Midlands Interim Progress Report

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APPENDIX((((:(KWAZULU-NATAL(MIDLANDS(
PROGRESS(REPORT(
CA#Farmer#Innovation#Programme#(CA-FIP)#for#
smallholders#in#KZN#Midlands.#
Period:#October#2019#-#February#2020#
Farmer&Centred&Innovation&in&Conservation&Agriculture&in&
Midlands&of&KwaZulu-Natal&
&
Compiled)by:)
Erna%Kruger,%Temakholo%Mathebula%and%Hendrik%Smith%
March%2020! !
Project(implemented(by:(
Mahlathini(Development(Foundation!
!"#$#%&'()*#++,-#",%&./0)1"#21##"),("&*3+%3",+)&''#.,%&#'4)
!
!
Contact:!!Erna!Kruger!(Founder!and!Coordinator)!
Address:!2!Forresters!Lane,!Pietermaritzburg,!3201,!KZN!
Email:!info@mahlathini.org!
Cell:!0828732289!
Time!of!operation:!2003-2019!
Legal!status:!NPC!
BEE!status:!!4.!–!Certificate!available.!
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In!collaboration!with:!
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!
!
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Funded!by:!
Contents&
Contents..................................................................................................................................3
Executive summary.................................................................................................................4
Background and Organisational Information...........................................................................5
Key activities: October 2019 to February 2020........................................................................7
Budget.....................................................................................................................................8
Results achieved to date.........................................................................................................8
Overall process......................................................................................................................11
Year 1:............................................................................................................................11
Year 2:............................................................................................................................12
Year 3:............................................................................................................................12
Soil fertility.............................................................................................................................13
Recommendations from the soil fertility sample analysis...................................................16
Progress per area of implementation.....................................................................................16
Progress per area of implementation.....................................................................................17
Demonstration CA trials: Gobizembe.................................................................................17
Cover Crop Demonstration.............................................................................................18
Demonstration CA trial: Ntabamhlophe..............................................................................19
Demonstration CA trials: Mayizekanye..............................................................................20
CA demonstration trials: Ozwathini....................................................................................22
Ozwathini Strip Cropping Demonstration...........................................................................23
Demonstraiton CA trials: Impendle....................................................................................25
Introduction.....................................................................................................................25
Crop Growth Monitoring.........................................................................................................26
eMapanekeni......................................................................................................................26
Ntwasahlobo...................................................................................................................27
Cornfields...........................................................................................................................29
Farmer Innovation Platforms................................................................................................. 30
Ozwathini Open Day; Cover crops.....................................................................................30
!
Executive&summary&
The!KZN!Midlands!programme!is!in!its!fourth!year!of!operation,!expanding!on!the!model!and!
process!piloted!in!the!Bergville!area.!Communities!targeted!in!this!season!are:!
Swayimane!(3rd!year)!–!4!learning!groups!
Cornfields!(4th!year)!–!1!learning!group!
Appelbosch!(2nd!year)!–!3!learning!groups!
Tabamhlophe!(2nd!year)!–!1!learning!group!
Impendle!(1st!year)!–!1!learning!group!
The!total!number!of!participants!in!learning!and!awareness!raising!events!were!142!(Ozwathini!
and!Ntabamhlope)!and!the!total!number!of!farmer!level!trials!implemented!increased!from!85!in!
2018-2019!to!192!in!2019-2020.!
Season!preparation!began!in!September!with!CA!introductory!meetings!in!new!areas!as!well!as!
the!collection!of!repeat!soil!fertility!(6!participants)!and!soil!health!samples!(4!participants).!A!
rain!gauge!and!run-off!pans!have!been!installed!for!1!household!in!Gobizembe!(Swayimane).!
!
This! was! then! followed!by! spraying! workshops! which! were! conducted! in! Impendle! and!
Ntabamhlophe! as! herbicide! spraying! is! required! prior! to! planting.! Planting! commenced! from!
mid-November!to!the!16th!of!January!and!has!been!completed!across!all!areas.!The!rains!have!
been! fairly! abundant! this! season! as! it! has! been! raining! consistently! since! November,! making!
planting!a!fairly!easy!process!with!many!farmers!being!optimistic!about!how!the!season!will!turn!
out.!
And!Open!day!was!held!in!Ozwathini,!focused!on!cover!crops,!with!inclusion!of!local!and!regional!
stakeholders,!towards!the!end!of!September!2019.!The!strip!cropping!demonstration!trail!with!
perennial!fodder!species!was!held!in!Ozwathini,!in!association!with!KZNDARD!in!January!2020.!!
Figure 1: Collections of soil fertility and soil health samples in Mayizekanye and
Gobizembe in September
Background+and+Organisational+Information+
Mahlathini! Development! Foundation! (2003-20120)! 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!
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!
!
!
The!adaptive!trials!are!also!used!as!a!focus!point!for!the!broader!community!to!engage!through!
local!learning!events!and!farmers’!days.!Stakeholders!and!the!broader!economic,!agricultural!and!
environmental!communities!are!drawn!into!these!processes!and!events.!Through!these!events!
5''#.,%&#') !+,%6#"$7) 85!79!are! developed! for! cooperation,! synergy! between! programmes! and!
development! of! appropriate! and! farmer! led! processes! for! economic! inclusion.! These! IPs! also!
provide!a!good!opportunity!to!focus!scientific!and!academic!research!on!the!‘needs’!of!the!process.!
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In!this!season!(2019-2020)!we!have!focused!on!the!following!elements!of!the!model,!namely:!!
a)Support!farmers!in!their!1st!to!4th!seasons!of!implementation!
b)Intercropping!and!crop!rotation!
c)Late!season!planting!of!beans!
d)Summer!cover!crops;!sunflower,!Sunnhemp,!Babala,!Dolichos!beans!
e)Continuation!with!experimentation!with!winter!cover!crops,!including!new!species!
requested!by!farmers!(Lucerne,!clover,!turnips)!
f)Introduction!of!strip!cropping!with!perennial!fodder!species!as!an!implementation!
option!
g)Expansion!of!use!of!two-row!CA!planters!for!larger!fields!
h)Continued! support! for! VLSAs! (Village! savings! and! Loan! associations)! and! small!
business!development!training!for!these!participants!and!
i)Initiation!of!nodes!for!farmer!centres!that!can!offer!tools,!input!packs!and!advice!!
!
Key&activities:&October&2019&to&February&2020&
This!season,!along!with!the!preferred!maize!varieties,!SC701!and!PAN6479,!three!short!season!
varieties!are!being!tried!out,!in!villages!where!late!planting!has!been!necessary!due!to!late!onset!
of! rain! and! variable! rainfall.! These! varieties! are! PAN3A-173!(ultra-early! white),! PAN! 5A-291!
(medium!early-!white)!and!PAN!5A-190!(medium!early-!yellow).!
Two! row! planters! are! now! available! in! both! Swayimane! (shared! by! 4! learning! groups)! and!
Ozwathini!(shared!by!one!large!learning!group).!Sessions!have!been!held!to!ensure!the!correct!
operation!and!maintenance!of!these!planers!and!the!extension!staff!from!KZNDARD!have!been!
brought!in!to!assist!in!this!regard.!
A!seasonal!thematic!focus!on!cover!crops!was!kick!started!in!Ozwathini!with!an!open!day!that!
involved!members!of!all!the!Midlands!learning!groups,!KZNDARD,!LandCare!and!AGT!Foods.!This!
aspect!is!crucial!for!soil!fertility!and!soil!health!improvement,!soil!erosion!control!on!the!steeper!
slopes!and!livestock!integration.!Interest!in!the!use!of!cover!crops!has!increased!dramatically!
within!the!learning!groups!in!the!Midlands,!due!to!early!positive!results!obtained!by!the!handful!
of! participants! who! have! tried! this! to! date.! The! strip! cropping! farmer! level! experimentation!
process!with!perennial!fodder!species!(such!as!Lespediza,!Bahia!grass!(Paspalum)and!Catstail!
grass!(Digiteria)),!is!part!of!this!focus.!
Participants!numbers!in!existing!learning!groups!in!Swayimane!and!Ozwathini!have!increased!
dramatically!in!this!season.!The!partnership!with!Lima!RDF!in!Ntabamhlophe!(Estcourt)!has!been!
continued! and! strengthened! through! direct! involvement! of! LandCare! in! this! area! and! a! new!
partnership!has!been!initiated!with!the!INR!(Institute!of!Natural!Resources)!in!Impendle!as!part!
of!an!initiative!to!pilot!soil!and!water!conservation!practices!in!the!catchment!
!
The! Cornfields! (Estcourt! area)! focus! has! continued,! despite! the! understanding! both!in! the!
community!and!by!the!facilitators!that!this!is!likely!a!very!marginal!area!for!maize!production-!
due!to!climatic!conditions!and!extremely!poor!soils!in!the!area.!The!learning!group!members!have!
continued!to!do!the!best!they!can!manage,!under!the!circumstances.!
Budget&
The!budget!set!aside!for!the!1st!six-!month!period,!according!to!the!overall!work!plan!is!R322!415.!
Actual!expenditure!for!the!last!five!months!has!been!R344!325.!!!Despite!limited!over-expenditure!
in! this! period,! the! overall! programme! is! on! track! and! the! budget! is! deemed! sufficient! for!
completion!on!target!in!September!2019.!A!once-off!lump!sum!of!R98!000!was!paid!to!Soil!Health!
Solutions!for!soil!sample!analysis.!
The!figure!below!outlines!the!budget!and!expenditure!to!date.!
Figure 2: Budget and expenditure for Oct2019-March 2020 on the Midlands project
!
Results&achieved&to&date&
Ten!learning!groups!have!been!supported!under!this!process.!Training/learning!workshops!have!
been!conducted!for!the!following!topics:!
How!to!implement!CA:!introduction!to!the!principles,!soil!health,!crop!diversification!
and!different!planting!options!for!CA!
Working!with!herbicides!and!knapsack!sprayers:!information!on!different!herbicides,!
their! uses! and! safety! measures,! as! well! as! operation! of! knapsack! sprayers,! protective!
clothing,!etc.!
Trial!plot!layout!and!planting!using!different!CA!planting!equipment!such!as!hoes,!MBLI!
planters,!and!animal!drawn!not!till!planters.!
Top!dressing!and!pest!control!measures!for!mid-season!growth!of!crops!and!planting!
of!cover!crop!mixtures!where!people!have!been!interested!in!this!option!
The! learning! groups! provide! the! innovation! platforms! also! for! discussion! of! the! value! chain!
issues,!such!as!bulk!buying,!harvesting,!storage!and!milling!options!and!marketing.!!
The! table! below! outlines! activities! related! to! objectives! and! key! indicators! for! the! period! of!
October!2019-February!2020.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Table 1
:'SUMMARY&OF&PROGRESS&(OCTOBER&2019-&FEBRUARY&2020)&RELATED&TO&OBJECTIVES&AND&KEY&ACTIVITIES!
BUDGET EXPENDITURE
Milestones/
Outputs
Key activities
OUTCOMES/
DELIVERABLES
Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb March
S
e
p
Actual expenditure per
budget item
Pd grainSA
Administraiton
and sundries
travel accommodation,
admin, publications,
monitoring and evaluation
R74 400,00R11 183,86R54 193,37R20 000,00
Farmer centred
innovation
systems
farmer experimentation,
researcher managed
experimentation, savings
gorups, farmer centres…
R308 558,00R20 698,00R30 352,00R50 366,00
Research
trials, soil health and soil
fertility, monitoring and
evaluations
R112 800,00R31 740,40R20 269,57
Innovation
platforms
Stakeholder meetings,
platform building and events
R41 600,00R6 861,31
R63 622,26R84 545,37R0,00R97 496,88R98 660,00
R537 358,00R84 572,00R89 091,00R37 188,00R37 188,00R37 188,00R37 188,00
Workplan budget Oct-SeptR322 415,00
R173 663,00
R210 851,00R248 039,00R285 227,00R322 415,00Actual R344 324,51
Sub - TOTAL: Oct 2019-Sept2020
INVOICES
Farmer
experimenta
tion
KZN Midlands Milestones: Farmer Centred Innovation in CA. October 2019- September 2020
Objectives)
Key)activities)
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)
Number of areas of operation
2
5
Number of villages active
12
10
No of local facilitators
6
6
No of direct beneficiaries; farmer level
experimentation
120
204
Fodder trials with KZNDARD
2
2
Stakeholder Events
3
1
Value chain support
Not defined
1x new VSLA
Articles, conferences
1-3 of ea
1 book chapter
Soil fertility samples
90
32
Soil health samples
84
67
The!table!below!summarises!farmer!level!CA!trial!implementation!for!the!2019-2020!planting!
season.! A! total! of! 204!trial! participants! have! planted! trials! this! season,! ! showinga! significant!
upswing!in!interest!!!
Table 3
:&SUMMARY&OF&FARMER&INNOVATION&NUMBER&AND&AREAS&PLANTED&PER&VILLAGE&IN&THIS&CA&PROCESS;&KZN&MIDLANDS,&
2019-2020"
Area)
Village)
2016)
2017)
2018))
2019)
Experi-
mentation)
Comments;)
incl)planters)
used.)
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TOTAL!
9!
26!
41!
82!
204!
!
!
Overall&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:!
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!system)!
Mixture!of!basin!and!row!planting!models!!
Use!of!no-till!planters!(hand!held,!animal!drawn!and!tractor!drawn)!
Use! of! micro-dosing! of! fertilizers! based! on! a! generic! recommendation! from! local! soil!
samples!!
Herbicides!sprayed!before!or!at!planting!only!
Decis!Forte!used!at!planting!and!top-!dressing!stage!for!cutworm!and!stalk!borer!
Planting!of!cover!crops;!summer!and!winter!mixes!
Experimental!design!includes!2!treatments;!planter!type!(2)!and!intercrop!(2).!See!the!diagram!
below.!
Figure 3: Example of plot layouts for the 1st level 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.!
For!the!tractor!drawn!two!row!planter!the!layout!has!been!adapted!to!incorporate!both!close!
spacing!and!inter!cropping.!Rows!are!planted!with!the!following!order!and!spacing;!Maize-50cm!
-Beans-25cm-Beans-50cm!Maize!
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,!inclusion!of!short!season!maize!
varieties!
A!number!of!different!options!for!legumes!(including!summer!cover!crops)!
Planting!method!of!choice!
Comparison!of!single!crop!and!intercropping!planting!methods!
Use!of!specific!soil!sample!results!for!fertilizer!recommendations!
Early!planting!
Own!choices!!
Year%3:%
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.!
PLOT 1: Hand HoePLOT 2: Planter
Maize1, bean1Maize2, Bean 1Maize1, bean1Maize 2,Bean 1
Maize1, Bean 2Maize 2,Bean2Maize 1,Bean2Maize 2,Bean 2
PLOT 3: OR repeat plot 1 and 2PLOT4:
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
Farmers!design!their!experiments!for!themselves!to!include!some!of!the!following!potential!focus!
areas:!
Early!or!late!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!OPVs,!hybrids!and!GM!seeds;!inclusion!of!short!
season!maize!varieties!
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!4!participants!from!Swayimane!(Mayizekanye1,2,3!
and!Gobizembe.!The!results!are!summarised!in!the!figures!below!
!
!
(NOTE:!RT=repeat!CA!trial!plot!and!RC=!Repeat!Control!plot)!
Figure 4: Soil fertility results for 2017,2018 and 2019 for 3 participants form Mayizekanye
!
From!the!figure!above!for!Mayizekanye,!the!following!points!can!be!made:!
!
The! pH! of! the! CA! trial! plots! and! the! conventional! control! plots! have! remained! similar!
across!the!three!seasons!
The! acid! saturation! percentage! in! the! CA! plots! has! decreased! significantly! (23,6%!to!
8,8%),!while!that!in!the!control!plots!has!increased!slightly!from!18,2%!to!20!%.!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!options!used!in!the!CA!
trial!plots!
The!percentage!of!N!in!the!CA!trial!plots!has!decreased!from!0,20%!to!0,11%!while!the!
conventional! control! plots! have! seen! a! reasonably! significant! increase! from! 0,09%!to!
0,17%.!!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.!These!results!
can!not!easily!be!explained!when!considering!the!cropping!options!and!system!–!as!the!
CA! trial! plots! have! been! intercropped! with! legumes! and! cover! crops,! which! should!
increase!the!available!N!and!the!control!plots!have!not.!
The!percentage!organic!carbon!is!similar!for!both!the!CA!trial!plots!and!the!conventional!
control!plots!at!2,28!%!and!2,24%!respectively.!!The!lower!%organic!C!for!both!the!CA!
and!conventional!plots!in!2018,!when!compared!to!2017!and!2019,!is!most!likely!a!result!
MAYI MAYI MAYI MAYI MAYI
2017 2018 2018 2019 2019
RT RC RT RT RC
pH 4,40 4,28 4,36 4,66 4,25
N (kg/ha)65,30 68,00 70,00 68,00 68,00
P (kg/ha)33,00 28,00 26,67 21,00 22,00
K (kg/ha)2,002,000,8312,00 12,00
Lime (t/ha)2,30 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,25
MAP (50kgbags/ha)2,70 2,54 2,54 1,90 1,98
LAN (50kg bags/ha)3,10 3,86 4,05 5,00 5,00
Org. C %2,10 1,50 1,73 2,28 2,24
N %0,20 0,09 0,11 0,13 0,17
Acid sat (%)23,60 18,17 16,678,8020,00
0,00
10,00
20,00
30,00
40,00
50,00
60,00
70,00
80,00
Axis Title
Mayizekanye 1,2,3 soil fertility repeat smaples or 2017-2019
of!the!environmental!conditions!(late!onset!rain!with!hot!dry!conditions!mid-!season)!and!
not!due!to!the!cropping!system!used.!
Fertilizer!requirements!for!the!CA!trail!and!conventional!control!plots!are!equivalent!for!
N!(68kg/ha),!P!(21!to!22kg/ha)!and!K!(12kg/ha).!
In! summary! there! is! very! little! discernible! difference! between! the! CA! trial! plots! and! the!
conventional!control!plots!in!terms!of!soil!fertility!parameters!in!Mayizekanye.!Participants!are!
not! paying! enough! attention! to! increasing! soil! cover! in! their! CA! experiments! and! are! also!
reluctant!to!undertake!the!close!spacing!suggested.!They!tend!to!remove!weeds!from!the!fields!
and!are!thus!losing!many!of!the!benefits!CA!can!provide!for!their!cropping!system.!
!
(NOTE:!RT=repeat!CA!trial!plot!and!RC=!Repeat!Control!plot)!
Figure 5: Soil fertility results for 2017,2018 and 2019 for 31participant from Gobizembe
For! this! participant,! the! results! for! the! different! soil! fertility! parameters! for! her! CA! trial! and!
conventional! control! plots! are! very! similar.! The! difference! seen! in! the! 2018! results,! when!
compared!to!2017!and!2019!are!is!most!likely!a!result!of!the!environmental!conditions!(late!onset!
rain! with! hot! dry! conditions! mid-! season)! and! not! due! to! the! cropping! system! used.! This!
participant!also!has!not!paid!enough!attention!to!the!factors!in!the!CA!cropping!system!which!
would!improve!these!parameters;!namely!soil!cover,!inter-cropping!and!close!spacing.!
GOB GOB GOB GOB GOB
2017 2018 2018 2019 2019
RT RC RT RT RC
pH 4,30 4,21 4,31 4,26 4,10
N (kg/ha)64,00 70,00 70,00 60,00 60,00
P (kg/ha)38,00 25,00 30,00 20,00 20,00
K (kg/ha)12,0027,500,0085,00 107,50
Lime (t/ha)3,40 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
MAP (50kgbags/ha)2,90 2,25 2,70 1,80 1,80
LAN (50kg bags/ha)2,90 4,10 3,95 3,60 3,60
Org. C %2,50 2,15 1,45 4,10 3,80
N %0,20 0,11 0,09 0,30 0,26
Acid sat (%)30,00 11,67 18,00 27,50 26,50
0,00
20,00
40,00
60,00
80,00
100,00
120,00
Axis Title
Gobizembe repeat soil samples 2017-2019
In! general,! for! Swayimane! (Mayiekanye! and! Gobizembe)! attention! will! need! to! be! given! to!
provision! of! K! in! the! generic! fertilizer!regime,! as! thus! far! only! MAP! and! LAN! have! been!
recommended.!!
Recommendations,from,the,soil,fertility,sample,analysis,
1.Ways!in!which!to!preserve!and!build!soil!carbon!are!important!in!this!area!(which!has!a!
high!potential!for!loss!of!organic!carbon):!!
a.Mulching!with!weeds!is!very!important!in!this!system!
b.Mulching!with!cut!grass!or!other!organic!matter!if!possible!
c.Ensuring!canopy!cover!as!early!in!the!season!as!possible!–!thus!close!spacing!
d.Introducing!a!large!diversity!of!crops!as!early!as!possible,!especially!legumes.!
e.Inclusion!of!manure!in!the!system!
2.Reduce!synthetic!fertilizers!over!time!!
3.Ensure!legumes!are!a!central!component!of!cover!crop!and!rotation!options.!
4.Cowpeas! are! an! important! inclusion! in! the! intercropping! process-! showing! ability! to!
increase!organic!C!and!N!substantially,!in!the!short!term.!
Progress&per&area&of&implementation&
Most!of!the!planting!demonstrations!had!a!good!attendance!and!participants!showed!interest!in!
what!was!taking!place.!Across!the!different!areas,!Swayimane!planted!maize!SC701,!Impendle!
planted! Pannar! 6479! and! Cornfields! and! Ntabamhlophe! planted! PAN! 53.! ! In! terms! of! beans,!
Swayimane,! Impendle,! Cornfields! and!
Ntabamhlophe!participants!planted!PAN!9292!
and! Gobizembe! farmers! planted! PAN! 148.!
Summer! cover! crops! were! distributed! mainly!
in! Swayimane,! Ntabamhlophe! and! Cornfields!
and! the! team! is! planning! to! distribute! winter!
cover!crops!in!Impendle.!!
Since!most!of!the!groups!in!Midlands!plant!in!
January,! monitoring! is! still! to! be! carried! out,!
primarily! in! Swayimane! and! Ozwathini.!!
Monitoring!has! been! done! in! Impendle,!
Cornfields!and!Ntabamhlophe!and!a!total!of!34!
crop!growth!monitoring!forms!have!been!filled!
out.!In! the! areas! that! have! been! visited,! the!
overall! germination! of! maize! was! good,! but!
beans!were!not!performing!well,!possibly!due!
to! the! heat.! The! challenges! with! beans! were!
mainly! low! germination! and! poor! growth.! A!
few! participants! had! good! germination! of!
maize,!beans!and!cowpeas.!Different!soil!characteristics!could!also!be!a!possible!reason!for!the!
mixed!results!when!it!comes!to!legumes.!The!cover!crops!were!growing!fairly!well!in!most!areas!
visited!by!the!team.!!
Table!4!below!is!a!summary!of!inputs!distributed!in!the!different!areas.!!!
Figure6: Delivery andDecanting of Inputs inGobizembe and
Mayizekanye
Table 4:Summary of inputs distributed in the different areas
&
Progress&per&area&of&implementation&
Demonstration,CA,trials:,Gobizembe,
The!Gobizembe!learning!group!is!always!the!first!to!plant!in!Swayimane!area.!It!started!off!with!
10!members!and!has!increased!to!19,!with!the!additional!participants!joining!this!season.!The!
group!has!had!challenges!in!the!with!low!yields!in!the!past!two!years,!especially!for!maize!which!
is!their!staple!food.!As!a!result,!some!requested!to!thin!out!the!maize.!The!demonstration!was!
conducted!at!Mrs!Zondi’s!house,!where!each!participant!also!collected!their!inputs.!The!trial!was!
400!m2!in!size!and!included!maize,!beans!and!cover!crops!as!Mrs!Zondi!requested!not!to!plant!
cowpeas!this!year!as!she!does!not!use!them,!especially!since!she!does!not!own!any!livestock.!The!
plots!were!10!by!10!metres!in!size,!with!two!plots!of!maize!and!beans,!one!plot!of!maize!and!mung!
beans!and!one!plot!of!the!cover!crops!on!their!own.!The!cover!crop!mix!consisted!of!sunflower,!
sunhemp,!millet!and!mung!beans!which!were!added!to!the!mix.!The!first!two!plots!were!planted!
using!the!hand!hoe,!the!third!plot!was!planted!with!the!hand!hoe!(to!make!basins!for!maize)!and!
the!haraka!planter!was!used!for!the!cover!crops.!The!fourth!plot!was!planted!using!the!haraka!
planter.!Planting!went!fairly!quickly!and!all!four!
plots!were!completed!as!the!group!was!already!
familiar!with!planting!trials.!The!plot!layout!is!
indicated!in!the!diagram!alongside.!
!
Area!!
No!of!
Participant
s!!
2019!
No!of!
Participants!
!2020!
Lime!!
Maize!
Beans!!
Cowpeas!
Herbicid
e!
Protective!
clothing!!
Mayizekanye"
24"
43"
Yes"
PAN"
SC701"
PAN929
2"
Mixed"
Brown""
Round"
Up/Gram
oxone"
No"
Gobizembe""
10"
19"
Yes"
PAN]"
SC701"
PAN"148"
Mixed"
brown"
Round"Up"
No"
Cornfields"
10"
13"
No"
PAN"
6479"
PAN"
9292"
Mixed"
Brown"
Gramoxo
ne"
Yes"(mask,"
goggles,"gloves)"
Ozwathini"
15"
44"
Yes"
(supplied"
by"
DARD)"
PAN"
SC701"
PAN"
9292"
Black"
eyed"
Springbo
k"
(supplied"
by"DARD)"
No"
Impendle"
0"
40"
No"
PAN"
6479"
PAN"
9292"
Black"
eyed"
Round"Up"
Yes"(protective"
clothing,"
goggles,"masks,"
gloves)"
Ntabamhlophe"
"
"
29"
Yes""
"
PAN"148"
Black"
eyed"
Round"Up"
"
Loskop"
"
16"
"
"
"
"
"
"
TOTAL!
59!
204!
!
!
!
!
!
!
M+B(
M+((
Mung(beans(
M+B(
SCC(
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
Cover%Crop%Demonstration%
Mrs!Xasibe!is!a!third!year!CA!participant!who!also!keeps!livestock!in!the!form!of!cattle,!goats!as!
well!as!pigs.!She!expressed!interest!in!trying!out!some!fodder!crops!for!her!livestock!as!feed!is!
becoming!increasingly!expensive.!
!
Initially,!planting!was!to!take!place!in!November!2019!but!due!to!time!constraints!it!was!not!so,!
and!also!subsequent!to!spraying!Gramoxone!it!rained!heavily!thus!making!it!difficult!to!proceed!
with!planting.!This!year,!planting!took!place!on!the!9th!of!January.!
!
The!plot!was!demarcated!into!three!plots!of!10!by!10!meters.!Plot!one!was!divided!into!two!10!by!
5!m!plots!of!summer!cover!crops!with!lime!and!summer!cover!crops!with!animal!manure.!Lucerne!
and!turnips!with!lime!and!Lucerne!and!turnips!with!animal!manure!were!planted!in!plot!2.!Beans!
were!planted!in!the!remaining!bottom!part!of!the!plot.!In!plot!3,!four!rows!of!maize,!four!rows!of!
beans,!four!rows!of!summer!cover!crops!and!four!rows!of!cowpeas!were!planted!with!lime!and!
animal!manure.!!The!plot!layout!is!shown!below!
!
!
!
PLOT(1(
PLOT(2(
PLOT(3(
SCC((
(lime)%
Lucerne(+turnips((
(lime)%
4(rows(maize(
4(rows(beans(
4(rows(SCC(
4(rows(Cowpea(
(Lime%and%animal%
manure)%
SCC((
(manure)%
Lucerne+(turnips((
(animal%manure)%
Beans(
%(animal%manure)%
Figure7: Planting demo in Mrs Zondi's field, (left) scc, centre (opening of planting basins and rows for maize
and mungbeans), right (maize and bean plot)
!
Demonstration,CA,trial:,Ntabamhlophe,,
The!planting!demonstration!in!Ntabamhlophe!was!conducted!at!the!end!of!November!and!was!
attended!by!25!participants.!The!area!was!demarcated!into!three!plots!of!maize!and!beans,!maize!
and!cowpeas!as!well!as!summer!cover!crops.!The!session!was!conducted!by!Tema!together!with!
Lindelwa! and! Nkosinathi! from! Lima.! Plot! one! was! planted! using! the! hand! hoe,! plot! two! was!
planted!with!the!MBLI!planter!and!plot!three!was!planted!with!the!haraka!planter.!Each!plot!was!
100! m2!in! size.! It! was! explained! to! the! participants! that! spacing! for! maize! is! 50! cm! and! 25!
centimetres!for!beans!and!that!basins!are!opened!in!a!zig!zag!manner.!Both!lime!and!MAP!were!
added! to! each! plot! using! micro-dosing! before! the! seed! was! sown.The! total! area! planted! was!
300m2.!The!session!went!well,!especially!with!the!MBLI!planter!as!the!farmers!took!to!it!very!!
quickly!and!said!they!would!continue!to!use!it.!Surprisingly,!most!were!not!keen!on!using!the!
haraka! and! said! it! was! a! bit! heavy! to! push! around.! !The! plot! layout! is! shown! in! the! diagram!
alongside.!
!
!
!
M+B!
M+C!
SCC!
Figure8: left (Ntokozo planting scc with haraka), center (Lucerne and turnip plot), right (adding lime to scc plot
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
Demonstration,CA,trials:,Mayizekanye,,
Mayizekanye!farmers!commenced!planting!on!the!7th!of!January!2020.!The!initial!proposed!date!
was!23!December!but!they!postponed!as!the!tractor!driver!was!not!available.!Planting!took!place!
on! the! 7th!and! on! the! 14th!of! January.! The! first! planting! demonstration!was! conducted! on!
Dumazile,!Khonzephi!and!Thembeni!Nxusa’s!field!and!they!opted!to!only!plant!maize!and!beans!
this!year,!together!with!a!cover!crop!mix!to!be!added!in!the!first!week!of!February.!Their!reason!
for!not!planting!cowpeas!was!that!they!do!not!use!them,!and!thus!prefer!to!plant!something!they!
can!sell.!All!three!groups!were!requested!to!join!the!demonstration.!
!!
Planting!took!place!on!both!the!!CA!trial!and!!the!CA!control!plot.!In!the!trial,!the!planter!was!set!
on!low!range!gear!setting,!on!6th!gear!which!was!0.43!m!intra-row!spacing!for!maize;!and!on!3rd'
gear!for!beans!which!was!0.30!m!inter-row!spacing.!The!inter-row!spacing!was!60!cm!for!maize.!
The!fertiliser!flute!was!set!at!the!low!release!setting!for!the!trial!where!maize!and!beans!were!
planted!and!high!release!setting!for!the!control,!where!only!maize!was!planted.!Both!lime!and!
fertiliser!were!mixed!together!during!planting.!The!demonstration!included!a!short!explanation!
of!how!the!planter!works!in!terms!of!adjusting!of!seed!plates,!planting!depth,!fertiliser!settings,!
maintenance!etc.!Prior!to!planting!Q20!oil!was!applied!to!the!chain!and!nuts!and!bolts!as!the!
planter!had!been!in!storage!for!a!long!time.!!
!
One!of!the!challenges!was!that!the!tractor!gear!box!oil!was!leaking,!resulting!in!the!lever!failing!to!
lift!the!planter!when!changing!rows;!but!after!the!oil!was!bought!and!added!this!was!no!longer!a!
problem.!The!field!had!a!slight!slope!and!was!uneven,!resulting!in!seed!not!penetrating!in!some!
parts.!Also,!the!soil!kept!getting!stuck!in!the!fertiliser!and!seed!tynes!blocking!the!fertiliser!and!
Figure9: top left (opening lines for beans), top right (demonstration of haraka planter)bottom
left (explanation of MBLI planter), bottom right (planted plot of maize and beans)
seed!from!coming!out.!The!team!had!to!constantly!remove!the!soil!and!check!whether!the!seed!
was!actually!getting!into!the!ground.!!
!
Although!monitoring!has!not!yet!been!conducted,!Mrs!Nxusa!informed!the!team!that!the!maize!
germinated! but! had! some! spaces,! and! the! beans! did! not! germinate! well,! and! those! that!
germinated!were!in!a!poor!condition.!The!two!options!in!this!case!are!to!replant!the!beans!and/or!
plant!cover!crops!should!they!die!out!completely.!On!the!control!plot,!the!maize!was!looking!good!
and!was!growing!more!vigorously,!which!is!believed!to!be!due!to!the!increase!in!the!amount!of!
fertiliser!added.!!
!
Figure 10: left (planted field), center(planter planting maize and beans), right (Ntokozo mixing fertiliser and lime)
!
The!second!planting!demonstration!was!done!with!Nomusa!Shandu’s!group!where!22!
participants!attended.!Out!of!the!22!that!were!present,!five!were!participants!who!had!been!in!
the!program!for!two!seasons!and!this!is!their!third.!The!session!began!with!a!recap!on!CA!and!its!
principles,!and!an!explanation!of!the!planting!process.!
!
It!was!explained!that!planting!is!done!in!400!m2!plots!that!have!not!been!ploughed!and!a!herbicide!
is!sprayed!prior!to!planting!to!remove!actively!growing!weeds.!Thereafter!planting!is!done!by!
hand,!although!there!are!other!options!available.!Two!rows!of!maize!alternating!with!two!rows!of!
legumes!are!planted!alternately!on!100!m2'plots.!The!spacing!for!maize!and!legumes!is!set!at!50!
and!25!respectively,!in!order!to!have!canopy!cover!in!a!shorter!space!of!time!so!as!to!reduce!the!
overgrowth!of!weeds.!Winter!and!summer!cover!crops!were!also!briefly!explained,!prior!to!the!
actual!planting!demonstration.!
!
!As!a!group,!two!plots!of!maize!and!beans,!and!maize!and!cowpeas!were!planted,!and!Mrs!Shandu!
would! later! continue! with! the! rest.! Upon! the! distribution! of! inputs,! there! was! a! shortage! as!
initially!only!seven!new!members!were!reported!but!as!it!turned!out,!there!were!19.!The!team!
emphasized!that!people!should!not!join!with!the!expectation!of!receiving!inputs!but!should!do!so,!
because!they!want!to!learn!something!different!from!what!they!are!currently!doing!and!wish!to!
improve!their!soil!fertility!and!health!over!time.!The!group!was!also!informed!about!subsidies!
which!are!payable!upon!receipt!of!inputs!for!returning!participants,!who!then!requested!to!pay!
in!their!subsidies!in!March!as!they!are!currently!financially!overcommitted!due!to!other!farming!
activities.!Below!are!pictures!of!what!took!place!on!the!day.!!!
!
!
Figure 11: Planting session with New participants in Mayizekanye
,
CA,demonstration,trials:,Ozwathini,
The!Ozwathini!planting!demonstration!was!conducted!in!three!sessions,!the!first!one!was!the!two-
row!planter,!which!was!used!to!plant!maize!and!beans.!In!attendance,!were!the!Extension!Officers!
in! the! area,! Wiseman! Ndlovu! and! Sbusiso! Mkhize.! The! fertiliser! flute! was! placed! on! medium!
release,!and!the!gears!were!set!on!low!range!at!3rd!and!6th!gear.!The!spacing!for!maize!was!set!at!
0.43!m!and!beans!at!0.30!m.!!Both!fertiliser!and!lime!were!mixed!into!the!fertiliser!bin!prior!to!
planting.!The!planter!specifications!were!explained!and!it!was!emphasized!that!the!participants!
need!to!grease!it!on!a!regular!basis.!Planting!was!done!in!an!area!of!400m2.!!
!
Subsequent!to!the!demo!on!the!two-row!planter,!another!demo!was!conducted!on!the!haraka!
planter!where!a!mix!of!summer!cover!crops!and!mung!beans!were!planted!on!an!adjacent!plot,!of!
200m2.!Planting!was!done!at!a!fixed!spacing!of!30!cm!intra!row!and!40!cm!inter!row,!where!the!
medium!seed!plate!was!used.!Farmers!took!turns!in!using!the!haraka!planter,!and!initially,!some!
found!it!heavy!but!got!used!to!it!as!they!continued.!Subsequent!to!the!session,!some!showed!an!
interest!in!using!it!for!their!beans!and!cover!crops.!!
The!third!practical!was!primarily!for!those!new!to!CA!where!a!demo!was!done!using!hand!hoes!to!
show!how!to!intercrop!the!maize!and!beans.!Two!rows!and!maize!and!two!rows!of!beans!were!
planted.!This!was!the!shortest!session!as!by!this!time,!many!farmers!were!exhausted!from!the!
heat.!!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
Figure 12: top left and right(manual
planting demo), bottom left (Mrs Chamane
planting cover crops with the Haraka), right
(planting with the two-row planter)
"
!
!
!
!
Ozwathini,Strip,Cropping,Demonstration,
A! meeting! was! conducted! on! different! types! of! grasses! used! in! fodder! production.! The!
presentation!was!done!by!Charmaine!Mchunu!from!Cedara!where!the!concept!of!strip!cropping!
was! explained! as! a! way! to!
combine!fodder!with!food!that!
could!be!consumed!by!humans,!
thus! deriving! greater! benefit!
from! a! smaller! area.! Strip!
cropping! is! normally! done! on!
slopey!areas!to!reduce!erosion,!
where! maize! and! grasses! are!
planted!in!alternate!strips.!!
!
It! was! further! explained! that!
perennial! grasses! are! the! best!
to!grow!as!they!are!permanent!
and! examples! were! made! of!
Digiteria! and! Mooi! river! mix,!
which!can!be!cut!to!make!haybales!for!cattle!in!winter.!Lespedeza!was!described!as!a!type!of!
legume!that!has!a!lower!tannin!content!than!Lucerne,!thus!reducing!its!potential!to!become!toxic!
to!cattle.!Tall!fescue!was!said!to!be!the!only!annual!grass!in!the!mix.!!
Figure13: OzwathiniMeeting on strip cropping
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
Figure 14: Fodder Production Demonstration
!
!
On!the!14th!of!January!there!was!a!strip!cropping!demonstration!in!Ozwathini!where!the!grasses!
were!planted!in!a!20!by!10!m!area!demarcated!into!8!plots!of!alternate!grass!and!maize!strips.!
Each!of!the!8!plots!was!2.5!x!10!m!in!size.!The!following!table!is!a!depiction!of!the!layout!of!the!
plots.!A!separate!10!by!10!m!plot!of!a!mix!of!all!four!grasses!was!planted!where!the!grass!seed!
was!broadcasted!and!another!10by10!plot!of!winter!cover!crops!which!were!also!broadcasted.!
The!field!where!the!demo!was!quite!fertile,!with!a!dark!brown!soil!and!a!lot!of!earthworms!which!
were!uncovered!when!planting.!!
!
A!total!of!12!participants!volunteered!to!try!out!the!strip!cropping!on!their!individual!plots!and!
they!each!received!50!grams!of!each!grass!and!a!kg!of!cover!crops.!The!two!planting!options!were:!
1.Mixing!all!four!grasses!and!planting!in!alternate!strips!with!maize!!
2.Planting!them!in!separate!strips!alternatively!with!the!maize.!
It!was!also!explained!that!the!winter!cover!crops!could!either!be!planted!on!a!single!10!by!10!plot!
or! in! between! the! maize.! The! team! would! monitor! the! outcome! of! each! trial! by! visiting! the!
households! at! a! later! date.! The! date! of! monitoring! of! the! demo! trial! was! set! to! be! the! 12th!of!
February!2020.!!
!
!
The!plot!layout!is!shown!in!the!diagram!below
!
!
,Demonstraiton,CA,trials:,Impendle,
Introduction%
The!planting!demonstrations!were!carried!out!on!the!18th!and!19th!of!November!in!Ntwasahlobo!
and!Mapanekeni!respectively.!The!purpose!of!the!CA!demonstrations!is!to!show!farmers!how!the!
planting!is!done,!from!plot!demarcation,!to!spacing!and!planting!methods.!The!planting!was!done!
mainly!using!hand!hoes;!the!team!tried!to!demonstrate!the!MBLI!planter!in!Ntwasahlobo!but!the!
bottom!compartments!kept!getting!blocked!by!the!soil!as!it!was!a!bit!moist!since!it!had!recently!
rained.!Both!of!the!workshops!had!over!90!percent!attendance!and!the!participation!from!the!
farmers!was!quite!encouraging.!
!
Maize! was! planted! in! basins! to! help! keep!
water!around!the!growing!plants!and!beans!
were! planted! in! tramlines.! Each! plot! was!
planted! under! two! rows! of! maize! and! two!
rows! of! legumes,! planted! alternatively!
throughout! the! plot.! A! standard!10x10! m!
plot!has!a!total!of!14!lines!of!maize!and!12!
lines!of!beans!if!the!aforementioned!spacing!
is!applied.!It!was!further!explained!that!the!
maize! is! planted! in! a! zig! zag! and! not! in!
straight!lines!to!help!give!it!breathing!space!
and!for!the!ears!to!form!properly!in!between!
plants!as!well!as!to!provide!shelter!into!an!
otherwise! empty! space! in! between! the!
rows.!!
!
Figure 15: Ntwasahlobo CA planting Demonstration:
18 November 2019
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!
!
!
Plot!1!
!
Plot!2!
!
Plot!3!
!
Plot!4!
!
Plot!5!
!
Plot!6!
!
Plot!7!
!
Plot!8!
!
Plot!9!
!
Plot!10!
!
!
Pansacola!!
(in"row)"
Maize!
(basins)"
Mooi!River!
mix!!
(in"row)"
Maize!
(basins)!
Tall!
Fescue!!
(in"row)!
Maize!
(basins)"
Lespedeza!
(in"row)!
Maize!
(basins)"
Pansacola,!
Digiteria!
Tall!
fescue,!
Mooi!
River!Mix!
(broadcast)"
Winter!
Cover!
Crops!
(broadcast)!
Pansacola!
(broadcast)"
!
Maize!!
(haraka)"
!
Mooi!River!!
Mixed!!
(broadcast)"
!
Maize!!
(haraka)"
!
Tall!
Fescue!
(broadcast)"
!
Maize!
(haraka)"
!
Lespedeza!
(broadcast)"
!
Maize!
(haraka)"
!
!
!
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Figure 16: Emapanekeni Planting Demonstration 19 November
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Crop&Growth&Monitoring&
Crop!growth!monitoring!is!at!it’s!beginning!stages!as!most!Swayimane!groups!were!still!planting!
in!January.!To!date,!monitoring!has!been!done!in!Mpendle!although!it!has!not!yet!been!completed,!
with!3!participants!in!Mapanekeni!and!11!in!Ntwasahlobo!having!been!visited!for!crop!growth!
monitoring.!Due!to!delayed!germination!as!a!result!of!no!rain,!SC701!was!panted!as!a!replacement!
for!PAN!6479!in!most!of!the!trials.!!
!
eMapanekeni,
Initially!it!was!believed!that!none!of!the!PAN6479!had!!not!germinated!as!it!was!taking!longer!
than!usual!to!emerge.!The!team!monitored!three!trials!in!eMapanekeni.!The!three!participants!
visited!were!Mr!Duma,!Agnes!Nkala!and!Mr!Khumalo.!The!PAN!6479!had!germinated!in!most!
trials!and!seemed!to!be!growing!moderately!well.!
!
Mr!Duma’s!trial!had!a!lot!of!patches!in!between!for!both!maize!and!beans,!with!maize!germination!
having! being! around!
70%! and! bean! and!
cowpeas! 40%!
germination.! There! was!
also! an! overgrowth! of!
weeds!in!the!first!plot!of!
the! trial.! The! second,!
third! and! fourth! plots!
had!many!patches!and!a!
spacing! of! up! to! 1! m!
between!maize.!!
Figure 17: Mr Duma's CA
plots
!
!
!
Agnes!Nkala’s!plot!looked!very!beautiful,!and!the!maize!appeared!dark!green!and!was!growing!
well.!The!germination!for!maize!was!over!90%!and!for!beans!and!cowpeas!it!was!over!80%.!There!
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were!a!few!patches!in!one!of!the!rows!where!the!maize!was!eaten!by!crows.!There!were!very!few!
weeds! in! the! trial,! which! could! be!attributed! to! the! good! germination! of! both! the! maize! and!
legumes! which! quickly!
shaded! the! weeds.! The!
participant! also!
weeded! early! before!
the!weeds!overtook!her!
crops.! The! participant!
attributed! the! good!
appearance!of!her!trial!
to!doing!all!the!planting!
herself!as!she!felt!other!
people!left!a!lot!of!blank!
spaces! when! they!
planted! as! a! group! in!
the!other!CA!trials.!!
Figure 18: Mrs Nkala's trial
plot
"
Mr! Khumalo’s! maize! appeared! to! be! growing! well! but! there! were! many! patches! in! between.!
Germination! for! beans!
was!below!30%!and!was!
even! lower! for! cowpeas.!
Nevertheless,! the! maize!
had! a! good! germination!
of! over! 80%! and! was!
green! in! colour.! There!
were! a! few! patches! here!
and! there,!where! Mr!
Khumalo! planted! !in! the!
SC701.!!
!
Figure 19: Mr Khumalo's trial
plot
!
Ntwasahlobo%
Ntwasahlobo!farmers!reportedly!experienced!the!same!challenge!as!those!in!Emapanekeni!with!
regards!to!germination,!of!PAN!6479,!but!similalrly!unpon!moniotring!it!was!seen!that!the!maize!
had!in!fact!germnated!reasoanbly!well.!It!appears!the!farmers!were!too!ready!to!blmae!the!seed!
for!lack!of!germination,!rather!than!the!hot!dry!weather!conditions.!The!PAN!6479!was!growing!
quite!well!in!most!of!the!trials!and!the!primary!issues!identified!were!lack!of!weeding!and!the!
presence! of! pests! although! no! severe! damage! was! present! at! the! time! of!monitoring.! ! ! Mrs!
Gwambe,!the!farmer!in!whose!field!the!demonstration!was!conducted!informed!the!team!that!
next!year!she!is!going!back!to!ploughing!as!CA!did!not!work!out!for!her,!stating!that!the!weeding!
was! too! much.! It! is! possible! that! she! was! also! discouraged! by! the! late! germination! and! had!
thought! that! the! maize! would! not! emerge.! Another! setback! was! that! some! participants! had!
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ploughed!their!fields.!As!many!as!4!out!of!the!11!that!were!monitored!said!they!ploughed!prior!to!
planting.!In!one!instance!it!was!not!easy!to!tell!the!trial!apart!from!the!control!plots!as!the!farmer!
planted! two! different! types! of! maize! in! one! field! and! did! not! intercrop,! rather! three! lines! of!
cowpeas!were!planted!on!another!side!of!the!house!and!it!was!said!that!beans!will!be!planted!in!
February.!!Below!are!some!pictures!from!Ntwasahlobo.!!
!
Participants who Planted under CA
The!participants!in!the!pictures!below!had!good!looking!crops!which!were!growing!vigoroously.!
Both!maize!and!legumes!had!a!high!germination!!rate!and!goood!canopy!cover!had!already!formed!
at! the! time! of!
monitoring,! which!
contributed! to!the! low!
presence! of! weeds! in!
these! plots.! It! is!
interesting!to!note!that!
despite!spacing!of!up!to!
a! metre! in! between!
maize! plants,! the!
cowpeas! still! managed!
to! outgrow! and! shade!
the! weeds.! Cowpea! is!
generally! a! very! good!
grounmd! cover! as! it!
grows! vigorously! and!
fixes! more! nitrogen!
than! beans.! In! Mrs!
Mbelu’s! plot! however,!
the!bottom!two!rows!of!
her! plot!had! low!
germination! and! thus!
an! overgrowth! of!
weeds.!!
!
!
!
Ntwasahlobo Participants who ploughed
There!are!participants!who!ploughed!their!plots!prior!to!planting!and!two!out!of!the!three!of!them!
were! not! at! home! at! the! time! of! monitoring.! It! is! possible! that! these! participants! decided! on!
ploughing!as!they!were!not!yet!convinced!that!CA!is!a!viable!option!to!maize!production!and!had!
the!potential!of!reducing!erosion!and!improving!soil!health!over!time.!All!of!them!planted!maize!
and!legumes!separately.!In!some!of!the!trials,!large!areas!of!soil!were!exposed!due!to!planting!
under!monoculture!using!very!large!spacings,!which!is!seemingly!the!norm.!!
!
Figure 20: From top left,
clockwise 1) Nomusa
Gwambe, 2) Mr Mbelu, 3)
Sechaba Molefe, 4) Adelaida
Molefe
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!
!
Figure 21: Participants who ploughed and mono-cropped. Their plots had large
bare areas and a lot of problems with weeds
!
There!were!trials!that!did!not!look!good!
as!a!result!of!a!lack!of!weeding,!such!as!
the!one!in!Mrs!Gwambe’s!field!(left)!and!
another!elderly!farmer’s..!The!weeds!were!
a!combination!of!broadleaf!and!grass!
species!with!nutsedge!being!quite!
common!as!well!as!kikuyu,!black!jack!and!
Amaranthus,!!
!
Figure 22: Mrs Gwambe’s field , overgrown with
weeds
!
!
!
Cornfields,
Although! it! has! been! a! struggle! to! get! positive! results! for! the! CA! experimentation! process! in!
cornfields!due!to!the!highly!compacted,!interfile!soils!and!difficult!weather!conditions,!a!small!
group!of!participants!have!continued!to!try!out!different!options.!It!was!intended!to!do!the!strip!
cropping!fodder!demonstration!in!the!area,!but!Charmane!Mchunu!from!KZNDARD,!insisted!on!
taking! soil! samples! upon! arrival! and! seeing! the! condition! of! the! soil.! The! demonstration! was!
postponed.!The!results!have!subsequently!com!back,!indicating!no!major!soil!fertility!issues;!given!
that!the!concerns!are!more!related!to!soil!type!and!structure.!
Monitoring!was!conducted!towards!the!end!of!January!2020.!Mr!Mieya,!the!local!facilitator!for!the!
area!opted!to!plough!his!CA!trial!plot!as!the!soil!was!too!hard!to!plant!in.!Growth!of!this!“trial”!was!
okay,!but!severe!run-off!problems!have!now!been!experienced.!He!admitted!that!ploughing!had!
been!a!mistake.!It!is!very!difficult!to!suggest!remedial!action!for!the!farmers!with!really!bad!soil;!
they!invariably!insist!on!planting!maize!every!season,!almost!regardless!of!how!many!times!their!
crops!do!badly!and!fail!
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Figure 23: Left to right; Mr Miya’s field, ploughed and mono-cropped to maize and beans and a few rows of summer
cover crops. Capping and run-off in the field is evident.
Farmer&Innovation&Platforms&
Two!events!were!held!towards!the!end!of!2019,!one!in!Ozwathini!focussing!on!cover!crops!and!
one!in!Ntabamhlophe!in!association!with!LandCare!as!an!introduction!to!CA!in!the!area.!
Ozwathini,Open,Day;,Cover,crops,,
An!open!day!was!hosted!by!the!Ozwathini!learning!group!on!the!24th!of!September,!focussing!on!
demonstration!of!the!two-row!tractor!drawn!planter!and!on!cover!crops.!This!day!was!held!in!
association!with!the!KZNDARD,!LandCare!and!AGT!Foods,!who!donated!a!range!of!CC!seeds!and!
did! a! presentation! on! cover! crops! for! the! group.! Around! 120! farmers! participated,! including!
farmers!from!Swayimane!and!Bergville!
!
!Below!are!pictures!of!the!CC!poster!and!handouts!provided!to!all!participants.!
Figure 24: Cover crop poster and handouts provided at the Ozwathini farmers’ day (in isiZulu)
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The!mechanisation!demonstration!had!the!intention!of!showcasing!the!newly!acquired!two-row!
planter!for!the!group,!but!also!to!demonstrate!contour!planting!for!the!steeper!slopes!typical!of!
the! area,! as! well! as! using! the! planter! to! inter! crop! maize! and! beans.! The! two! separate! seed!
hoppers,!means!that!they!can!be!set!for!different!seed!types!and!different!planting!depths!making!
intercropping!an!easy!and!realistic!option.!
Figure 25: Right; The
two-row planter with
different seed types
(maize, sugar beans) in
the seed hopers and Far
right: a view of the
planter being
demonstrated in the
field
Mr!Simon!Hodges!from!AGT!Foods,!head!of!their!cover!crops!division,!was!an!important!guest!and!
speaker!at!the!event.!Cover!crops!are!important!in!CA!systems!for!improvement!of!soil!fertility!
and!soil!health!and!
also! for! provision!
of! fodder! for!
livestock!!
Figure 26: Right: Mr
Hodges doing his
power point
presentation at the
open day and Far
right; examples of
cover crops millet
and mung beans.