Learning Conservation Agriculture the Innovation Systems Way Presentation

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Learning Conservation Agriculture the Innovation Systems way
Grain-SA Smallholder Farmer Innovation Programme
Erna Kruger, Ngcobo P, Dlamini M and Smith H
CA-Farmer Innovation Programme
Key objectives and activities
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
Value chain: Whole value chain considered
Bulk buying of inputs; Supply options for
tools/equipment; Storage options; Local sales
arrangements; Diversification e.g poultry feed
rations
Increase productivity: With a focus on soil
health, soil and water conservation, soil fertility,
increased production and diversification:
- Farmerlevel experimentation
- Researcher managed experimental processes
within these; Run-off plots, infiltration, soil moisture
content,localweather station, rain gauges, liming trials
Social agency: Learning groups, VSLAs,
Farmer Centres, Open days…
Descriptionof IS
Farmer level experimentation
Year 1: Pre-defined with the research team:
Intercropping(maize-legume), close spacing, pre-plant herbicide
Choice of planting method; hand hoes, hand planters, animal
drawn planters, tractor 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
Summer and winter cover crop combinations
Early and late planting
Manure and fertilizer combinations
Targeted fertility regimes and pest control measures
Year 3 +: Own design of experiments by participants :
Intercroppingvs crop rotation options
Mulching
Organic options
Different herbicide and pesticide spray regimes
As well as options for year 2.
Incremental change in yr 1,2,3+
*Compare CA
practices to
present practices
* Use and improve
farmers’
observations and
analysis
Partners: KZNDARD, LandCare, LMs; Umshwati, Ubuhlebezwe, Okhahlamba,
DMs; Umgungundlovu, KwaNalu, StratAct, AWARD, Philakahle, Lima RDF,
Siyazisiza
18 villages,
16 VSLAs,
14 Local facilitators,
1 farmer centre
2016-2017
Southern KZN
and EC- 120
3,6 ha trials
Results-CA study areas
2017-2018
KZN Midlands-
75
2,2ha trials
Bergville 270
17,4 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, 6 villages
2 Local facilitators
CA Farmer led Trial summaries
Midlands
Bergville
EC, SKZN
Season
2017 2013
2014
2015 20162017
2013
2014
2015
2017
No of villages
639 11 1718 410 88 13
No of trial participants
4228837321225923
16
43 5493
Area planted (trials)
-ha 1,362,87,2 5,913,517,4
0,36
0,3
0,37
3,58
Average yield maize (t/ha)
2,043,74 3,634,125,035,7
0,95
0,7
1,37
2,17
Min and max yield maize
(t/ha)
0,4-7,12-4,3 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
-
0,2
-
6,7
Average yield beans (t/ha)
0,621,24 0,260,791,051,22
1,26
0,34
0,69
0,35
Trialsummaries over 5 seasons; Bergville,SKZN and EC
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
Summary of IS indicators after 4 seasons all areas
Social agency
Value chain
Productivity
No of female farmers
83%
Saving for inputs
28%
Intercropping
maize and
beans
92%
Learning groups
36
Reduced labour in CA plots
78%
Intercropping maize and
legumes (cowpeas, lab
-lab,
velvet bean
17%
VSLAs
- % of participants
involved
79%
Reduced weeding in CA plots
39%
Crop rotation
20%
Months of food provisioning
through small CA plots
10
-12
7
-9
4
-6
1
-3
15%
38%
39%
8%
Use of planters
Hand hoes
Hand planters
Animal drawn planters
Tractor drawn planters
26%
69%
5%
0,5%
Cover crops; summer mix
sunflower, millet,
sunn
hemp,
sorghum
26%
Sale of crops locally (maize,
beans, cowpeas, sunflowers)
10%
Local financing of infrastructure
Threshers
Mills
1
1
Cover crops; winter mix relay
cropping
Saia oats, fodder
sorghum, fodder radish
31%
Innovation platforms; including
external stakeholders
5
Farmer centres
1
Fodder; provisioning of
livestock through cut and carry
5%
Seed saving
11%
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
73% have
increased
their field
sizes
2-3,5t/ha
Carbon
sequestered in
CA plots
(2016-2017)
Growing of Cover Crops
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
Total land area under cover crops is till quite
low; ~1ha respectively
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
% OM is higher than veld benchmark
after 4years,but not 2 years for
intercrops and cover crop rotations
but not maize only plots
% Organic C increases; from single
crop, through intercrop to cover crops
for both 2nd and 4th years
% Organic N, is higher than veld
benchmark after 4 years, but not 2
years
C:N ratio is lower than the veld
benchmark after 4 years
Soil health scores are higher for 4th
year participants
Savings of around R440/ha after 4
years and R375 after 2 years; 14% and
12% of overall fertilizer costs saved
Soil health comparison for 2nd and 4th year participants
Average of
% OM
Average of
CO2 - C,
ppm C
Average of
Organic C
ppm C
Average of
Organic N
ppm N
Average of
C:N ratio
Average of
Soil health
calculation
(new)
Cont M (CA)3.754.1 252.0 18.713.512.3
M+B 3.653.1 255.5 17.714.612.2
Veld 4.575.4 272.0 20.713.115.1
0.0
50.0
100.0
150.0
200.0
250.0
300.0
Soil health Mhlwazini; 2nd yr (N=2)
Average of
% OM
Average of
CO2 - C,
ppm C
Average of
Organic C
ppm C
Average of
Organic N
ppm N
Average of
C:N ratio
Average of
Soil health
calculation
(new)
Cont M3.873.1233.519.1 12.6 13.9
M+B 4.769.9243.522.2 11.2 13.2
SCC 4.073.7263.320.3 13.1 14.0
Veld 3.984.8285.317.8 16.3 15.2
0.0
50.0
100.0
150.0
200.0
250.0
300.0
Soil health Ezibomvini; 4th yr (N=3)
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
In summary: CA is increasing yields,
improving livelihoods and improving
soil quality for around 550 smallholder
farmers in KZN &EC