
and moisture
control
Reduces runoff
Increased OM
And close spacing
Mrs Simephi Nkosi- Emmaus Jan 2015 Intercrop and GM mono crop
Mr Mtoleni Dlamini- StulwaneJan 2014 Traditional planting and intercrop
Bangeni Dlamini (49yr old woman): I have learned
that it is possible to plant/ grow crops without
disturbing your soils and get more yields from it.
Thulani Dlamini (50year old man): It is the best way
of planting. I have learnt that it prevents soil erosion
and rehabilitates the soil.
Cupile Buthelezi (43 year old woman): I use less
fertilizerand put detail to everything that I do. The
intercropping has retained much more moisture
compared to the single crops.
Busisiwe Mvelase (32 year old woman):This method
is affordable and provides higher yields. It is also less
work. In the three years that I have been part of CA I
have not bought any maize. I now grow my own.
2015-2016 Planting season Farmers’ Comments- Bergville