Agroecology Best Practices Presentation

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Our Mission
To design and implement innovative projects and
programmes which promote collaborative, pro-poor
agricultural innovation,working in partnership with
other organizations and communities.
To work at the cutting edge of development
methodology and process integrating learning
(training), research and implementation into new
models and processes emphasizing synergy and
integration.
ErnaKruger (Director); info@mahlathini.org
Promoting collaborative, pro-poor agricultural innovation
2003-2018
CSA PRINCIPLES
Minimize external inputs
Maximise internal diversity
Focus on soil health and natural soil building techniques
Take care of the environment
Use available water as efficiently as possible.
Work together, learn together and plan together
Local solutions and economies
Farmerdriven development
Getting our hands dirty
Community based CCA
Conservation Agriculture 2013-2018- Maize Trust;
KZN, EC -550 farmer led CA trials
Smallholder CSA Decision support 2017-2020 WRC;
15 Village based sites across KZN, Limpopo, EC (200
participants)
(S&WC, agroecology-gardening, CA-field cropping,
livestock and natural resource management)
Community CCA 2017-2019USAID (AWARD);
7 Villages in Lower Olifants’ Basin (150 participants)
RESILM
-O: Resilience in the Limpopo Basin ProgramOlifants
Lower Olifants’ catchment
Agricultural Support Initiative (AgriSI);2017-2019
1. GO KAONAFATA TAOLO YA MEETSE
GOOD WATER MANAGEMENT
Diversion ditches-to carry water to
beds
Mulching -
Improved furrows and ridges-on
contour, mulching, mixed cropping
Greywater management and use;-ash,
tower gardens, keyhole gardens,
greywater bucket filter
Dripkits
Tunnels
RWH storage tanks
Small dams
3. GO KAONAFATA HLOKOMELO YA DIBJALWA
CROP MANAGEMENT
Mixed cropping-incl intercropping
Pest control brews -Chilli -soap, onion-
paraffin etc
Planting of herbs -(mixed in veg beds eg
coriander, parsley,
Seed successions-planting a range of seed,
across seasons for continuity, Seed saving
Conservation Agriculture; minimal soil
disturbance, soil cover ,crop diversity
Planting to maximise shade in afternoons
2.GO FOKOTAKGOGOLEGO YA MOBU
CONTROLLING SOIL MOVEMENT
Cut off drains ditches across a
contour at top of garden/slop
Contours-measuredwith line level
Stone lines/bunds- made on contour
Strip cropping-
Sand bags for erosion control-
5.HLOKOMELO YA DIMELATA TLHAGO
TAKE CARE OF INDIGENOUS PLANTS
Small nurseries-propagation of fruit and
indigenous crops and trees
Planting- windbreaks, hedges, multi
functional plants, inter cropping
4.GO NONTA MOBU
KEEP THE SOIL FERTILTY/HEALTHY
Dedicated paths and beds
Soil fertility management-manure (incl
improved manure), compost, green manures,
legumes, liquid manure
Bed design -trench beds, shallow trenches,
eco-circles, banana circles/basins
MENWANAE MEHLANO/ FIVE FINGERS
Ditsela tše hlano tšeo di ka diragogore temoe be maleba / kaone
Community
level CCA_ CSA
7 Villages/ learning groups Mametje
150 participants
9 Local facilitators
48%
51%
34%
10%
3% 3%
2%
2%
3%
3%
Individual experimentation; July 2018 (N=61)
Trench beds
Mulching
Mixed cropping
Tunnel
Stonelines
Furrows and ridges
diversion ditches
manure
seedling production for cont.
seed saving
Garden monitoring
34%
21%
14%
76%
31%
93%
97%
38%
24%
21%
0%
21%
21%
93%
76%
0% 20% 40% 60% 80%100%120%
CUT OFF DRAINS/DIVERSION DITCHES
CONTOURS, LINE LEVELS
STONE BUNDS
TRENCH BEDS
ECO CIRCLES
MIXED CROPPING
SEED AND SEEDLINGS
MULCHING
NAT P&D CONTROL
CA
BUCKET FILTERS/ DRIP KITS
TUNNEL
RWH STORAGE
EXPERIMENTATION
% Implementation of new ideas (N=29);
September 2018
Eco circles,
mulching, mixed
cropping
Farmer Experimentation
No of participants (N=29)
trench beds
21
tower gardens
4
banana basins
3
Eco
-circles
5
Measurements Sedawa
Mametja
Botshabelo
Christina
Tobejane
Koko Maphori
Lerato Lewele
Mariam
Malephe
Date
rainfall (mm)
rainfall (mm)
rainfall (mm)
rainfall (mm)
21/12/2017
5
10
8
7
24/12/2017
1
4
3
4
30/12/2017
22
32
30
28
25/01/2018
1.5
3.5
3.8
5
28/01/2018
1.6
2.1
2
3
30/01/2018
1
1.5
1.8
1.4
24/02/2018
2
2.6
2.8
2.4
16/03/2018
28
51
30.2
10.2
21/03/2018
9
20.8
10.2
20.5
24/03/2018
20
32
28
9
01/04/2018
9
8
15
30
02/04/208
1.4
2
2
1.8
Total
101.5
169.5
136.8
122.3
Ave for each
rainfall
event
8.5
14.1
11.4
10.2
Best practice: Production in tunnels
Tunnel experiments
Trench bed with mixed cropping and mulching inside tunnel
Trench bed with mixed cropping and mulching outside tunnel
Furrows and ridges outside tunnel (control)
How productive is
each practice?
Water
Cost (R/m
2)
Yield
Sales
(Rands/ m
2
)
Profit
(R/m
2)
Trench
inside
tunnel
1100
R18,70
6 bundles/m
2
R60
R41,30
Trench
outside
tunnel
2926
R48,80
4,2
bundles/m
2
R42
-
R6,80
Furrows
and ridges
3913
R130,40
2,4
bundles/m
2
R24
-
R106,40
Water productivity how
much crop is produced for the
amount of water used?
Trench in tunnel 10x more
productive than furrows and
ridges and 5 x more than
trench outside tunnel
Must have mulch and do
deep watering. If not then
result is similar to furrows
and ridges…
Cost- benefit (R35/210l)
Profit of R31/m of trench
bed ( in tunnel)
~R620/tunnel fully planted
(15m2), for a season
If water is free then~ R900
Farmers' method (Water applied)
Name of famer
water use
(m
3)
Total weight
(kg)
WP (kg/m
3
)
Christina Thobejane (Tunnel; trench
beds, with mulch)
1,10
48,9
56,7
Christina Thobejane (Furrows and
ridges with mulch)
3,91
24,5
5
Christina trench outside
2,93
14,7
11,3
Nora Mahlako (Tunnel; trench beds
without mulch)
9,47
19,6
5
Chameleons
Top: Chameleon in trench bed inside tunnel
Bottom: furrows and ridges outside tunnel
Measure the
amount of water in
the soil (20,40 and
60 cm deep)
Tells you when and
how much to
irrigate
Christina Tobejane (Sedawa):
Applying water until the chameleon
changes colour (goes blue) seems to be
a good idea as this saves her some
water and means that she only has to
irrigate once a week (every 7 days).
She has thus now changed her irrigation
practice of watering a little every
morning and afternoon, to a deep
watering every 5-7 days.
Herb and veg sales
Date
Herbs
No
bundle
s
Price
Amount
Total
2018/08/17
Basil
2
R15,00
R30,00
Coriander
32
R14,00
R448,00
Flat leaf parsley
21
R9,50
R199,50
R677,50
2018/08/24
Coriander
20
R14,00
R280,00
Flat leaf parsley
20
R9,50
R190,00
Spinach
30
R10,00
R300,00
Onions
33
R10,00
R330,00
R1 100,00
2018/08/31
Coriander
30
R14,00
R420,00
Flat leaf parsley
15
R9,50
R142,50
Basil
4
R15,00
R60,00
Spinach
24
R10,00
R240,00
R862,50
2018/09/07
Coriander
10
R20,00
R200,00
Parsley flat leaf
10
R20,00
R200,00
Parsley curly leaf
2
R20,00
R40,00
Funnel
6
R20,00
R120,00
Cabbage
7
R20,00
R140,00
Basil
4
R20,00
R80,00
Beetroot
2
R15,00
R30,00
Tomatoes
13
R10,00
R130,00
Spinach
40
R18,00
R720,00
R1 660,00
2018/09/14
Coriander
10
R20,00
R200,00
Parsley flat
-leaf
10
R20,00
R200,00
Parsley curly
-leaf
20
R20,00
R400,00
Cabbage
4
R20,00
R80,00
Basil
4
R20,00
R80,00
Beetroot
20
R15,00
R300,00
spinach
27
R18,00
R486,00
Onions
25
R10,00
R250,00
Fennel
4
R20,00
R80,00
R2 076,00
Total sales
R6
376,00
An average
of
R600/month
for the 15+
participants;
selling herbs
and
vegetables