SFIP Farmers Day

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SFIP: Conservation
Agriculture
Optimising the system for non
commercial and semi-commercial
smallholders
2015
•Farmers’Organisation
Appropriate agricultural practices
(technology and innovation)
Land preparation, planting, crop protection,
rotations and crop systems
Services
Scale of farming operation
What is the smallholder system
Scale of farming operation
CATEGORY
Non commercial smallholders
Semi commercial smallholders
Commercial smallholders in loose
value chains
% of
people
72
23
5
Farmer priorities
For household
Minimal inputs bought
For household and some selling which
supplements household income.
Minimal inputs bought
Consumption and sale in various
percentage mixes butmoving to more
sales.
More inputs bought
Traction
Hand cultivation
Hand cultivation, animal traction
Animal traction, tractors
Land size
> 0.1ha
0.1
-1ha.
1
-2.5ha
Farm productivity,
labour
access
Inter cropping, micro
-dosing with
fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides,
cover crop rotations
Inter cropping, micro
-dosing with
fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, cover
crop rotations
Inter cropping, micro
-dosing with
fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, cover
crop rotations
Access to improved
agricultural tech and
information
Hand planters,
Learning groups, working groups
Hand planters animal drawn
planters
Learning groups, working groups
Animal drawn planters, two row
planters
Learning groups, working groups
Access to financial
services and local
organisation
SCGs,
CIGs
-
SCGs, CIGs
Bulk
buying
SCGs, CIGs, formal loans and bank
accounts (group and individual
Bulk
buying
Intercropping and close spacing
Pre-spray with post emergent
and contact herbicides (Round
Up and Gramoxone)
Close spacing of tramlines
50x50 maize
25x10 beans
One weeding is enough before
canopy cover is reached. Must
be early weeding: 2-3 weeks.
Cover is reached from 4-5
weeks onwards.
PAN 6479 Dolichosintercrop
Even stand of maize, earlymaturing and thus tasselingalreadyend January
Dolichosprovides great cover and does not compete as mayhave been expected.
Planted using hand hoesMrs SimephiNkosi-Emmaus Jan
2015
PAN 53 intercrop with PAN 148 or Ukulinga
PAN 53 Not yet tassleing-medium season well adapted to Bergville conditions
PAN 148: good cover less dense -
Ukulinga: A bit more rust more semi determinatemore volume
Mrs SimephiNkosi-Emmaus Jan 2015
PAN 6479 and Cowpea intercrop
As last year cowpeas
show visible positive
effect on size and
colour of maize in the
intercrop
Very few farmer
participants opted to
grow cowpeas again as
they do not eat it. A few
people like the
cowpeas and know it
as fast cooking and
good for making soup.
GM Maize
GM Round UP ready seed planted in a trial around 50 m away form other plantings and in an area
of dense planting of maize 500m-1km separation distance not adhered to. Pollen likely to interfere
with traditional and more local varieties of seed kept
Spray Round up before planting and around 6-8weeks
after planting
Spacing 50xmx1m single crop.
Soil is not covered. Further weeding and spraying of
herbicide is required but facilitated through Round
Up ready seed.
Mrs SimephiNkosi-Emmaus Jan 2015
Border King (OPV) with Ukulinga
Border King more variable in stand and longer
season than the hybrids used.
Mrs KeshiweCebekhuluEmmaus Jan 2015 Left: PAN53 Right
:Border King
Border King (OPV) with Ukulinga
Also small incidence of leaf diseases not noted in hybrids
Gray leafspot(Cercosporazeaemaydis) and Eyespot
(Kabariellazeae) noticed
Pests
CMR beetles very common also finding hosts in the grasses
close by. Spraying with DecisForte helps
Stalk borer load much more severe this season; Especially in
early planted maize Stalk borer granules used asDecisForte
had little lasting effect
Actual maize yields were
small due to small plots of land
being cultivated. The average total
plot size planted is around 0,25ha
and the actual yield average is
around 233,3kg of grain (Range:
86kg-879kg).
The average rand
replacement value of this amount
of grain is around R1 600,00. This
would be enough maizemeal for a
family of around 5 people for 4
months and counts as a significant
improvement in household food
security.
20% of respondents were
involved in bean production as an
enterprise. Of those involved 50%
managed to produce both for
home consumption and make an
income of between R500-R3000.
There is a good local market for
beans and this activity is worth
promoting for both income and
nutrition stability and
Around 73% of active people consider
maize production as their primary
agricultural enterprise. People’s want to
be able to also make an income from
maize production, over and above their
food production needs.
The per hectare yield of maize is
comparable to commercial yields (for the
CA participants)at 4-8tons/ha
Outcomes from 2013-2104
Issues of scale
A plot of >1.5ha planted using hand hoes: late planting of maize (Sahara) and bean
(PAN 148) mono-crop after spraying with Roundup. Mid December
The women have battled to keep up with weeding and further herbicide may nowbe
required. (around R545)
Issues of scale; Appropriate interventions