CA-SFIP Maize Trust Presentation

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Optimising the Conservation Agriculture system for non-
commercial and semi-commercial smallholders 2013-2018
Grain-SA Smallholder farmer innovation programme
The Programme
Objectives, strategy, model, process, outcomes
Organisational capacity, beneficiaries
Areas and scale of operation
The CA-SFIP
Goals:
The long-term aims for this project are
to promote the use of CA;
to increase farming production and
profitability,
to improve the natural resource status
and quality allowing sustained crop
production / intensification and
to promote systems for providing
appropriate value chain support.
Goals and Objectives
Objectives:
OBJECTIVE 1; To engage in participatory research related
to the smallholder conservation agriculture farming
system; including aspects of soil health, water
conservation and increased productivity and diversity
using a learning systems approach
OBJECTIVE 2; To increase the sustainability and
efficiency of CA systems in the study areas giving
specific attention to the value chain and incorporation
into the broader agribusiness environment.
OBJECTIVE 3; To strengthen and use different innovation
platforms, as avenues to scale out sustained collective
action and CA practices.
Farmer-centred
Innovation
System
Awareness raising and
Access to Information
Incentives and
Market Based
Mechanisms
On-farm,
farmer-led
Research
Education
and Training
Farmers days,
symposiums, cross
visits, conferences,
popular articles
Subsidies, Village
Saving and Loan
Associations, farmer
centres, group based
access to equipment
and infrastructure
Farmer experimentation;
intercropping, crop
rotation, cover crops,
livestock integration.
Learning groups;
practical
demonstrations,
workshops, field
assessments
Stakeholder interaction,
partnerships, horizontal
and vertical scaling
The CA-SFIP; Programme strategy
The CA-SFIP; Model and Process
Continuous, cyclical
process; exit
possible after
~4years.
Most farmers opt
to continue with
experimentation
Every year they
build on previous
ideas and include
new ones
The only CA research process in SA focussing on smallholders and the
only one that is showing success in adoption.
Academic, government, municipal recognition now starting (Land Care
(Best CSO implementation limited financial support, conferences
(2ACCA, LaRSA, LandCare, No Till club, other stakeholders ( DARD, DSBD,
District and Local municipal farmer and LED forums and structures, DEA)
100% in line with the new CA policy (this model influenced the policy
development process)
oBuilding momentum in scaling out and up (more areas, small and larger
farmers)
oAchieving self sustaining food security status - over time local value
chains. Increased farming and diversification in an area where less and less
farming is happening.
o550 smallholders implementing CA and 3 000 smallholder farmers involved
through learning groups and CA
oImpact on soil health and productivity now obvious including increasing
yields (5 t/ha). Equivalent and even better than yields and soil health in the
commercial CA sector
oIncreased capacity: 4 post graduate studies in process (2PhDs’ -UKZN, 2
Masters- UWC, UP) that can be disrupted. One (agric economics Fort Hare
University and one Honours in CA completed
oOrganisational capacity- 5 dedicated field staff, numerous interns
The CA-SFIP; Position and outcomes
Longer term research
capacity development
is crucial for building
on this ground
breaking work
MDF organisational information
-Board of trustees: Tim Houghton, Desiree Manicom,
Mazwi Dlamini
-NPO (reg No 930051028); NPC (reg No
2016/285787/08). Tax exempt
-Annual budget ~R4,5million
-Auditing and financial accounting: RE Buhr and
associates (registered auditors)
-Reporting: according to project/programme
directives; per deliverables monthly bi-annually,
yearly, mid and end term report
Organogram
Beneficiary groupings
Poverty in rural areas is high (South
Africa)
Production is low, soils infertile, soil and
water erosion is high
The largest beneficiary grouping are also
the poorest and tend to be women
headed households who have limited
access to land, resources and traction
options they farm by hand for the most
part
Most appropriate technology: low
external sustainable agriculture (LEISA)
5% : have slight chance of adopting &
sustaining high input maize systems.
Farmer Typologies
TYPOLOGY A: (2,5million) (72%); Primarily Female
headed, farm for food only, very low incomes
mostly unemployed, access to small plots, no hh
level access to water, lower education levels and no
access to formal markets
Belong to VSLAs, engage in other livelihood
activities
TYPOLOGY B: (250 000) (23%) Male and female
headed, farm for food and sell surplus, slightly
higher incomes, some access to hh level water,
somewhat higher education levels and no access to
formal markets
Belong to VSLAs
TYPOLOGY C: (10 000) (5%) Primarily Male headed,
farm mainly for income, much higher incomes from
employment in hh, good access to water, higher
education levels and access to formal markets.
Belong to cooperatives or farm individually
Levels of income per household per month
R0
-R1999
72%
R2000
-R4999
23%
>R5000
5%
Bergville, 286
Midlands, 82
Southern KZN and
Eastern Cape, 80
CA study areas
Partners: KZNDARD, LandCare, LMs; Umshwati, Ubuhlebezwe, Okhahlamba,
DMs; Umgungundlovu, KwaNalu, StratAct, AWARD, Philakahle, Lima RDF,
Siyazisiza
19 villages,
16 VSLAs,
14 Local facilitators,
4 Farmer centres
2016-2017
Southern KZN
and EC- 108 (79)
4,0 ha trials
Results-CAstudy areas
2017-2018
KZN Midlands-
(75) 82
3,3ha trials
Bergville
(350)286
15,2 ha-trials
2013-2014
Bergville-28,
EC-23
3,2 ha
3 areas,
13 villages,
5 VSLAs,
5 Local facilitators,
I mill, I thresher
3 areas,
9 villages
2 Local facilitators
Implementation
CA , farmer level experimentation, equipment, cover crops
Uptake and adoption, subsidies
Financial analysis
Conservation Agriculture (CA): three principles
Minimal soil disturbance
Diversified cropping
- Intercropping
-Mixed cropping
-Crop rotation
Permanent organic soil cover
-Inclusion of cover crops
-soil cover; residues, mulch
Farmer level experimentation
YEAR 1:
Predefined with the research team:
Close spacing; intercropping, M,B,Cp; micro placement of fertilizer, liming, preplant spray of herbicide..
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
There are options for:
Hand planting: MBLIs’, Matracca and Haraka planters
Animal traction: Nogye rippers and Knapic planters
Tractor drawn planters: two row planters
Learning groups share equipment within and between
groups
Planting larger areas
Growing of CoverCrops
Both summer (SCC) and winter cover (WCC) crop
mixes are grown
SCC; are generally grown as a combination in
rotation with other crops- so in 10x10m plots in
the trials
WCC-are generally relay-cropped into the rows
between maize once beans have been harvested
E.g. 9 of 19 Bergville site villages experiment
(~80 participants)
Progress:
Significant improvement in soil health in rotations
that include cover crops
Keeping of cover crop residues for feeding cattle-
both cut and carry and leaving the cover corps in the
field for grazing into winter
A few individuals around 10 in total - have managed
to harvest and keep seed from the cover crops, both
for purposes of livestock feed (for sunflowers) and for
re-planting the following season.
For soil health and fodder
Winter cover crop mix: Saia oats, fodder rye, fodder radish
Sunflower seed harvested for poultry feed and re
planting
SCC sunflower, millet and sunn hemp
planted together in one plot, in rotation
Sunflowers planted in rotation
Livestock grazing crop residue into winter
Adoption-comparing different models
Model/ approach
Level of Adoption
Researcher managed trials and demonstrations
1%
1 week training, expecting smallholders to implement
5%,
little impact
5%
Learning groups, training on site, expect to implement
35%
adoption, moderate impact
35%
Learning groups + experimentation + socio
-
economic context +
ongoing support
- >50% adoption with high levels of
awareness, understanding, capacity
-building and stronger
institutions
>50%
Uptake of CA
-New participants come on board every year
-There are drop off rates every year , but also recovery rates- as participants stop and
re-start their participation. Contributing factors are
Weather 2015 was a drought year and comparatively few participants planted
The introduction of the subsidy here people withdrew not feeling able to pay, but later re-
joined realising that the subsidy amount was in fact manageable for them
-Overall the number of participants in CA are increasing steadily and the proportion
of participants who continue with CA after their first year is also increasing as
people start to trust the process more. This relates also to the good results those
participants who persevered for 3-4 years have been attaining
This talks to our brief of creating awareness and facilitating learning (capacity
building) around CA to increase adoption
The question we should consider is “how sustainable is this growth in adoption”
Participants are divided into 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year experimenters
Bergville
2013
2014
2016
2017
EC,
SKZN
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
1
st
32
61
75
56
1
st
22
19
22
44
59
2
nd
25
49
118
2
nd
7
5
2
30
3
rd
40
59
3
rd
1
6
4
4
th
15
29
4
th
All these participants are:
Implementing all three
principles of CA,
Involved in intercropping
Improving yields
Including CA into their
overall farming practices.
Saving money and
increasing food security
considerably
Involved in local VSLAs
(Village savings and loan
associations)
Using traditional seed
varieties alongside the
more modern OPVs,
hybrids and GM varieties
promoted.
Trends for 4th and 5th year participants
Sustainability
has been
achieved
2-3,5t/ha
Carbon
sequestered in
CA plots
Input subsidies
Reasoning for subsidy
Participant farmers are expected to pay for their control
plots and after the first year of experimentation pay a
(33%) subsidy towards the input costs for their trial plots.
The subsidy remains in place as long as the farmers
undertake experimentation.
It is considered as an incentive for farmers to continue to
innovate and learn and also to do the ‘right’ thing in
terms of farming in a sustainable manner and
incorporating environmental concerns into their farming
practice.
Size of subsidy
The subsidies have been set at this amount using the following
assumptions:
1. That the household of the smallholder farmer receives around
R2 000/ month income
2. That the smallholder farmer belongs to a VSLA (Village savings and
loan association) or has some other means of saving for inputs and
3. That the smallholder farmer saves a minimum of between R100-
R200/ month for agricultural production (this would include saving
for both their trial and control plots)
This ensures that the subsidies are affordable to even the poorest
participants in the programme
The system is sustainable without the subsidy at the level of food security and local sales, but not
as a commercial operation-as that is presently understood
CA Farmer Led Trial summaries
Midlands
Bergville
EC, SKZN
Season
2017 2013
2014
2015 20162017
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
No of villages
639 11 1718 410 88 13
No of trial participants
42 288373212 259 23
16
43 5493
Area planted (trials)
-ha 1,36 2,87,2 5,913,517,4 0,4 0,30,41,23,6
Average yield maize (t/ha)
2,0 3,7 3,64,15,05,7
0,95
0,7 1,42,52,1
Min and max yield maize
(t/ha)
0,4-7,1 2-4,3 1-
6,7
0,6-7,4
0,3
-
11,7
0,5
-
12,2
0,3
-
1,7
0,3
-
1,8
0,5
-
4,4
1,1
-
5,2
0,2
-
6,7
Average yield beans (t/ha)
0,6 1,2 0,30,81,01,2 1,3 0,30,71,3
0,35
Trial summaries over5 seasons; Bergville, SKZN and EC
Average Maize price 2018:
R2 500/ton
Average input costs: R10 000/ha
Break even yield: 4 t/ha
Average yield:2-5,7t/ha
Average price sugar beans:
R8 000/ton
Average yield 1,16 t/ha
Income potential
Yieldsvary across regions:
Yield ranges depend on
farmers’ practices, soil
quality and weather
conditions.
Ave for “good”
farmers; 7-8t/ha
Incomepotential:~ R8
000 / ha. This cannot
be considered a
commercial scale of
operation-but can
provide a good basis
for a diversified
livelihood
Size of fields
Field sizes depend on a
number of factors
including:
Size of area easily
cultivated by hand
Cash for land preparation
and buying inputs
Land available through
communal tenure system
Amount of production depends on yields, land size, resources, traction
Bergville
SKZN and EC
Midlands
Trial plots
Controls
Trial plots
Controls
Trial plots
Controls
0,1 and 0,04ha
0,13ha
0,01 and 0,04ha
0,053ha
0,04ha
0,052ha
Productivity and sustainability; a financial analysis
-Value to hh as food is 13x more than selling into the commercial value chain
-Diversity serves HH better; food, maize for livestock feed, fodder, beans
*Control yields estimated based on average of control yields/ha
1Value of maize meal has increased yearly; 2013- R6,85/kg, 2014-R7,80/kg, 2015 R8,47/kg, 2016 R10,50/kg, 2017 -R11,25/kg
2Local milling costs around R20/50kg, this has been subtracted from the amount
Bergville
Assume 5,7t/ha
Trial plots
Controls
Total Income
(Trials + Controls)
Input costs
Profits (Income
-
Input costs)
Plot sizes
0,1 and 0,04ha
0,13ha
Ave yields for trials 2015, 2016
(kg/household)
571kg
~500kg*
R2
040
Value commercial (Assume
R2500/ton) (not inclusive of
transport)
R1 430
R1 250
R2 680
R2 040
R640
Value local
selling as kernels
(R3/kg)
R1
713
R1 500
R3 213
R2 040
R1
173
Rand replacement value (value of
maize meal)
1
R5
7462
R5 000
R10 746
R2 040
R8 706
Commercial/conventional
production
1ha
R14 250
R10 000
R4 250
Research results
Participatory monitoring
Environmental indicators; run-off, bulk density, soil health, water productivity
Impact indicators- systemic
Participatory Monitoring & Evaluation
Social indicators:
No of learning groups, VSLAs, farmer experiments,
involvement in open days, forums, cooperatives etc,
learning, knowledge, changes
Economic indicators:
Food security, livelihoods diversification, incomes, cost
of input supplies, cost-benefit analyses(qualitative)
Production indicators:
Yields, germination, growth, fertilizer and agrochemical
use, weed and pest incidence, crop diversification, soil
fertility
Environmental indicators:
Soil health indicators, organic matter, % carbon and
nitrogen, water holding capacity and water balances,
run-off
Social, economic, environmental, production
Farmer involvement: Contracts and baselines, production monitoring
forms, yield measurements, focus groups- review, learning, planning,
open days, reports
CA helps to save money and improves yields
CA reduces water erosion and run-off in the fields
CA reduces wind damage to crops as maize is not blown over, as it is under
conventional tillage
CA increases soil fertility and soil health
CA increases soil moisture and makes the soil soft and more workable
(Thulani Dlamini, Bergville)
Run-off and waterinfiltration
Rainfall
records
Run
-off plots
litres
Date
Maize+
Beans
Maize
Maize+CP
Summer
CC
Trial
ave
Control
Feb-
18
169
35,61
18,53
37,05
35
31,54
57,59
Mar-
18
114,7
7,5
1,52
8,9
7,7
6,04
23,32
Rainfall
records
Percentage rain converted
to runoff
Feb-
18
169
21%
11%
22%
21%
18,75%
34%
Mar-
18
114,7
7%
1%
8%
7%
5,75%
20%
Bulk density of soil not related much to tillage practices (or how long the
plots have been under CA),
Bulk density is slightlylower for SCC plots compared with other plots for
all three participants
This generally indicates the high compaction as well as the high clay
content of soils in the Bergville area but has not negatively impacted
crop growth under CA
Bulk Density
Village
Period
CA
(yrs
)
Name
and
Surnam
e
Control
CT
Control
CA
M
M+B
M+CP
SCC
Average
Ezibomvini
4
Phumelele
Hlongwane
1
,30
1
,
36
1
,38
1
,33
1
,38
1
,28
1
,34
Eqeleni
5
Ntombakhe
Zikode
1
,
35
1
,49
1
,37
1
,32
1
,38
Thamela
1
Mkhuliseni Zwane
1
,14
1
,08
1
,09
1
,07
1
,10
Average
bulk density
1
,27
Dum
azile
Nxus
a
Dum
azile
Nxus
a
Dum
azile
Nxus
a
Dum
azile
Nxus
a
Man
ene
Mkhi
ze
Man
ene
Mkhi
ze
Nom
usu
Shan
du
Nom
usu
Shan
du
Rita
Ngob
ese
Rita
Ngob
ese
Rita
Ngob
ese
Veld M+C
PM+B Cont
MM+B Cont
MM+B Cont
MVeldM+B Cont
M
Mayi
zeka
ne
Mayi
zeka
ne
Mayi
zeka
ne
Mayi
zeka
ne
Mayi
zeka
ne
Mayi
zeka
ne
Mayi
zeka
ne
Mayi
zeka
ne
Gobiz
embe
Gobiz
embe
Gobiz
embe
R value of Org N (R)R241 R213 R216R178 R201 R173 R203 R168 R291 R261 R153
N Immediate release (ppm)22 19 19 16 18 15 18 15 26 23 14
N Short term relsease (ppm)011 5 4 3 6 3 4 0 013
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
350
AvailabilityofOrganicNforthe
Swayimanesoilhealthsamples;2018
Soil health scores for CA plots higher than
conventional plots; and those for M+CP intercrops
are higher than for M+B plots
Microbial respiration, OrganicC and organic N
increases in the CA intercropped plots and are
highest for M+B intercropped plots
Organic N is highest for CA M+B intercropped plots
With savings of R30-R40 in inorganic N per ha over
conventional tillage ( 2nd year of implementation).
This is a ~6-10% saving in input costs
Soil health example: Midlands
0.050.0100.0 150.0 200.0 250.0
Cont M
M+B
Veld
Cont M
M+B
M+CP
Veld
Gobizem
be Mayizekane
Gobizembe Mayizekane
Cont MM+BVeldCont MM+BM+CPVeld
Average of Organic N ppm
N11.810.411.6 8.99.9 13.2 9.6
Average of Organic C ppm
C174.0 152.0 213.0 139.7 137.0 151.0 158.0
Average of CO2 - C, ppm C22.4 41.7107.923.9 28.5 24.2 52.4
Average of Soil health
calculation (new)6.9 8.314.46.4 6.6 6.8 9.4
SoilHealthScoresSwayimane;
2018
Three 5th year participants from Ezibomvini and Stulwane respectively
% OM is highest for SCC plots, followed by M+CP and then M+B
Carbon sequestration in these CA mixed crop plots is between 0,75-1,5t/ha
more than the single crop plots
Overall carbon sequestration is on average around 2-3t/ha for CA plots
Soil health example: Bergville (5th year)
Cont
M+B LablabM+BM+CP MaizeSCCVeldBeans
only M+BM+CPSCCVeld CA Cont
M
Ezibomvini Stulwane
Total 2.9 3.2 3.6 4.5 3.6 5.3 5.8 5.6 4.9 6.0 6.1 7.5 5.0
0.0
2.0
4.0
6.0
8.0
%OM
%OrganicMatter;Bergville2018
Intercropping and use of
cover crops is very
important for building soil
fertility and soil health
Crop rotation aids in
stabilising high soil health
scores over time
The more crops you use
and rotate the better
Having legumes in the mix
speeds up the process
Soil Health Summary
Crop diversity is
crucial
Crop rotation in
combination with crop
diversity supports this
process
Lab-Lab and SCC
provide for very high
organic C and N
values
Lower C:N ratios are
found in crop mixes
that contain legumes
cowpeas, Lab-Lab
Water productivity
Water productivity for mono cropped maize is substantially improved in a crop rotation
system under CA (3-year rotation that includes legumes and a mix of cover crops)
Water productivity for maize and bean intercrops (grain and biomass yield) is higher
than maize produced in a mono-crop under CA
Water productivity for maize and cowpea intercrops (grain and biomass) is lower than
both maize produced in a mono-crop and maize and bean intercrops.
M-CA
trial
M _CA
Control
M+C-
CA Trial
M + B-
CA Trial
M-CA
Control
M + B-
CA Trial
M + B-
CA Trial
M+C-
CA Trial
PH PH PH PH NZ NZ NZ NZ
WP (kg/m3)21.82 35.26 31.74 44.05 10.39 11.49 13.258.59
0.00
5.00
10.00
15.00
20.00
25.00
30.00
35.00
40.00
45.00
50.00
Water Productivty (kg/m3)
WP -Maize (kg/m3)
PH -Phumelele Hlongwane
NZ- Ntombakhe Zikode
M=Maize, B=Beans, C=Cowpeas
M-CA
trial
M _CA
Control
M+C- CA
Trial
M + B-CA
Trial
M-CA
Control
M + B-CA
Trial
M + B-CA
Trial
M+C- CA
Trial
PH PH PH PH NZ NZ NZ NZ
Series1 87 43 64 83 34 21 19 17
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
Biomass kg/m3
Biomass WP -Maize (kg/m3)
PH - Phumelele Hlongwane
NZ- Ntombakhe Zikode
5-6 years: Reduced need for herbicide -no spraying on trial
plots for 2 seasons
Increased organic matter, reduced fertilizer requirements - No
basal fertilizer applied- only top dressing
Reduced runoff
Increased yields and diversity
Bergville: Case study
Phumelele Hlongwane- Ezibomvini
t/ha
2016/7
2017/8
Maize (Control)
-CA
7,8
9,7
Maize Trial CA
- combined
6,93
10,8
Beans
0,25
1,81
Sunflower
0,3
0,8
Social agency
2013 2018
Value chain
2013 2018
Productivity
2013
2018
No of female farmers
89% 83%
Saving for inputs
0% 28%
Intercropping
maize
and beans
0% 92%
No of participants involved
51 533
Reduced labour in CA plots
0% 78%
Intercropping maize and
other legumes
0% 17%
Learning groups (No)
531
Reduced weeding in CA
plots
0% 39%
Crop rotation
0% 20%
Months of food provisioning:
10
-12
7
-9
4
-6
1
-3 100%
15%
38%
39%
8%
Use of planters:
Hand hoes
Hand planters
Animal drawn planters
Tractor drawn planters
97%
3%
26%
69%
5%
0,5%
Covercrops; summer mix
sunflower, millet, sunn
hemp, sorghum
0% 26%
VSLAs (Village Saving and Loan
Associations)
-
% of participants
involved
0% 79%
Local financing of
infrastructure
Threshers
Mills
0
1
1
Covercrops; winter mix
relay cropping
Saia
oats, fodder sorghum,
fodder radish
0% 31%
Sale of crops locally (maize,
beans, cowpeas, sunflowers)
0% 10%
Farmer centres
04
Fodder: provisioning of
livestock through cut and
carry
0% 5%
Innovation platforms; including
external stakeholders
03
Ave maize yield (t/ha)
3,7 5,7
Seed saving
0% 11%
Innovation systems indicators; KZN 2013-2018
Way Forward
Continued focus on longer term research questions
Fodder production and livestock integration
Carbon footprints and sequestration
Productivity
Scaling for commercialisation
Input supply partnerships
Storage and marketing options appropriate for smallholders
Develop a model for broader implementation and expansion; financial
incentives, collaborative project development with potential partners
Build in a feasible exit strategy for farmers involved for >4years
Expand into new areas
Larger professional capacity development focus