Deliverable 10 CRA Pilots

Download PDF
Water Research Commission
Prepared By:
Project team ledby Mahlathini Development Foundation.
Project Number: K5/2719/4
Project Title: Collaborative knowledge creation and mediation strategies for the dissemination of
Waterand Soil Conservation practices and Climate Smart Agriculture in smallholder farming
systems.
Deliverable No.10:Final report: Results of pilots.
Date: May 2020
Deliverable
10
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
2
Submitted to:
Executive Manager: Water Utilisation in Agriculture
Water Research Commission
Pretoria
Project team:
Mahlathini Development Foundation
Erna Kruger
Mazwi Dlamini
Temakholo Mathebula
Nontokozo Mdletshe
Phumzile Ngcobo
Betty Maimela
Matthew Evans
Institute of Natural ResourcesNPC
Brigid Letty
Rural Integrated Engineering(Pty) Ltd
Christiaan Stimie
Rhodes University Environmental Learning Research Centre
Lawrence Sisitka
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
3
CONTENTS
FIGURES 4!
TABLES 8!
1!OVERVIEW OF PROJECT AND DELIVERABLE 10!
Contract Summary10!
Project objectives10!
Deliverables10!
Overview of Deliverable 1011!
2!COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE AND DEMONSTRATION SITES 14!
!Tunnel experimentation progress16!
!Bergville16!
!SKZN Gobizembe20!
!Natural pest and disease control25!
!Conservation Agriculture26!
!Eastern Cape26!
!Southern KZN- Ozwathini, Gobizembe, Mayizekanye27!
!Southern KZN Mayizekanye open day.35!
!Limpopo36!
Facilitators’ reflection on the CA learning process39!
!Bergville43!
3!CCA workshops 55!
!Climate change impact mapping and visioning for 4 new villages in Limpopo55!
!Understanding of Climate change56!
!Changes in the environment58!
!Climate change impacts60!
!Local practices62!
!Adaptive measures64!
!CCA workshop reflection65!
!CCA review and re-planning workshops66!
!Turkey 1 and 266!
!Water committees - Limpopo70!
!Starting the process70!
!Possible locations and borehole survey71!
!Choosing of location for borehole drilling by Participants71!
!Designing and mapping the mainline pipe lines72!
!Decision making with MDF and the participants73!
!Continuing with installation of pumps and header tanks74!
!Planning the digging of the main pipeline trenches75!
!Laying the pipes from the header tanks to the homesteads78!
!Connection of pipes in Turkey79!
!Connection of pipes in Sedawa80!
!Water committees-KZN81!
4!Final reports 82!
5!Capacity building and publications83!
!Post graduate students83!
!Networking and presentations84!
!Collaboration84!
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
4
!Publications96!
FIGURES
Figure 1: Above left, seven women working together to chop, collect and load poles for their gardens
(July 2019) and Above Right: Zodwa Zikode’s fenced garden in December 2019 (Photos: Phumzile
Ngcobo,MDF)......................................................................................................................................16!
Figure 2: Above Left; Nonhlanhla Zikode (Ezibomvini) practising mixed cropping in trench beds and
Above Right; Thulile Zikode’s (Eqeleni) trench bed with mixed cropping...........................................17!
Figure 3: Right Nelisiwe Msele’s (Stulwane) tower garden and Far Right: her raised bed with mixed
cropping and mulching........................................................................................................................18!
Figure 4: Weighing Phumelele’s green peppers to derive an average wight for WP calculations.......19!
Figure 5: Trench beds inside tunnel planted using mixed cropping and mulching..............................22!
Figure 6: White mould, aphids and worms were some of the pests identified inside the tunnel.......22!
Figure 7: Tower garden on Mrs Mncanaya's household......................................................................23!
Figure 8: Own experimentation of raised bed with manure and mulch vs. plain raised bed..............24!
Figure 9: Lindiwe Zondi's garden.........................................................................................................25!
Figure 10: Phindiwe Msesiwe’s tower garden that she sprays with a mixture of soap, chilli, onion, garlic
chives and Khaki weed to deter pests.................................................................................................26!
Figure 11: Right; beans coming up along theripped lines. They subsequently died back due to drought
and Far right;the sunflower, forage sorghum and watermelon crop mix planted in late January,
growing well towards the end of march 2020.....................................................................................27!
Figure12: top left and right (manual planting demo), bottom left (Mrs Chamane planting cover crops
with the Haraka), right (planting with the two-row planter)...............................................................28!
Figure 13: Ozwathini Meeting on strip cropping.................................................................................28!
Figure 14: Fodder Production Demonstration.....................................................................................29!
Figure 15: Initial monitoring of the strip cropping demonstration trial in Ozwathini in mid -February
2020.....................................................................................................................................................30!
Figure 16: Right and Far right; Initial germination of Pansacola in lines in-between maize, for Mrs Xulu,
Ozwathini.............................................................................................................................................30!
Figure 17: Winter cover crops growing well in the strip cropping demonstration trial plot in Ozwathini.
.............................................................................................................................................................31!
Figure 18: Above Left to Right; Nomcebo Zondi’s trial plot showing maize and bean intercrop, maize
and summer cover crop intercrop and maiz and cowpea intercrop...................................................31!
Figure 19: Right and Far Right; Mrs Chamane’s summer cover crops growing exceptionally well.....32!
Figure 20: Above Left to Right; Mrs Zondi-Xulu’s trial showing maize and bean intercrop, maize only
plot and her maize and cowpea intercropped plot.............................................................................32!
Figure 21: Right and Far right; Thembis CA trail plot sowing maize and bean intercropped plots......33!
Figure 22: Right and Far Right; Agnes’ intercropped maize and bean and maize and cowpea CA trial
plots.....................................................................................................................................................34!
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
5
Figure 23:Right and Far right; Ntombi shandu’s CA trial and some winter cover crops that re-
germinated by themselves..................................................................................................................34!
Figure 24: Right and Far Right; Growth in Mvis Shezi’s CA trial plots..................................................35!
Figure 25: Right; Mr Wiseman Ndlovu, a DARDLR extension officer discussing the advantages of cover
crops and green manures with attendees of the open day in Mayizekanye.......................................35!
Figure 26: Introduction of concepts in CA and cover crops using printed slides in two different villages.
.............................................................................................................................................................36!
Figure 27:Left; Mr S Selala, the facilitator showing the layout drawing/template in Turkey.Centre;
using a variation with the actual seed laid out on the paper and Right; Abitha Shaai in Willows drawing
out their own layout template for use with her learning group..........................................................37!
Figure 28: Right; mulching a portion of the CA trial plot in Turkey.....................................................38!
Figure 29: Above left; Magadelene’s Sun hemp, intercropped with maize growing very well. The maize
however is showing strong signs of heat and water stress and most has already died back. Aboveright;
Maize roots are stunted and growing horizontally indicative of a highly compacted soil and a shallow
plough pan typical of plots where hand hoes have been used for tillage for many years..................40!
Figure 30:For Sarah Madire in Turkey, all her summer cover crops survived well (Babala, sunflower
and Sun hemp), along with a few straggly maize plants......................................................................40!
Figure 31: Right; cowpeas growing well, with added lime and mulching............................................41!
Figure32: Meisie’s maize, gourd and moringa intercropped plot, planted in soil with organic matter
added. Her maize has thrived, while that of her neighbours, who do not add organic matter, died back.
.............................................................................................................................................................41!
Figure 33: Left; Angelina’s maize and Sun hemp intercrop growing remarkably well. Centre; Angelina
holding a maize cob and Right; a root ball for one of the maize plants This indicates compacted low
fertility soil. ..........................................................................................................................................42!
Figure 34: Mmatshego Shaai’s field planted to ground nuts and jugo beans, which she sells in the
community...........................................................................................................................................42!
Figure 35: Above Left; demarcation of row spacing for the demonstration trial, Centre; fertilization
and planting after spraying of herbicide and 2week waiting period and Right: Labelling of new varieties
in the plots...........................................................................................................................................44!
Figure 36: Right Cuphile Buthelezi Feb 2020, late bean and early maturing maize intercrop and Far
Right the same plot around a month later. Both germination and growth has been impressive.......44!
Figure 37: Right; Nothile Zondi’s plot (20 march 2020). She has also seen good germination and growth
for this late planting trial. Centre: Nelisiwe Msele jointly with three other participants, prepared and
sprayed a 2000m2m plot and used the 2-row tractor drawn planter to do the late planting of maize
and beans. Right; Germination was a little patchy possibly due to still getting used to the planter
setting, but subsequent growth has been very good..........................................................................45!
Figure 38: Above Left: Lethiwe Zimba- Plot 10 Maize only 2019/2020, Centre; Her late season M+B
intercropped plot and Right; Boniwe Mthembu’s late planting of maize and beans..........................46!
Figure 39:Right; Thulani’sstrip cropping plots showing short season maize growing well with
Lespedeza on the right.........................................................................................................................48!
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
6
Figure 40:Above: Left; the picture shows Khulekani’s plots with shortseason maize, Centre; Lespedeza
and Right; Pensacola............................................................................................................................49!
Figure 41:Right; Mtoleni’s Pensacola and Far right; Mooi river mix of fodder species growing well.. 49!
Figure 42: Right and centre; Lesepdeza and Pensacola growing in Cuphile Buthelezi’s strip cropping
trail. She had zero germination and growth for the Mooi river mix of grass, Right; Her short season
maize growing well..............................................................................................................................50!
Figure 43: Right; Planting the strip cropping trails and Far right; Impressive growth of the short season
maize the grasses however did not do well......................................................................................50!
Figure 44: Right; Ntombenhle’s plot with almost zero growth in her strip cropping trial...................51!
Figure 45: Right; Ntombakhe’s strip cropping plots with maize germinated......................................51!
Figure 46: Right; Thulile Zikode’s strip cropping trial, doing well., Lesepdeza has germinated and was
growing well........................................................................................................................................51!
Figure 47: Right; Lack of growth for Valindaba Khumalo, following invasion by goats.......................52!
Figure 48:Above left; SCC mix for Nothile Zondi weedy with patchy germination and growth, Above
centre; a similar situation for Cuphile Buthelezi’s Lab-Lab plot, Above Right; Cuphile’s intercropped
plots of maize and SCC mix, growing very well....................................................................................54!
Figure 49: Above Left; SCC mix for Matholozana Gumbi, growing reasonably well, despite heavy weed
load, Above centre; He beans only plot and Above right; Ntombifuthi Mkhize’s beans only CA plot.54!
Figure 50: Right and Far Right; Mtholeni Dlamini’S Lab-lab plot and his SCC mix plot in his CA trial; both
well- tended and growing well............................................................................................................54!
Figure 51: Right; Valindaba’s SCC mix plot..........................................................................................54!
Figure 52: Sylvester and Betty facilitating during the CCA workshop in Madeira...............................56!
Figure 53: The seasonality diagram for temperature developed by the Santeng village participants.57!
Figure 54:Rainfall seasonality diagrams for Worcester (left), Santeng (centre) and Lorraine (right)..57!
Figure 55: Discussing the impacts nada dative measures in small groups here assisted by the new
intern Constance Rasweswe (left) and CC impact maps for the two small groups in Worcester (right)
.............................................................................................................................................................60!
Figure 56: Worcester practices; intercropping (left), planting mango trees in fields (centre) and
indigenous poultry enclosure (right)...................................................................................................63!
Figure 57: Practices in Madeira; banana basins, roof rainwater harvesting, compost piles and
pesticides.............................................................................................................................................63!
Figure 58: Right; A snapshot of a discussion session during the Turkey review workshop.................66!
Figure 59: One of the water committee meetings held in Turkey in November 2019 in preparation of
the borehole project............................................................................................................................70!
Figure 60: Left a view of rock and pebble formations typical of an area where subsurface water is
flowing and Right; Raymond surveying at Turkey 1.............................................................................71!
Figure 61; Right: Core samples taken during the drilling process. These pictures were sent to Mr Vonk
to establish decisions about continuing or stopping drilling based on the structure and consistency of
these samples......................................................................................................................................72!
Figure 62: Left; The drilling machine and Right: water starting to come out during the drilling process.
.............................................................................................................................................................72!
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
7
Figure 63; Map of a section of the Sedawa pipeline outlining the different pipe sizes in different
colours.................................................................................................................................................73!
Figure 64; Map of a section of the Turkey 2 pipeline with the different pipe sizes indicated in different
colours.................................................................................................................................................73!
Figure 65: Above left; Jo-jo tanks delivered in Turkey 1 and Above right; installed at Elais Mogofe’s
homestead in turkey 1. He built a nice plinth for the tank, as all participants were urged to do.......74!
Figure 66: Below left; lock box for Turkey, Below centre; lock box for Sedawa and Below right;
Controlling valve for the pump inside the lock box.............................................................................75!
Figure 67:Right; Electricity supply in Sedawa showing the cable and plug for the borehole pump and
Far right; the cable in Turkey which was linked into the electricity box with a switch.......................75!
Figure 68: Erna and Alain working with the Turkey committee to explain the pipeline on their map75!
Figure 69: David from Afrisolutions working withAlain to site andmeasure the paved road crossings
in Sedawa, of which there were two...................................................................................................76!
Figure 70: Above left; One of the Sedawa group meetings to thrash out how the main trench would
be dug and Above right; measuring a rope to stake out each person’s 20 m section.........................77!
Figure 71: Right; Digging the main trench to the header tank in Sedawa; Centre; Alain working with
Alex and Magale in Sedawa to stake the crossings and Far right: Digging the maintrench to the header
tank in Turkey......................................................................................................................................77!
Figure 72: Above left; The header tanks (4500 L each) fully functional and tested at Turkey (Michael
Makgobatlou) and Above left at Sedawa (Joyce Seotlo).....................................................................77!
Figure 73: Above; Piping and fittings delivered in Sedawa..................................................................78!
Figure 74: Above; Piping and fittings delivered in Turkey...................................................................78!
Figure 75: Right: The sketch for speed hump construction provided to Afrisolutions by Alain and Far
Right; the speed hump being constructed...........................................................................................79!
Figure 76: Above left: The final speed hump crossing inTurkey and Above right; one of the crossings
under the paving being done in Sedawa.............................................................................................79!
Figure 77:Clockwise from Top left; A homestead connection into the main pipeline, digging out the
trenches using picks and laying a pipe into one of the trenches.........................................................81!
Figure 78: Above Left; Phumelele Hlongwane taking water from her 3x200l drums to water her
vegetable garden. Centre; Mr Mkhumeni Nkabinde’s 200L drum, filled in the morning and Right; The
Dlamini family’s drum next to their vegetable garden. They have fixed a lid onto the drum to keep the
water clean..........................................................................................................................................82!
Figure 79: NtwasaholboCA planting demonstration...........................................................................87!
Figure 80: Emapanekeni CA planting demonstration..........................................................................88!
Figure 81: Delivery of Lan to the CA experimentation participants, preceding the in-field
demonstration and monitoring...........................................................................................................89!
Figure 82: Mr Duma’s CA trial plots, showing patchy germination and moderate growth.................89!
Figure 83: Mrs Nkala’s CA trial plot with good germination, growth and canopy cover.....................90!
Figure 84: Mr Khumalo’s CA trial plot showing reasonable germination of maize, but very patchy
germination and growth of the legumes.............................................................................................90!
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
8
Figure 85: Mrs Madonda’s CA plot. She did not keep to the close spacing suggested, which meant soil
remined unprotected late into the season. The run-off and capping of the soil are evident in the
picture. She nevertheless has obtained good growth for trial as well as her control plots................90!
Figure 86: Right; Thembisile Zuma’s CA plot, photographed towards the end of March. She has had
very good growth and cover and Far right; Ncamsile Zuma’s plot towards the end of January. She
managed her weeding well and the good cropgermination isevident in these pictures,along with
better soil cover than for most of the other participants....................................................................91!
Figure 87: Left to right; CA trails for Mr Hlengwa, Mr Zulu and Mr Nkala. Lack of attention to close
spacing and lack of weeding has affected crop growth in all three cases. They did not plant their control
plots.....................................................................................................................................................92!
Figure 88: Mrs Gwambe’s Ca experiment. Despite her unhappiness, the crops have grown well......93!
Figure 89: From top left, clockwise:1) Mr Anthony Mbelu, 2) Sechaba Molefe, 3) Adelaida Molefe, 4)
Otto Mbelu and 5) Moeketsi Molefe...................................................................................................93!
Figure 90:Above left; Thembelihle Ndlela, Above Centre: Mbonsiwa Dalmini and Above right: Nicky
Kwhalu, all ploughed their plots prior to planting, and opted for monocropping and wide spacing.. 94!
Figure 91: right: Dlofa Skhakhane and Far Right; Regina Duma’s CA plots, showing overgrowth of
weeds, with low germination and lack of growth of crops.................................................................. 94!
TABLES
Table 1: Deliverables for the research period; completed..................................................................10!
Table 2: CoPs’ established in three provinces (September 2019-October 2020)................................14!
Table 3: Water productivity calculations for Phumelele Hlongwane 9Septebmer 2019-March 2020)19!
Table 4: Yield averages for Mr Mncanyana inside and outside her tunnel (July- December 2019).....21!
Table 5: Trial Plot layout history for Lethiwe Zimba (Ndunwana 2017-2019).....................................45!
Table 6: Strip cropping participants in Bergville; 2019-2020...............................................................46!
Table 7: Summary of an analysis of the past, present and future of the smallholder farming system in
the lower Olifants................................................................................................................................59!
Table 8: Worcester CCA impacts and adaptive strategies summary...................................................61!
Table 9:Santeng CCA CCA impacts and adaptive strategies summary.................................................61!
Table 10: Summary of adaptive strategies suggested by participants................................................62!
Table 11: Progress summary with chapters of the final report...........................................................82!
Table 12: CA experimentation participants and inputs provided for the CA farmer level trials..........87!
Table 13: Selected monitoring information for Ntwasahlobo CA participants....................................95!
ABBREVIATIONS
AEZAgroecological Zones
CAConservation Agriculture
CCAClimate change adaptation
CRAClimate Resilient Agriculture
CSAClimate Smart Agriculture
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
9
CSAGClimate Systems Action Group
DAEDepartment of Environmental Affairs
DSSDecision Support System
MDFMahlathini Development Foundation
QCTOQuality Council for Trade and Occupations
RIEngRural Integrated Engineering
SWCSoil and water conservation
UKZNUniversity of KwaZulu Natal
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
10
FinalReport:Resultsofpilots
1OVERVIEWOFPROJECTANDDELIVERABLE
Contract Summary
Project objectives
1.To evaluate and identify best practice options for CSA and Soil and Water Conservation
(SWC) in smallholder farming systems, in two bioclimatic regions in South Africa. (Output 1)
2.To amplify collaborative knowledge creation of CSA practices with smallholder farmers in
South Africa (Output 2)
3.To test and adapt existing CSA decision support systems (DSS) for the South Africansmallholder
context (Outputs 2,3)
4.To evaluate the impact of CSA interventions identified through the DSS by pilotinginterventions
in smallholder farmer systems, considering water productivity, social acceptability andfarm-scale
resilience (Outputs 3,4)
5.Visual and proxy indicators appropriate for a Payment for Ecosystems based model aretested at
community level for local assessment of progress and tested against field and laboratoryanalysis
of soil physical and chemical properties, and water productivity (Output 5)
Deliverables
Table 1: Deliverables for the research period; completed
No
Deliverable
Description
FINANCIAL YEAR 2017/2018
1
Report: Desktop review of
CSA and WSC
Desktop review of current science, indigenous and traditional
knowledge, and best practice in relation to CSA and WSC in the South
African context
2
Report on stakeholder
engagement and case study
development and site
identification
Identifying and engaging with projects and stakeholders
implementing CSA and WSC processes and capturing case studies
applicable to prioritized bioclimatic regions
Identification of pilot research sites
3
Decision support system for
CSA in smallholder farming
developed (Report)
Decision support system for prioritization of bestbet CSA options in
a particular locality; initial database and models. Review existing
models, in conjunction with stakeholder discussions for initial criteria
FINANCIAL YEAR: 2018/2019
4
CoPs and demonstration
sites established (report)
Establish communities of practice (CoP)s including stakeholders and
smallholder farmers in each bioclimatic region.5. With each CoP,
identify and select demonstration sites in each bioclimatic region and
pilot chosen collaborative strategies forintroduction of a range of
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
11
CSA and WSC strategies in homestead farming systems (gardens and
fields)
5
Interim report: Refined
decision support system for
CSA in smallholder farming
(report)
Refinement ofcriteria and practices, introduction ofnew ideas and
innovations, updating of decision support system
6
Interim report: Results of
pilots, season 1
Pilot chosen collaborative strategies for introduction of a range of
CSA and WSC strategies, working with the CoPs in each site and the
decisions support system. Create knowledge mediation productions,
manuals, handouts and other resources necessary for learning and
implementation.
FINANCIAL YEAR 2019/2020
7
Interim report:
Development of indicators,
proxies and benchmarks
and knowledge mediation
processes
Document and record appropriate visual indicators and proxies for
community level assessment, work with CoPs to implement and
refine indicators.
Analysis of contemporary approaches to collaborative knowledge
creation within the agricultural sector. Develop appropriate
knowledge mediation processes for each CoP. Develop CoP decision
support systems
8
Report: Appropriate
quantitative measurement
procedures for verification
of the visual indicators.
Set up farmer and researcher level experimentation. Link proxies and
benchmarks to quantitative research to verify and formalise. Explore
potential incentive schemes and financing mechanisms Conduct
survey of present knowledge mediation processes in community and
smallholder settings
9
Interim report: results of
pilots, season 2
Pilot chosen collaborative strategies for introduction of a range of
CSA and WSC strategies, working with the CoPs in each site and the
decisions support system. Create knowledge mediation productions,
manuals, handouts and other resourcesnecessary for learning and
implementation.
FINANCIAL YEAR 2020/2021
10
Final report: Results of
pilots, season 3
Pilot chosen collaborative strategies for introduction of a range of
CSA and WSC strategies, working with the CoPs in each site and the
decisionssupport system. Create knowledge mediation productions,
manuals, handouts and otherresources necessary for learning and
implementation.
11
Final Report: Consolidation
and finalisation of decision
support system
Finalisation of criteria and practices, introduction of new ideas and
innovations, updating of decision support system
12
Final report - Summarise
and disseminate
recommendations for best
practice options.
Summarise and disseminate recommendations for best practice
options for knowledge mediation and CSA and SWC techniques for
prioritized bioclimatic regions
Overview of Deliverable10
This report focuses onconsolidation of the results of farmer level experimentation with CRA practices,
their outcomes and impacts. This is linked to final reports, which will be written up as three to four
separate, concise compilations of all the results.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
12
The design of the decision support system(DSS)is seen as an ongoing process divided into three
distinct parts:
ØPractices:Collation, review, testing, and finalisation ofthose CSA practices to be included.
This allows for new ideas and local practicesto be included over time. This also includes
linkages and reference to external sources of technical information around climate change,
soils, water management etc and how this will be done, as well as modelling of the DSS;
ØProcess:Through which climate smart agricultural practices are implemented at smallholder
farmer level. This also includes the facilitation component, communities of practice(CoPs),
communication strategies and capacity building and
ØMonitoring and evaluation:local and visual assessment protocols for assessing
implementation and impact of practices as well as processes used. This also includessite
selection and quantitative measurements undertaken to support the visual assessment
protocols and development of visual and proxy indicators for future use in incentive- based
support schemes for smallholder farmers.
Activities in this three-month period have included:
ØPractices activities:
ØProcess activities: Finalisationof farmer level experimentation inthe EC (3 villages),KZN(3
villages)and in Limpopo (2 villages). CoP engagement has consisted of
ØMonitoring and evaluation:
A chronology of activities undertaken is presented in the table below.
Date
Activity
Description
Team
2020/01/05-31
CCA workshop 1
Introduction of CCA workshops in 4
new villages; Limpopo under
Resilient Waters programme
Erna, Betty, Sylvester Selala
2020/02/07
Review and re-
planning
CCA workshop for review and re-
planning conducted in Turkey,
Limpopo
Erna, Betty
2020/02-03
Strip cropping
Implementation and monitoring of
strip cropping demonstration in
Bergville, Cornfields and Ozwathini
Erna, Phumzile, Tema,
Mazwi, Alan Manson and
Charmaine Mchunu
2020/03/12
Tunnel
experimentation
Final collection of data and write up
for WP calculations for tunnel
experiments in KZN and Limpopo
Betty, Tema and Phumzile
2020/03/17
CA open day
Mayizekanye, SKZN
Tema, Nontokozo
2020/03/25
Limpopo water
committees -
boreholes
Finalisation of borehole and
reticulation activities for both turkey
and Sedawa
Erna, Betty
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
13
2020/03-04
Conservation
Agriculture
Monitoring of CA experimentation in
KZN, Limpopo and EC
Erna, Tema, Mazwi, Betty,
Phumzile
2020/03/28
Umkhomazi Soil
rehabilitation pilots
Finalisation of CA pilot
INR, Erna, Tema,
Nontokozo
2020/03/26-
04/30
NationaOVID-19 lock
down
Continued monitoring for rainfall, runoff and WP in CA fields
(including gravimetric water), is to continue. All other monitoring
has had to be put on hold.This means in effect that all
experimentation and monitoring aroundthe intensive gardening
processes are now as complete as they are going to be and the
final reports are being initiated while the team finalises the field
cropping data and processes.
Capacity building and publications:
Research presentations andchapters:
oMazwi Dlamini M Phil(PLAASUWC-yr.2); MPhilon hold for one year,givenpersonal
and world events
oPalesa MotaungM Soil Science (UP); Finalisation of thesis
Publications: CAB Internationalchapter, Water Wheel article (January/February 2020)
Cross visits:
Stakeholder engagement:
oCollaboration in uMkhomazi restoration Project – UmngeniWater and the INR
oPGS workshop for 6 villages in Limpopo; Organic production, marketing and small
businessdevelopment
oCA open day; Mayizekanye, SKZN (17 March 2020)
Conference papersand presentations: cancelled due to Covid-19
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
14
2COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE AND DEMONSTRATION SITES
The work with the CoPs and in the demonstration sites is ongoing. The table below summarises the
progress to date.
Table 2: CoPs’ established in three provinces (September 2019-October 2020)
*Note: Activities in bold under Demonstration Sites, were conducted during this time frame
Province
Site/Area;
villages
Demonstration sites
CoPs
Collaborative
strategies
KZN
Ntabamhloph
e
- CCA workshop 1
- CCA workshop 2
-CCA workshop 3
-CCA workshop 4
-CCA workshop 5
- Monitoring and PIA
- Monitoring and review of CA experimentation
-CA experimentation introduction (2ndround)
-Farmers w
NGO
support
(Lima RDF)
- Tunnels and drip kits
- Individual
experimentation with
basket of options
-Conservation Agriculture
Ezibomvini/
, Eqeleni
- CCA workshop 1
- CCA workshop 2
- CCA workshop 3
- CCA workshop 4 (training)
- Water issues workshops 1,2
-Water issues follow-up
-CCA workshop 5
-Monitoringand review of CA experimentation
- Fodder and supplementation learning process
- Natural P&D control learning
-Water issues continuation (Spring protection)
-Strip croppingand CA experimentation
continuation
-Finalisation of tunnel experimentation
-CA open
days, cross
visits
(LandCare,
DARD, ARC,
GrainSA),
LM Agric
forums,
- Tunnels (Quantitative
measurements
- CA farmer
experimentation
(Quantitative
measurements) case
studies
-Individual experimentation
with basket of options;
monitoring review and re-
planning
- Livestock integration
learning group and
experimentation focus
Swayimane/
Gobizembe
- CCA workshop 1
-CCA workshops 2 and 3
-CCA workshop 4
- Monitoring, review and replanning
- Monitoring of garden,tunnel and CA
experimentation
-PIA and Nat Pest& disease control learning
session
-CA experimentation continuation,
Mayizekanye open day
-CA open
days
-Umgungun
dlovu DM
agriculture
forum
- CA farmer
experimentation
- gardening level
experimentation; tunnel,
trench beds drip kits etc.
Madzikane
-CCA workshop 1
-CCA workshops 2-4
-CA open
days
-CA farmer experimentation
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
15
Below summary reports for progress in each area is presented.
-Set up of gardening and tunnel
experimentation
- MadzikaneForum open day strip cropping
and CA mechanisation.
-Strip croppingand CA experimentation
continuation
- Madzikane
stakeholder
forum
- gardening level
experimentation; tunnel,
trench beds drip kits etc
Limpopo
Mametja
(Sedawa,
Turkey)
- CCA workshop 1
- CCA workshop 2
- CCA workshop 3
- CCA workshop 4
-Water issues workshops 1-2
-Water issues follow-up
- CCA workshop 5
- Poultry production learning and mentoring
-CA learning and mentoring
-Monitoring, review and re-planning
-S&WC and small dams learning and
experimentation
-Monitoring of CA experimentation
-Open day; Value adding and processing
-PIA’s (Mametja, Sedawa, Turkey)
-Water Committees boreholes and
reticulation
- CC impact and adaptation strategies
workshop- new villages
- CA experimentation continuation
- PGS; Organic marketing and small business
workshop
-
Agroecology
network
(AWARD/M
DF)
-Maruleng
DM
-Review of CSA
implementation and re-
planning for next season
Tunnels (Quantitative
measurements
- CA farmer
experimentation
(Quantitative
measurements) case
studies
- Individual
experimentation with
basket of options
-water committee, plan for
agric water provision
Lepelle
-Water issues workshops 1-2
-
-water committee,plan for
agric water provision
Tzaneen
(Sekororo-
Lourene)
- CCA workshop 1
- CCA workshop 2
- Assessment of farmer experimentation
Farmers
learning
group
-Tunnels and drip kits
EC
Alice/Middled
rift area
- CCA workshop 1
- CCA workshop 2
- CCA workshop 3
-CCA workshop 4 and 5
-Monitoring, review and re-planning
- Set up tunnel experimentation process
-Learning sessions in CA, NP&D control and
tunnel construction
Imvotho
Bubomi
Learning
Network
(IBLN) -
ERLC, Fort
Cox,
Farmers,
Agric
Extension
services,
NGOs
- Monitoring and reviewof
implementation of CSA
practices and
experimentation
- Training and mentoring
_CA, furrow irrigation, ….
-Planning for further
implementation and
experimentation and
quantitative measurements
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
16
Tunnel experimentation progress
This farmer level experiment has been continued with the three participants in Bergville (Phumelele
Hlongwane, NombonoDladla and Ntombakhe Zikode), one participant in Swayimane and one
participant in Madzikane, as well as in Xhukwanein the Eastern Cape.
Bergville
Bergville; Fencing for learning group members
After a yearly review for learning group activities, where the issue of lack of fencing for gardens and
fields were again raised as a major constraint, eleven ladies from the Ezibomvini Savings group (21
members) in a village of the same name, decided to work collaboratively to solve this problem.
They used savings from their group to buy one roll of wire mesh (100m) for each participant. Those
participants who could afford it bought their own poles. Those who could not, worked together to
chop and collect poles from a nearby SAPPI plantation.An arrangement exists here that community
members are allowed to clean up the plantation after the commercial operations are completed.
Mahlathini Development Foundation (MDF)assisted in transporting the poles to the ladies’ homes
and the women put up their fencing by themselves.
Figure 1: Above left, seven women working together to chop, collect and load poles for their gardens (July 2019) and
Above Right: Zodwa Zikode’s fenced garden in December 2019 (Photos: Phumzile Ngcobo, MDF)
There are a number of enabling factors that have made this small but significant activity possible:
The women have been learning and working together in their group for a number of years;
they have built trust inworking together
The women have undertaken an activity which is usually the men’s domain in these communal
tenure areas; they have built trust with their facilitators, also women, who through a more
urbanised and educated lifestyle aren’t that constrainedby the local social behaviours
The women have shown intent to be independent and help themselves through a learned
understanding that this is possible for them
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
17
The women have understood and internalised that there are different needs for different
individuals in their group and they have accepted and promoted the fact that not everybody
is provided with the same support. They have risen above the normal small jealousies that
tend to dominate such activities
The women have been supported to undertake an activity of their own design by the local
NGO who works with them and the agreement with SAPPI in the area. Building social agency
is not a case of ‘do it all yourself’, but a case of providing targeted support where needed and
The women have worked collaboratively in a strategic manner; their gardens and fields they
maintain themselves, but they came together to solve a common problem. MDF was flexible
enough to assist them in this, even though support for fencing was not a part of their
programmatic interventions.
Household gardens
Thirteen participants across three villages (Eqeleni, Stulwane and Ezibomvini), have continued with
their garden level CRA experimentation process(September 2019-March 2020)
They have implemented a combination of the following practices; tower gardens, trench beds, raised
beds, mulching and mixed cropping. These are now practices that these women have integrated into
their gardening practice. Crops that have bene planted together include: cabbage, spinach, beetroot,
spring onions,parsley, beetroot, green pepper, brinjals and butternut.
These ladieshave indicated that they rotate heavy feeders (such as cabbage and brinjals)with light
feeders (such as spinach and onions) and take care not to plant crops form the same family together
(such as brinjals and tomatoes or spinach and beetroot. Their cropping challenges have mainly been
lack of water and weeds, once the rains set in. They do not have major pest problems in their small
gardens.
Below are some indicative photographs
Figure 2: Above Left; Nonhlanhla Zikode (Ezibomvini) practising mixed cropping in trench bedsand Above Right; Thulile
Zikode’s (Eqeleni) trench bed with mixed cropping.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
18
Figure 3: Right Nelisiwe Msele’s (Stulwane)
tower gardenand Far Right: her raised bed
with mixed cropping and mulching.
Water Productivity
experimentation
This season the water productivity
experimentation was continued for
the three participants; Ntombakhe Zikode (Eqeleni), Phumelele Hlongwane and Nombono Dladla
(Ezibomvini). Only the latter two kept enough records to allow for an analysis.
The experiment consists of planting in trench beds inside and outside the shade cloth tunnels, using
mixed cropping and mulching and thenrecording irrigation quantitiesand harvests both inside and
outside the tunnels.
Nombono Dladla
Nombono has successfully managed to produce a variety of crops throughout the year and to sell off
some of her surplus produce. Prior to her involvement, she cites that it was difficult to put food on the
table for her family of five people, because of lack of employment and support from herspouse. She
has managed to fence off her garden and despite being functionally illiterate has kept some records
on the special forms developed for the purpose.She used the same amount of irrigation inside and
outside her tunnel.
MIXED CROPPINGrecorded for the five seasons (six months each season) are shown below:
- 1stgrowing season Spinach only
- 2ndgrowing season Spinach and Green pepper
- 3rdgrowing season Spinach, Beetroot, Onions
- 4thgrowing season Green pepper and spinach
- 5thand current experimentation- Spinach and leaks
During the fourth growing seasonshe planted both spinach andgreen pepper in each of her bed-
namely trench bed inside tunnel and trench bed outside tunnel. Sales improved when compared to
the previous season where she had mixed cropped spinach, beetroot and onions. She says the onions
did not survive, which she thought was due to competition with the other two crops in terms of space.
SALES RECORDS (Inside and outside the tunnel) (September 2019-March 2020)
She sold 36 bunches of spinach with between 37 to 47 leaves, depending on the size for R10.00 per
bunch; 24 bunches from the bed inside her tunnel and 12 bunches from the bed outside her tunnel
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
19
and made a total of R360.00. Production outside the tunnel was affected by excessively hot conditions
during the time of planting ofher experiment and also affected by the molerats, which damaged a
sizable amount of her crop.
Phumelele Hlongwane
Her experimentation for the season 9Septebmer 2019-march
2020) consisted of intercropping spinach and green pepper in the
beds inside andoutside the tunnel.(1x5m in both cases)
Crops were weighed to get an average for use in the WP
calculation
Figure 4: Weighing Phumelele’s green peppers to derive an average wight for
WP calculations
Water productivity has been calculated for both green peppers
and spinach, inside and outside the tunnel using the scientific and farmer’s method; as has been the
case for the last two seasons as well
The results are indicated in the table below.
Table 3: Water productivity calculations for Phumelele Hlongwane (Septebmer 2019-March 2020)
Water Productivity: Phumelele Hlongwane (September 2019-February 2020)
Scientific method
Farmers' method
Plot
Crop
Yield per plot
(5x1m) (kg)
Water
use (m3)
WP
(kg/m3)
Yield per plot
(5x1m) (kg)
Water
use (m3)
WP
(kg/m3)
Tunnel
Green
pepper
30,1
0,7
46,5
30,1
0,5
37,8
Trench
(outside)
Green
pepper
24,6
0,7
34,5
24,6
0,5
31,1
Tunnel
Spinach
49,0
0,7
73,7
49,0
0,5
62,4
Trench
(outside)
Spinach
19,6
0,7
29,1
19,6
0,5
26,4
Phumelele made an income of R752.52 from sale of these crops between December 2019 and
February 2020.
The WP calculations follow the same trends as in previous seasons:
Crop
Average weight (Kg)
Spinachper bunch
1,25
Green pepper per fruit
0,74
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
20
ØWP calculations using the scientific method are between 10% and 20% higher than those
calculated using the amount of water applied (irrigation, plus rainwater) only
ØWP for crops grown in the tunnels (under shade cloth 20%, grey) is higher than the same
crop grown under similar conditions in open field conditions. Water productivity is on average
24-35% higher inside the shade tunnels, for all crops tested thus far (spinach, green pepper
and Chinese cabbage)
ØYields for crops grown under shade cloth are often considerably higher than the yields for
equivalent open field conditions; between 22% to 250% higher.
ØYield differences for cool season leafy crops such as spinach (swiss chard) and Chinese
cabbage are the most pronounced inside and outside the shade cloth tunnels. These crops
yield much better within the more protected environment of the tunnels. These differences
are also the most pronounced in the hot summer months.
SKZN Gobizembe
Written by Temakholo Mathebula
As part of a collaborative process to identifyingappropriate soil and water conservation practices as
a mitigation strategy to climate change, the MDF team conducted a series of workshops in Gobizembe
village in 2019 on climate change and it’s impacts. Inthese workshops, there were discussions around
different practices that could be tried out as a way to reduce the effects of climate change on the
environment as well as on agricultural production. Farmers from Gobizembe have been involved in
household food production for decades and are mainly focused on growing maize, beans, amadumbe
and potatoes using conventional methods. In recent years, they have seen an overall decline in crop
yields due to increasingly unpredictable weather patterns which have brought with them extreme
weather conditions such as hailstorms and intense heat.
The workshops were conducted with a group of 10-15 farmers of which only about 4 farmers initially
agreed to undertake the experimentation process on climate smart agriculture practices. Some said
they were not interested in trying out anything new as they were satisfied with their current
circumstances, and others stated that they could not partake as a result of old age. Nevertheless, all
the participants said they were now aware of climate change and its effects.
Khombisile Mncanyana
A tunnel was installed in Khombisile Mncanyana’s household where she planted a variety of
vegetables in trench beds as part of her experimentation. The tunnel installation process and planting
were conducted together with the learning group as it was a joint learning exercise. Inside the tunnel
she planted broccoli, spinach, Chinese cabbage, parsley, kale, beetroot and red lettuce. Outside she
planted kale, beetroot, spinach, leeks, cabbage and parsley.
Inside Tunnel
Outside Tunnel
Kale
Red Lettuce
Chinese Cabbage
Kale
Red Lettuce
Spinach
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
21
Results
The overall yields from inside and outside the tunnel were good and crops grew well. However, the
vegetables inside the tunnel were damaged by pests which included aphids, cutworms, snails and they
also had fungal diseases. More than 50% of the Chinese cabbage had white mould and was badly eaten
by snails. Aphids caused extensive damage to the broccoliand lettuce which were almost completely
covered at the time of harvest. She attributed the pest outbreak inside the tunnel to excessive
moisture, which made the environment conducive to the spread of disease,and also noticedthat once
a pest invaded, itspread very quickly to the other crops. She also did not remove infected and infested
plants, which increased the spread.
Mrs Mncanyana mentioned that during hot days the soil dried out very quickly, therefore she watered
twice a day on very hot days. On average she applied 20 litres of water on each bed, three times a
week and applied the same amount of water inside the tunnel and outside. She collected water in 2
litre bottles which she kept near her garden and irrigated using a 10-litre watering can, due to water
shortages. The Chameleon readers installed attested to the fact that her beds were generally under
watered and lowerlayers remained dry. This added to the stress of the crops.
Table 4: Yield averages for Mr Mncanyana inside and outside her tunnel (July- December 2019)
Leeks
Beetroot
Parsley, rocket, coriander
Thyme
Marigolds
cabbage
Leeks
Beetroot
Parsley
Broccoli
Marigolds
cabbage
Water Applied
No.
Bunches/head
s
Mass (kg)
No.
Bunches /
heads
Mass (kg)
Crop Name
Outside
Inside
Outside Tunnel
Inside Tunnel
Kale
20
litres/bed
three
times a
week
20 litres/bed
three
times/week
8
4,6
6
3,45
Beetroot
17
5,98
6
2,11
Broccoli
5
2,93
Spinach
16
7,89
0
Chinese cabbage
0
2
3,39
Red lettuce
5
0,83
4
0,66
Total
19,3
Total
12,5
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
22
Figure 5: Trench beds inside tunnel plantedusing
mixed cropping and mulching
In terms of pests, Mrs Mncanyana tried
sunlight liquid which helped to a limited
degree in terms of removing aphids. She
believed the pests needed a more
aggressive form of control as the heat and
moisture were meant that they multiplied
very quickly in a short space of time. The
lesson learnt from this experience
was that, early control of pests is
pivotal if good yields are to be
achieved when producing in tunnels.
Heat stress may have also played a
role in the infestation as it made the
crops more susceptible to pests and
diseases.
Figure 6: White mould, aphids and worms
were some of the pests identified inside the
tunnel
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
23
The highlight of this learning process was that Mrs Mncanyana did not only limit herself to just one
practice but also integrated what was demonstrated in the first practical demo in 2018 at Mrs Xasibe’s
household. As she already had a small bed of vegetables, prior to the project being introduced she
was keen to learn about other practices that could help her conservewater, limitthe amount of labour
required as she is a very busy person and give her the best benefit. She built the tower garden on her
own with materials supplied by the MDF team and planted, leeks, parsley, lettuce and kale in it which
grew very well. The results here were particularly great because she saw first -hand how the tower
garden was a convenient way of growing crops as it was easy to maintain and to manage and did not
require extensive weeding. She planted the vegetables on the tower garden on different dates as she
only bought what she could afford at that given time and said she would fill it up over time.
Figure 7: Tower garden on Mrs Mncanaya's household
Raised Bed with Kraal Manure and Mulch vs. Plain raised bed
Pictured below is her own experiment where she planted on a raised bed with mulch (left and centre)
and a raised bed without anything added (right) to see the effects each management system would
have on her crops. The crops on the normal bed grew much slower compared to those planted on the
bed with manure and mulch.
On the raised bed, she planted a combination of green crops, namely spinach, Chinese cabbage and
leeks. She was able to harvest all three from this bed, including the Chinese cabbage as she did not
have a pest problem like in the tunnel. On the plain raised bed, she only planted kale.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
24
Figure 8: Own experimentation of raised bed with manure and mulch vs. plain raised bed
Other participants who tried out practices
Thanda Msomi
Thanda Msomi is a middle-aged
woman who lives with her brother
and children in Gobizembe. She
normally grows maize and pumpkins
but was interested in trying out
some CSA practices. She also built
the tower garden but only planted at
the top as she was still to purchase
seedlings to plant on the sides. Apart
from the tower garden she also
planted some spinach and onion on
the ground. She has kept her crop
production at a minimum due to
lack of water. This season she
wanted to try mixed cropping
inside the tunnel.
Ntombencane Gasa- Eco-circle
and raised beds with kraal
manure and mulching
Ntombencane Gasa initially was
not interested in trying out any
new practices as she said that she
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
25
only grew maize as that is what she was used to. She is a close neighbour of Mrs Mncanyana and
occasionally went to visit her garden. She was also present at the very first demo conducted at Mrs
Xasibes household. In November last year, she invited the team to come and view her newly
established garden, where she tried out her own version of the Eco-circle, and raised beds with mulch.
Rita Ngobese
Rita Ngobese planted a combination of lettuce,
kale, spinach, turnip and broccoli on raised beds
where she incorporated manure. She is a proactive
farmer who normally grows cabbages on a small
plot to sell to her neighbours. She also occasionally
grows amadumbe. The mixed cropping was done
out of curiosity as she wanted to try something
new. She had a problem with insects, especially on
kale and broccolibut the crops grew well
nonetheless.
Lindiwe Zondi
Lindiwe Zondi is continuing with her raised beds. She planted cabbage, onion and kale on the normal
bed with no manure or fertilizer (pictured left). The crops were not doing verywell as they were badly
eaten by insects, especially cabbage. On her shallow raised bed, she planted spinach and leeks which
did very well and she had already harvested about four times (pictured centre). On the far right, is a
picture of the
green peppers
she planted
early 2019
which were
still
productive.
Figure 9: Lindiwe
Zondi's garden
Natural pest and disease control
These were conducted for learning groups in SKZN (Gobizembe),Bergville and EC (Xhukwane and
Quzini). The learning workshop agendas for these groups consisted of initially summarising again the
impacts of climate change andadaptive measures being implemented by group members, to provide
a context for the learning process.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
26
Follow up after the workshops provided some indications that learning group participants were
experimenting with the natural pest and disease control concepts and processes introduced.
As an example, Phindiwe Msesiwe from Qhuzini explained that she uses the soap, chilli andgarlic spray
on her tower garden and in her beds. She sprays early in the mornings. She has replaced the garlic
with onion, as garlic is expensive to buy. She also mixes in other “smelly” plants such as garlic chives
and Khaki -weed (a Tagetes species). Below are a few pictures
Figure 10: Phindiwe Msesiwe’s tower garden that she sprays with a mixture of soap, chilli, onion, garlic chives and Khaki
weed to deter pests.
Conservation Agriculture
Eastern Cape
Due to the failure of the CA experimentation process last season in Mxhumbu, caused by low rainfall
and extremely compacted soil, it was decided to include deep ripping as part of the experimentation
process this season. In addition, large quantities of manure have been added to the soil to increase
fertility and soil health and counteract the compaction.In addition, a 10x10m plot was hand planted
using hand hoes and MBLI planters to a tramline intercrop of maize and beans and maize and cowpeas
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
27
Severed drought and very late onset of summer rains (early January 2020) in the EC, meant that crops
germinated, but subsequently died back. Xholisa and his group decided to plant the summer over
crops around the middle of January in the same field. The sunflower and forage sorghum grew
reasonably well, as did the
watermelon that they also
planted with the summer
cover crop mix. Sun hemp
did not even germinate.
Figure 11: Right; beans coming up
along the ripped lines.They
subsequently died back due to
drought and Far right; the
sunflower, forage sorghum and
watermeloncrop mix planted in
late January, growing well
towards the end ofmarch 2020
Southern KZN- Ozwathini, Gobizembe, Mayizekanye
Demonstration trials for planting the CA experimental plots were held for all three these areas. Below
the process is outlined for Ozwathini
The Ozwathiniplanting 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 3rdand 6thgear. 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 summercover 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 itas they continued. Subsequent to the session, some showed an interest in using it for
their beans and cover crops.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
28
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 Cedarawhere 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
Figure 13: Ozwathini Meetingon strip cropping!
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
29
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.
Figure 14: Fodder
Production
Demonstration
On the 14thof January
there was a strip
cropping
demonstration in
Ozwathiniwhere 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 ofa mixof 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 alot of earthworms which were
uncoveredwhen planting.
A total of 12 participants volunteered to try out the strip cropping on their individual plots andthey
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.
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)
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
30
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 12thof February 2020.
On the 12thof February the team visited Ozwathini to monitor the strip cropping trial.
There was an overgrowth of weeds on the plots planted, hence it was difficult to clearly identify the
grasses. None of the maize plots had maize as it was all eaten by crows. The plots that had pansacola,
mooi river mix and tall fescue were alsocovered with weeds which had outgrown the grasses..
Figure 15: Initial monitoring of the strip
cropping demonstration trial in Ozwathini
in mid -February 2020
Mrs Xulu planted some of the grass in between hermaize and only pansacola had germinated. Other
farmers said they planted but nothing had germinated yet.
Figure 16: Right and Far right; Initial
germination of Pansacola in lines in-
between maize, for Mrs Xulu, Ozwathini
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
31
By March, the overgrowth of weeds in the strip cropping demosntration meant that the only visible
crops were thewinter cover crops.
Clearly, the lack of weeding and the inability offarmers to tell the planted
grasses aprat fomr the ‘weeds’ has been a major drawback for this
experimentation process.The whole approach to the itroduction of
perennial fodder crops will need to be re-thought.
Figure 17: Winter cover crops growing well in the strip cropping demonstration trial
plot in Ozwathini.
Progress with CA trials in SKZN
Below a few examples are provided of progress across a number of the villages.
Ozwathini
Nomcebo Zondiplanted maize and beans, maize and cowpeas as well as maize and summer cover
crops. Overall germination was good although there were a few patches in between plots, due to the
seed either not germinating or being eaten by birds. SCC germinated very well and were planted in
between the maize. Some of leaves at the bottom of the maize stalks had dried out
Figure 18: Above Left to Right; Nomcebo Zondi’s trial plot showing maize and bean intercrop, maize and summer cover
crop intercrop and maiz and cowpea intercrop
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
32
Mrs Chamane’shousehold plot was
used to plant the demo to show the
other participants how the planters
work. Summer cover crops were
planted on a 200m2plot using the
harraca planter. Germination was 95%
and the crops grew very well. She will
use all three as livestock feed.
Figure 19: Right and Far Right; Mrs Chamane’s
summer cover crops growing exceptionally
well.
Mrs Zondi-Xulu’smaize had a very high infestation of stalkborer and almost half of the maize showed
signs of damage. Cowpea leaves appeared wrinkled in some parts.Beans were growing well. She has
sprayed once for stalkborer but it did not seem to be making a difference. The team gave her Decis
fore to spray again. Overall crop germination was over 90% and the crops that were’ntaffected by the
stalkborer were growing very well.Like the other participants she intercropped the maize and legumes
as well as maize and summer cover crops. The summer cover crops were very beautiful and did not
show any signs of pest or disease damage.
Figure 20: Above Left to Right; Mrs Zondi-Xulu’strial showing maize and bean intercrop, maize only plot and her maize
and cowpea intercropped plot.
Mayizekanye: Thembi Mkhize’s Group
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
33
Thembi Mkhizeis 68 years old and resides with her sonand three grandchildren. She is in the program
for a third season. Her trial maize and legumes were growing very well, she even said she foresees
that she will obtain very good yields this season. She has recently joined a savings group facilitated by
a lady who also resides in Mayizekanye where they save R10.00 a week and also take credit from the
group which she said has benefited them largely as they were able to supplement their pension grants
with the money they got from the group. The group operates independently from MDF.
Figure 21: Right and Far right; Thembis CA trail plot
sowing maize andbeanintercropped plots
Plot Layout
She planted four plots of maize and beans
and one plot ofmaize and cowpeas;
however, she did not rotate the plots but
used the same layout as in the previous
season. Germination was over 80 percent on
all plots and both maize and legumes were growing vigorously.
Thembi Mkhize
TRIAL LAYOUT
CA
CONTROL
M+B
M+B
M+B
M+B
M+B
%Germination
80%
82,5%
82.5%
82.5%
82.5%.
%Canopy Cover
65%
65%
70%
65%
50%
Colour
Green
Green
Green
Green
Green
Comments
Good crop growth, uniform stand, no signs of diseases. Had problems with CMR beetles and
stalk borer. Sprayed twice with Steward insecticide
Gabengani Ndlelaplanted two plots of maize and beans and two plots of maize and cowpea.
Germination was over 85% on all four plots. Although the crops appeared to be growing well, maize
had purple leaves and was light green to yellow in most of the plots. She had not yet applied
topdressing which could also be a contributing factor.
Gabengani Ndlela: TRIAL LAYOUT
M+B
M+B
M+C
M+C
%Germination
80%
75%
78.5%
80%
%Canopy Cover
45%
48%
50%
55%
Colour
Green, leaves purple and yellow at tip
Comments
Good crop growth, uniform stand, no signs of diseases. Had problems with CMR beetles
and stalk borer. Sprayed twice with Steward insecticide
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
34
Figure 22: Right and Far Right; Agnes’
intercropped maize and bean and maize
and cowpea CA trial plots
Mayizekanye: Nomusa Shandu’s
Group
Nomusa Shandu’sgroup is the one which had 19 additional participants who joined the program this
season. The demo was planted on the 19thofJanuary and everyone undertook to plant their individual
trials thereafter. The older participants all managed to plant but only about 50% of the new
participants actually planted.
Ntombi Shanduis a 54-year-old woman who lives with her 5 children and runs a liquor trading
business in the community. She is in the program for a third season and has been fairly consistent in
applying theCA principles. Her plot layout is as follows.
The overall germination was very good for both maize and beans as well as maize and cowpeas. It was
more than 85% and the maize was a green colour with no signs of discolouration. There was however,
damage due to stalk borer and some ofthe
beans had holes in them from being eaten.
Ntombi also planted SCC which she said
she intercropped with the maize and beans
but they did not germinate. Rather, there
were some winter cover crops which had
regrown from last season.
Figure 23: Right and Far right; Ntombi shandu’s CA
trial and some winter cover crops that re-
germinated by themselves
Nthombi Shandu: TRIAL LAYOUT
M+B
M+C
M+B
M+C
%Germination
87.5%
87.5%
90%
85%
%Canopy Cover
70%
70%
70%
70%
Colour
Green
Comments
Good crop growth, although slightly uneven. Had an issue with stalk borer
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
35
Mavis Sheziis a 67-year-old woman who lives with her husband. She officially joined the program this
season after having been attending meetings and open days since 2018. She planted four plots, two
of maize and beans and two of maize and cowpeas. Overall germination was good, especially for maize
and cowpeas. Beans had less than 50% germination in the first plot. Her crops were green in colour
and growing well, except for some challenges with stalkborer, beetles and locusts which left visible
damage on the stems and leaves. Her soils were brown in colour with small amounts of organic matter.
Figure 24: Right and Far Right; Growth in Mvis
Shezi’s CA trialplots.
Southern KZN Mayizekanye
open day.
The open day took place on the 17th of
March at Dutch community church in
Mayizekanye under the theme, “Cover
crops and Livestock Integration”. The
main presentations done by Wiseman
Ndlovu from the Department of
Agriculture and Ntokozo Mdlethse from
MDF. The attendance to the farmers daywas very poor, with only around 12 farmers in attendance.
It appears that many of the 40 plus farmers in this earning group, participated in this CCA process for
the primary purpose of receiving the small input packs
provided for the experimentation. The farmer level
experimentation process is to be adjusted to a zero
inputs process from next season onwards and only those
interested in the approach are to continue
Figure 25: Right; Mr Wiseman Ndlovu, a DARDLR extensionofficer
discussing the advantages of cover crops and green manures with
attendees of the open day in Mayizekanye.
Mavis Shezi: TRIAL LAYOUT
M+B
M+C
M+B
M+C
%Germination
60%
75.4%
82.5%
87.5%
%Canopy Cover
30%
40%
45%
60%
Colour
Green
Comments
Good crop growth, issues with locusts, stalk borer and CMR beetles
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
36
Limpopo
The Conservation Agriculture process was re-introduced in Sedawa andTurkeyvillages in Limpopo.
AIM: Review of CA principles and practice to date and conscious inclusion of summer cover crops and
Dolichos (Lablab) beans intothe cropping system.
The CA experimentation workshops were run over a period of2 to 3 days (Sedawa, Turkey and
Willows); starting with a day of theory and discussion and followed by practical demonstrations, after
which the farmer volunteers plant their own trial and control plots.
Minimum tillage and soil cover are not intuitive concepts for smallholders, as it directly opposes their
normal or habitual farming practices. The presentation of the CA principles and reasoning is done with
as many photographs and visual examples as possible; either using a power point presentation or
using A4 colour plates as visuals.Topics covered in the presentation include: Principles of CA, different
planting options and planters, farmer level experimentation and
layout of CA trials, intercropping examples, reduction in runoff,
cover crop options (summer and winter combinationsand a
farmercase study)
Figure 26: Introduction of concepts in CA and cover crops using printed slides intwo different villages.
Comments from the groups haveincluded:
-“Use of pictures on the slides helps us to visualise what was being taught”
-“Maybe you should make notes on the flipchart in Sepedi and not English to allow us to also
take notes”
-“You keep showing us examples of CA from other places, is it because you donot have local
examples?”
-“One thing that is clear is that we have not left asmuch soil cover as we see in the pictures.
This could be because in winter we clear and turn the field croppingplotsinto a garden. This
also means that we till the soil, so we haven’t minimised the tilling. This has led to a lot of run-
off in the plots and in summer the rain washes away the seed and causes erosion”
-“Seeing examples of places where CA has worked, gives us courage to keep trying, one day we
might realise the same benefits. Even with the high level of uncertainty it is worth trying.”
-“Though it seems in the examples shown on the slides, the people have access to water or it
rains a lot in their area “
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
37
These comments have assisted the team to fine tune the learningprocess, to be as participatory and
locally appropriate as possible.
Practical demonstrations
For the practical demonstrations, a template, using knotted ropes and pegs are used to assist farmers
to understand and internalise the layout and the importanceof close spacing. The concept of
staggered or zig-zag planting is also demonstrated. The spacing is designed to ensure the development
of an early canopy cover for weed control, while minimising competition between plants.
In Limpopo, we also worked withparticipants to draw the layout on flip chart papers, for them to
keep as a record and reminder. This practice worked quite well here, but not in KZN, where literacy
levels in the learning groups as generally lower.
Figure 27:Left; Mr S Selala, the facilitator showing the layout drawing/template in Turkey. Centre; using a variation with
the actual seed laid out on the paper and Right; Abitha Shaai in Willows drawing out their own layout template for use
with her learning group
For the demonstrations and farmer led trials participants are supported with provision of seed,
planters and other inputs as agreed upon. This is to reduce the risk innate in trying out new and
unfamiliar practices. The control plots are managed by participants in their normal way.
Farmer level experiments were introduced; differing depending on whether participants had already
planted portions of their fields or not and on which cover crops they were interested to try. Sunflower
is known as a heat and drought resistant crop, but is not grown much anymore as participants are no
longer keeping poultry(due to lack of water). They asked about potential markets. Dolichos is popular
as both the leaves and seed can be eaten.
PROCESS
Planting demonstrations for the CA experimentswere done in four villages. We demonstrated the
following practices:
-Planting maize with a summer cover crop mix(Babala/millet, sunflower and Sun hemp), or
individual cover crops such as sunflowers. Four Rows of maize were planted in basins 50cm
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
38
apart and 4 rows of cover crops planted in furrows 25cm apart at a rate of 10kg/ha. Cover
crops were relay planted into the maize, 3 to 4 weeks after planting maize, to reduce moisture
competition between the crops
-Intercropping maizewith sugar beans/ cowpeas. Tramlines of
50cm spacing for maize and25cm for the legumes (in and
between rows)
-Dolichos (Lablab beans) were planted along fence lines
according to the local practice. Participants did not want to
plant Dolichos as an intercrop, fearing competition with other
crops
-Bales of grass were used to mulch portions of the CA trials, to
test the effect on weed suppression and moisture retention
-Hand weeding was undertaken during the season and weeds
were to be left on the soil surface as a mulch.
Figure 28: Right; mulching a portion of the CA trial plot in Turkey
Farmer comments regarding the learning demonstrations:
-“This is the easiestway to plant (if I used this method from the beginning, I would have finished
planting the whole yard in less than 2 days)”
-“This CA method requires less labour and also less seed than our normal way of planting”
-“We are not used to leaving residues on the soil surface; we usually remove weeds and organic
matter and then burn it. We see now that maybe residue is important, but it is difficult, as we
are used to seeing nice clean plots and this looks very mess. It is going to take us a while to get
used tothis”
-“Wewould need to make some adjustments in the way wedo ourcropping;
odividing ourfields into two parts (garden area) and (field cropping area) and
ominimising or stopping burning of dry weeds and crop residues, even though this is
tricky as the crop residues take some time to break down in the soil and snakes can
hide in this mulch and make it unsafe for children to play there
-“The spacing, especially between the beans really seems to be too narrow. We are sure there
will be competition”
-“We appreciated that you are patient with us, it helps us when our memories are being
refreshed (even though we should be knowing this very well by now)
-You always try new methods to help us understand the subject matter
-Please provide use with some sort of a template on how to plant different combinations under
CA, (something that will look like a calendar that I can paste on a wall)
-We don’t collect wood anymore as such and ropes are not really available in the households,
but we will share the existing rope templates and try our best”.
-Making the template was easy and it made the job a lot easier
-Overall, we loved how the layout made with seed on paper, I don’t think I can forget this
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
39
-“It is a good idea to work together to plant these trials. Thatway we can remind each other
and also plant faster”
Actions for MDF
-To make templates for planting CA plots (something that one can put on a wall).
-Find bird resistant sorghum seed for next season
-Design a workshop on pest control specifically for field crops (maize in particular)
-Think through weeding options; there was a hand “weeder” that was used in Bergville at some
point that could be useful to try out.
Facilitators’reflectionon the CA learning process
-The concept of CA is knowledge intensive and difficult to convey in one learning session,
especially linked to deeply entrenched habits that work in opposition to the principles; such
as clearing and burning of weeds, wide spacing and the like
-It would be ideal to be able to run workshops throughthe whole cropping season to make
observations and deepen the learning
-Because the innovation system approach to learning relies on positive results from the farmer
level experimentation, seasons such asthe present one, where hot and dry conditions has
seriously hampered germination and growth, tend to be difficult for introduction of a new
practice. Farmers associate the lack of results with the practice, rather than the season. It can
be almost impossible to disentangle different factors, such as lack of soil fertility on the
performance of the trials as well. It is thus common to have very variable results within a
group, with some participants faring reasonably well and other failing completely. Under such
conditions, uptake of these practices tends tobe low.
-Participants somehow believe that this method cannot be used on larger fields as they have
now got into the habit of believing this is only possible with tractors and with assistance
provided in provision ofseed. The concept of manual weeding is one they are not prepared
to consider.
-The habit of planting without any addition of soil nutrients or manure is a very common
practice, specifically in Limpopoandisa big problem in terms of improved yields. It is however,
extremely difficult topersuade participants to collect and use manure. Many have no access
and would need to buy this from people who do, which is a constraint.
Progress with CA trials
Only 10 of the 35 participants in the CA experimentation cycle managed to grow crops that will be
harvestable. For most of the participants germination was low and crops died back soon after
germination. Weather conditions have been unconducive, with intense heat and low rainfall between
December 2019 and January 2020. In addition, lack of soil fertility and soilorganic matter is a major
limiting factor.
1.Summer cover crops (Sun hemp, sunflower and millet) survived where maize and legumes
such as beans and cowpeas died back due to heat and drought stress.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
40
Magdalene Malepe; “Sun hemphas grown very well and it is a good crop for provision of fodder for
goats. Intercropping with Sunhempworks much better because I have seen an improvement in my
soil
Figure 29: Above left; Magadelene’s Sun hemp, intercropped with maize growing very well. The maize however is showing
strong signs of heat and water stress andmosthas already died back. Aboveright;Maizeroots are stunted and growing
horizontally indicative of a highly compacted soil and a shallow plough pan typical ofplots where hand hoes have been
used for tillage for many years.
Figure 30:For Sarah Madire
in Turkey, all her summer
cover crops survived well
(Babala, sunflower and Sun
hemp), along with a few
straggly maize plants.
2.Cowpeas can still do well under difficult conditions if adequate mulching is provided.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
41
MagdaleneMalepeis aware that her soil is not very fertile and has issues. In this regard, she decided
to do a small experiment with lime by herself; she added lime to a section of her plot where she
planted cowpeas and another small area with cowpeas without lime.She also mulched these plots.
She has seen that the cowpeas that
received lime andmulch have grown
much better and are a good dark
green colour compared to those
without lime ormulch,which showed
purpling on the leaves.
Figure 31: Right; cowpeas growing well, with
added lime and mulching
NOTE: From soil fertility samples
analysed for these participants, lime
is not required in this systemand pHs’
of the soil average around pH 7.5.
3.Adding organic matter to the soil, forimproved soil fertility, allows maize to grow where it
otherwise would not; where conditions are hot and dry.
Meisie Mokwena from Sedawa
makes piles of organic matter in
her field at the end of the season
to improve her soil fertility and
also makes and adds compost to
her soil.
Figure 32: Meisie’s maize, gourd and
moringa intercropped plot, planted in soil
with organic matter added. Her maize has
thrived, while that of her neighbours,
who do not add organic matter, died
back.
4.Supplementary irrigation can assist in survival of crops, specifically maize.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
42
Angelina Thekwanefrom Turkey intercropped maize with Sun hempand provided supplementary
irrigation, using municipal water. This provided for good growth of both crops, although the maize
lacked nutrients (as she plants without adding anything to the soil) and maize roots were shallow;
indicative of soil compaction.
Figure 33: Left;
Angelina’s maize and
Sun hempintercrop
growing remarkably
well. Centre; Angelina
holding a maize cob
and Right; a root ball
for one of the maize
plants This indicates
compacted low fertility
soil.
5.Growing traditional legumes that are heat and drought tolerant such as groundnuts and jugo
beans are a good alternative to maize.
Someparticipants decided against planting maize, given the bad track record for this crop in the last
few years.One such participant is Mmatshego Shaai from Turkey. She planted only legumes;
groundnuts and jugo beans for a second season in a row. She has found these crops survive better and
also provide for better
soil moisture due to
their canopy, as well as
reduced erosion in her
plot.
Figure 34: Mmatshego
Shaai’s field planted to
ground nuts and jugo beans,
which she sellsin the
community.
Silence Malapane in
Willows followed the same practice. He planted these legumes in basins and in ridges and furrows. He
felt that the compaction of soil, along with uncovered soil is a problem under the present conditions.
This can be considered a local adaptation and is important to note.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
43
Bergville
New farmer level experimentation processes have been included into the overall experimental design;
including planting of short season maize varieties, late planting of beans and strip cropping with
perennial fodder species. Below, progress with these processes is summarised.
Short season maize and late planting of beans
A demonstration workshop was held at Stulwane on the 30thJanuary 2020 at Mam Cuphile Buthelezi
homestead.
Activities undertaken:
Field preparation- slashing and spraying after planting
Discussion of experimentation plot layout
Demarcation of plots- each plot 100 m2
Weighing and distribution of inputs: - As per trial experimentation recommendation
-Seed (M and B)
-Fertilizer (MAP)
-Liming
-Chemical (Paragon)
-Pegs for labellingof planted plots (Plot description, Planting dates)
It was discussed that participants will be using this experimentation to compare the different seed
varieties, namely seed planted in main trial (PAN 53) with the early maturing varieties (Pan 3A 173
ultra-early white and PAN 5 A-190 medium early white). Late beans planted would be PAN148. It
was agreed that each participant will look at their current trial and replicate a selection of these plots
into the current early maize variety experimentation. Farmers resolved to have three plots each which
consisted on an intercrop plot and sole plots of maize and beans. Plant and row spacing was also
discussed to remain the same as that of the trial.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
44
Figure 35: Above Left; demarcation of row spacing for the demonstration trial, Centre; fertilization and planting after
spraying of herbicide and 2week waiting period and Right: Labelling of new varieties in the plots
The following list of participants volunteered to undertake experimentation:
Stulwane
Cuphile Buthelezi
Nothile Zondi
Khulekani Dladla
Dombolo Dlamini
Nelisiwe Msele
Below are a few photographs of progress in these plots
Figure 36: Right
Cuphile ButheleziFeb
2020, latebean and
early maturing maize
intercrop and Far Right
the same plot around a
month later. Both
germination and
growth has been
impressive.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
45
Figure 37: Right; Nothile Zondi’splot (20 march 2020).She has also seen good germination and growth forthis late planting
trial. Centre:
Nelisiwe Msele
jointly with three
other participants,
prepared and
sprayed a 2000m2
m plot and used the
2-rowtractor
drawn planter to do
the late planting of
maize and beans.
Right; Germination
was a little patchy
possibly due to still
getting used to the
planter setting, but
subsequent growth
has been very good.
Ndunwana
Lethiwe Zimba:She has been an active participant in the CA experimentationfor a number of years
Below is an outline of her standard CA experimentation plot layout and the rotations she has done in
in the past three seasons.
Both Lethiwe Zimba and Boniwe Mthembu alsodid the smaller late season planting trial with M, M+B
and B plots.
Table 5: Trial Plot layouthistory for Lethiwe Zimba (Ndunwana 2017-2019)
2019/2020
2018/2019
2017/2018
Plot 1
M+B
Maize
Lab-Lab
Plot 2
M+C
Lab-Lab
M
Plot 3
M+B
M+C
Scc
Plot 4
M+C
M+B
M+B
Plot 5
M+B
M+B
M+C
Plot 6
M+B
M+B
M+C
Plot 7
M
M+B
M+B
Plot 8
Lab-Lab
M+C
M
Plot 9
M+B
M
B
Plot 10
M
Scc
M
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
46
Figure 38: Above Left: Lethiwe Zimba- Plot 10 Maize only 2019/2020,Centre; Her late season M+B intercropped plot and
Right; Boniwe Mthembu’s late planting of maize and beans.
Strip cropping with perennial fodder crops
The strip cropping demonstration planting was done at Nothile Zondi’s home in January 2020. The 15
participants who volunteered for this trial then received 1kg each of Short season maize (PAN5 A 190
yellow maize) and 100g ea.of the different grass species to plant their own small trials at in their
fields.Participants chose to do either or both of a tramline intercrop of maizeand the SCC mix
(sunflower Sunhemp and millet) and 4 row intercropped strips of short season maize with perennial
fodder grasses (Mooi river mix, Pensacola, Tall fescue and Lespedeza/poor man’s Lucerne). The table
below outlines the choice of these experimentation protocols for participants form five villages.
Table 6: Strip cropping participants in Bergville; 2019-2020
Village
Name and Surname
Strip Cropping with
SCC
Strip Cropping with perennial grasses
and legumes
Ezibomvini
Phumelele Hlongwane
Y
Y
Ntombenhle Hlongwane
Y
Eqeleni
Ntombakhe Zikode
Y
Thulile zikode
Y
Emabunzini
Valindaba khumalo
Y
Y
Vimbukhalo
Sbongile Pulo
Y
Y
Stulwane
Nelisiwe Msele
Y
Khulekani Dladla
Y
Y
Thulani Dlamini
Y
Y
Mtholeni Dlamini
Y
Matolozana Gumbi
Y
Dombi Dlamini
Y
Dombolo Dlamini
Y
Y
Ntombana Dlamini
Y
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
47
Dlezakhe Hlongwane
Y
Y
Phasazile Sthebe
Y
Y
Fikile Hlatshwayo
Y
Y
Nothile Zondi
Y
Y
Cuphile Sthebe
Y
Y
Khethabakhe Miya
Y
Y
Note: Participants marked in grey above received see, but did not do their planting
Plot lay out for the demonstration at Stulwane
10m x 13m10m x 13m10m x 13m
Maize
Passage 1m
Maize
Passage 1m
Maize 4 rows 50cm
SCC
Mooi river mix
Mooi river mix 4 rows 25cm
Maize
Maize
Maize
SCC
Pensacola
Pensacola
Maize
Maize
Maize
SCC
Tall Fescue
Tall Fescue
Maize
Maize
Maize
SCC
Lespedeza
Lespedeza
Plot1
Plot2Plot3
The above figure outlinesthe plot layout at Stulwane for Nothile Zondi. Plots 1 with the maize and SCC
intercrop used the same tramline layout as the normal CA trials and plots 2and 3used the 4 row strips.
The participants who undertook the experimentation only implemented the layout for plot 1 or 2;
thus, a smaller trial then the demonstration.
Monitoring was done in Stulwane on the 5thof March for a number of the participants;
Participants battled to identify the grasses from the natural grass species and weeds when they
germinated. Many also experienced a hot, dry spell and dais that the grasses germinated, but then
died back again. A few of the trial plots were replanted- but without much success as the same
problems repeated themselves. Participants often did not undertake early enough weeding in the
fodder grass strips to be able to work out what was going on.
Participants also did not label their strips, despite being provided with the labels to do so, making
identification of the grass species almost impossible at a later stage given the lack of germination
and growth.
Thulani Dlamini
Below is the plot layout for Mr Dlamini.
20m x 10m
nMaize 4 line all
n
nmaize
nGrass
nGrass
nMaize
nMaize
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
48
nMooi river mix
nMooi river mix
nMaize
nMaize
nLespedeza
nLespedeza
nMaize
nMaize
nGrass
nGrass
He could not remember his planting date which
was somewhere in early February. Only the
Lespedeza has shown any growth.He mentioned
that if he hadplanted earlierwhile it wasraining,
maybe the grasses would havegrown as they
were affected by heatand didnot survive.His
short season maize was growing well
Figure 39:Right; Thulani’s strip cropping plots showing short
season maize growing well with Lespedeza on the right.
Khulekani Dladla
He planted a reasonably large experimental plot in early February and is serious about trying to
produce fodder for his livestock for winter, as they often run out of grazing and food which is a big
concern for him. His plot size and layout areindicated below.
30m x 20m
nMaize
nGrass
nMaize
nPensacola
nMaize
nGrass
nMaize
nLespedeza
nMaize
He reiterated the observation that grass species gemrinated, but died back due to hot, dry conditions.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
49
Figure 40:Above: Left; the picture shows Khulekani’splots with short season maize, Centre; Lespedeza and Right;
Pensacola
Mtholeni Dlamini
He planted a small trial (200m2), with 6
lines of Lespedeza and 10 lines of
Pensacola, as well as a small patch of
the Mooirvier Mix.
The Lespedeza did not germinate, but
the grasses have done quite well. He
waited until after rains in late January
to plant.
Figure 41:Right; Mtoleni’s Pensacola and Far
right; Mooi river mix of fodder species growing
well.
Cuphile Buthelezi
Her plot size and layout are shown below
20m x 10
nMaize 4 lines
n
nMaize
nPensacola
nCover crops
nMaize
nMaize
nTall fescue
nLespedeza 2 lines
nmaize
nMooi river mix
nCover crops
nMaize
She planted on 20thof January, and could indicate which species were planted in the strips.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
50
Figure 42: Right and centre; Lesepdeza and Pensacolagrowing in CuphileButhelezi’s strip cropping trail. She had zero
germination
and growth for
the Mooi river
mix of grass,
Right; Her
short season
maize growing
well.
Bangeni Dlamini
She chose to plant cover crops and maize strip cropping, she planted late and when we arrived there
her crops were still germinating.
For all participants, germination of Lespedeza and Pensacola was reasonable, but for most the Tall
fescue and Mooi river mix did not grow.
Ezibomvini
Phumelele Hlongwane
Alongside, is Phumelele’s plot size and layout.
15m x 7m
Mr Madondo assisted with a demonstration planting in Ezibomvini at Phumelele Hlongwane’s field.
Short season maize and grasses were planted using MAP andlime, as per normal CA trial plot
plantings.Phumelele commented that themaize wasgrowing very well, but the grasses are growing
slowly and mostlydid not survive the heat; post germination.Shealsothinks that the grass seeds do
not do well in
hard soil because
they aretiny.
Figure 43: Right;
Planting the strip
cropping trails and
Far right; Impressive
growth of the short
season maize the
grasses however did
not do well.
Maize 2 rows pan 5A 190
Pensacola
Maize 2 rows pan 5A 190
Lespedeza
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
51
Ntombenhle Hlongwanehad zero growth of the 4 fodder species she
planted. She left weeding very late after germination.She also said there
were heavy rains straight after planting and she thinks some of the seed
was washed away.
Figure 44: Right; Ntombenhle’s plot with almost zero growth in her strip cropping trial
Eqeleni
Ntombakhe Zikode
She planted a 200m2 plot with strips of 2 rows of short season maize and
4 rows of all fourfodder species.
She planted on the 7thof February 2020, usingthe same
recommendation for lime, MAP and spacingas her CA
trial plots. She commented that the maize germinated
well and quickly, but that the grasses are takingtime
and due to weeds, she is unsure which is which. She is
hoping that in the following weeks, she willbe able to
tell.
Figure 45: Right; Ntombakhe’s strip cropping plots with maize
germinated
Thulile Zikode
20m x 15m
For Thulile the short season maize has grown
reallywell, as has her CA trial and there is clear
growth for most of the fodder crop species.
Figure 46: Right; Thulile Zikode’s strip cropping trial,
doing well., Lesepdeza has germinated and was
growing well
Emabunzini
nMaize 4 rows
nMaize
nGrass
nGrass
nMaize 4 rows
nMaize
nGrass
nGrass
nMaize 4 rows
nMaize
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
52
Valindaba Khumalo
20m x 7m
She planted on the 27thFebruary2020
withMr Madondo. She planted all
fodder varieties andshort seasonmaize.
She made three lines in each variety, using the same lime and
MAP application asshe does inCA plots. She commented that
growth was good, but due to invasion by goats, there is no
growths
Figure 47: Right; Lack of growth for Valindaba Khumalo, following
invasion by goats.
Replanting of fodder species was done for a few participants in Stulwane and Ezibomvini around the
20thMarch. Most participants felt that it was too late, given that cattle would be allowed into the
fields in June and opted not to replant these trials. Below is the list of participants who were supplied
with a further stock of Lespedeza to plant.
Participant
Re-planted
Date
Phumelele Hlongwane
Lespedeza
18/03/2020
Ntombenhle Zikode
Lespedeza
19/03
Khulekani Dladla
Lespedeza
19/03
Khethabahle Miya
Lespedeza
20/03
Thulani Dlamini
Lespedeza
19/03
Nothile Zondi
Lespedeza
19/03
Sbongile Pulo
Lespedeza
19/03
Valindaba Khumalo
Lespedeza
19/17
Thulile Zikode
Lespedeza
17/03
Ntombakhe Zikode
Lespedeza
21/03
Cover Crop experimentation
Summer cover crops consisting ofa mix of sunflower, Sun hempand milletas well asturnips were
distributed at a rate of 50 kg/ha translating 0.5 kg / 100 m2. To participating farmers. These were
planted in rows predominately as a four mix but. Below listed is cover crop experimentation in
Bergville 2019/2020
Village
Number of Participants
nMaize 3 rows
nGrass
nMaize 3 rows
nGrass
nMaize 3 rows
nGrass
nMaize 3 rows
nGrass
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
53
Stulwane
21
Eqeleni
10
Ezibomvini
15
Ndunwana
02
Thamela
03
Ngoba
02
Vimbukhalo
06
Emabunzini
02
Emazimbeni
06
Mhlwazini
02
Emahlathini
01
Total
62
Stulwane
Cover crop experimentation in Stulwaneconsisted of the following
Practice
Description
Intercrop
Maize & Beans, Maize & Cowpea
Sole Crop
Beans, Dolichos, Cowpea
Diversification
Sunflower, Sun hemp, Millet, Turnips (Scc Mix)
Strip cropping
Sunflower, Sun hemp, Millet
For the most participants have done well in terms of maintenance of their plots and more specifically
the food crop plots. In some cases, lack of weeding was evident in the cover crop plots
Figure 48:Above left; SCC mix for Nothile Zondi weedy with patchy germination and growth, Above centre; a similar
situation for Cuphile Buthelezi’s Lab-Lab plot, Above Right; Cuphile’s intercropped plots of maize and SCC mix, growing
very well
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
54
.
Figure 49: Above Left; SCC mix for Matholozana Gumbi, growing reasonably well, despite heavy weed load, Above centre;
He beans only plot and Above right; Ntombifuthi Mkhize’s beans only CA plot.
Figure 50: Right and Far Right; Mtholeni
Dlamini’SLab-lab plot and his SCC mix plot in
his CA trial; both well- tended and growing
well.
Emabunzini
Valindaba Khumalo
The small table below provides an
outline of Valindaba’s rotation and
planting of her CA trial plots for 2018-
2019
Description
2019/2020
2018/2019
Plot 1
M
B
Plot 2
M+B
B
Plot 3
M+C
LL
Plot 4
M
LL
Plot 5
M
M
Plot 6
SCC
M
Note: In the 2019/2020 season her cover crop plots consisted of four (4) rows scc mix
(sunflower, sun hemp, millet) and four (4) turnips
Figure 51: Right; Valindaba’s SCC mixplot
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
55
3CCA WORKSHOPS
Climate change impact mapping and visioning for4 new villages
in Limpopo
MDF visited and introduced the CCA workshop process in four new villages; Santeng, Worcester,
Madeira and Lorraine. These initial visits also consisted of speaking to the local authorities and
conducting household and field level visits to ascertain activities and issues from local smallholders.
This was followed by the CCA workshop process: CCA workshop 1. Climate change analysis impact
and adaptive measures.The workshop runs over a period of two days.
Facilitation steps proposed are as follows:
1.Contextualization: Natural resources; need to look at climate change databases for
KZN/EC/Limpopo, and discuss with people how these will affect them Tools; A4 impact pictures
or a PP presentation of floods, droughts, erosion, declining natural resource base, declining
yields, …)
2.Look at the difference between variability in weather and climate change. There is variability in
weather and there is also a major change in that variability in weather, predictions and certainty
(Tools, role play- Phone call; weekend visit vs moving to an area)
3.Exploration of temperature and rainfall and participants’ understanding of how these are
changing (Tool: Seasonal diagrams on temperature and rainfall normal and how these are
changing)
4.Timeline in terms of agriculture (Tool: livelihoods and farming timelines -assessment of past,
present and future)
5.CC impact Map: Changes (in natural resources), impacts (of changes), practices (past, present,
future), challenges/responses (Tool: Mind mapping of impacts)
6.Current practices and responses (effectiveness of responses) (Tool: outlining adaptive measures
on mind map)
Using these facilitation steps a workshop process is designed tailored to each specific group and their
responses to the questions and discussions.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
56
The workshops were run towards the end of January and in early February, 2020 for groups who
requested involvement. Mostly residents had heard of the CCA work being conducted in other villages
in the area and asked to be included. This is a method for horizontal scaling of work, based on local
interest. Attendance of the workshops were a bit
disappointing. It was ascertained later, that
conducting the workshops under the auspices of the
local traditional authorities had driven a number of
interested individuals away, due to conflictual and
difficult relationships and lack of trust. The situation
has since been rectified.
Figure 52: Sylvester and Betty facilitatingduring the CCA
workshop in Madeira
The small table below summarizes participation and present farming activities for these groups.
Village
name
No of
participants
Male
Female
Gardening
Field cropping
Livestock rearing
Lorraine
(Sekororo)
9
4
5
7
5
4
Worcester
36
10
26
20
16
8
Madeira
14
6
8
6
10
2
Santeng
17
3
14
14
5
12 (Mostly indigenous
poultry)
The outcomes ofthe workshops are discussed for all four villages together, as many of the discussions
and issues are similar across the villages.
Understanding of Climate change
Here participants talked to their understanding of changes in climate and weather and also conducted
the seasonal diagrams for temperature and rainfall to indicate the changing trends.
Mostly farmers could not defineclimate change and were not sure what itmeanseven though they
have heard of climate change over the radio and on TV. They were not sure of the causes of climate
change, but a few well-informed participants mentioned burning of deforestation, air and water
pollution as causes of climate change.
They could however quite clearly define how the weather patterns have changes; indicating increased
heat and changing rainfall patterns as the two main changes. Changes in rainfall are mainly later onset
of summer rains and unpredictable rainfall during the rainy season. They also mentioned the drought
that has been decimating crops and livestock in the area for the last 4-5 years. This season is the first
rainy season that has provided something closer to normal rainfall in the area, although it has still
beenlower than what people remember.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
57
The seasonality maps provided more detailed insight. Participants divided into small groups and
constructed seasonality diagrams; first indicating
the “normal” temperatures and rainfall on two
separate diagrams and then indicating, using red
markers, the changes they have experienced in
the last six to seven years.
Participants were all clear that temperatures
have increased dramatically throughout the
whole year.
Figure 53: The seasonality diagram for temperature
developed by the Santeng village participants.
The rainfalldiagrams differed somewhat
between the villages, although the overall trends were marked in all cases. Summer onset of rainfall
has shifted from September to October and November. Rainfall in October has become toolow and
erratic to allow for planting and most planting now happened fromthe middle of November into
December. They also discussed that the rainfall in January is lower than before, leading to mid-season
droughts and crop failure.
Figure 54:Rainfall seasonality diagrams for Worcester (left), Santeng (centre) and Lorraine (right)
Effects of increased temperature and variable rainfall are considered to be the following:
It feels as though there is no winter anymore and heat in spring and summer has been extreme
Increase in temperature means a decrease in grass cover in the environment with increased
erosion and environmental problems
Most farmers have stopped farming activities, because crops will do not survive theextreme
heat with reduced access to water. Other farmers have changed their planting calendars over
the last five years to accommodate for the changing rainfall patterns and heat.
Many of the fruit trees planted in participants’ yards have died, as wellas some of the
indigenous trees and people fear large scale die back of trees in the environment.
Food will be expensive; including livestock food.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
58
Farmers also complained about having lower and lower yields over the past five to six seasons.
Undergroundwater will be depleted.
They rely on underground water for both irrigation and household use. As more boreholes are
drilled, underground water is starting to run out.
Extreme heat and low rainfall in January are resulting in field crops wilting and dying. Shifting
planting dates to February might not be a good idea, because winter starts just as the maize
starts tussling and thus harvests will be badly affected. Some farmers suggested they could
irrigate their maize in January, but due to low rainfall inDecember over the last few years,
access to water in streams and rivers has been hampered. They believe that access to water
for irrigation will become and even bigger problem in the future. In some of the villages, such
as Santeng, there is no access to surface water at all and farmers have to rely on boreholes,
many of which are becoming salty and drying up.
There is now a delay in harvesting wild leafy vegetables (morogo) as this used to be in
November. Now that it is drier and hotter, the supply has decreased considerably. Crops like
mustard spinach used to be grown in winter, but with the hotter temperatures it is no longer
doing well.
There is a change in crop types that can be planted. Heat tolerant crops are now preferred.
These include: chillies, onions, cowpeas, peanuts, jugo beans, sugar beans, sweet potatoes
Planting of vegetables now works better in controlled environments such as greenhouses.
These changes will affect their livelihoods, as most of the participants rely heavily on income
made from the sale of crops to supplement their livelihoods.
Changes in the environment
The discussions with participants start with exploring the changes they are experiencing over time in
their general environment and in their farming system
A list of changes is provided below (summarized for the 4 villages):
Low rainfall
Unpredictable distribution of rainfall (we planted dry land fields in November after the onset
of rainfall but our crops died now)
More frequent veld fires
Very high temperatures (is getting hotter)
Lots of mosquitoes and threat of malaria
Drought (five years interval)
Hunger
No harvest (it has been a couple of years in this area)
Low production of staple food
Cannot grow anything in winter (no water for drinking let alone for irrigation)
Jobs are affected
Soil erosion
Fruits (mangos) low quality (small size and they fall off the tree)
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
59
Outbreak of pests
Low or lack of grazing areas
Rivers are drying out
Food prices are increasing
Changes in the faming environment were explored by discussing the past, present and future of their
farming system. Again, comments from the four villages have been compiled into one summary table
Table 7: Summary of an analysis of the past, present and future of the smallholder farming system in the lower Olifants
Past
Present
Future
Planted millet and sorghum (this was
drought tolerant) better than the
maize
Planted in September and harvested
in January
Maize (is not doing well) but we
cannot go back to millet and sorghum,
(birds are amajor problem), most of
the millet and sorghum varieties have
disappeared.
The planting time has changed to end
of November, butrain is not enough to
get a harvest
We need to find new ways to improve
production of maize
Production of maize will become
impossible
Used to plough by hand
Now we use tractors
If the trend of heat and lack of rain
continues, we will need to stop
farming
Good yields
Declining yield and no yield in some
years
We going to have to stop farming at
some point if things continue the same
way (wewon’t have inputs (e.g.seed
will disappear) to keep trying with
In the past there was more access to
grazing and more grazing.We had
herders who kept the cattle out of the
fields
There are no herders anymore as the
children go to school and we cannot
afford to pay people to do this
There is less grazing and more
diseases in cattle and we need to
provide winter fodder to keep them
alive
It is very costly to lose cattle and when
the die we cannot afford to replace
them. A few rich farmers will own all
the cattle and others will be left with
nothing.
Variety of indigenous fruits
(mahlatswa, dibopudu) these were
healthy, we didn’t pay money to get
these
Wild animals such as monkeys and
baboons were there, but did not cause
so much damage
A few indigenous fruits (lots of these
trees are now used for firewood)
Wild animals invade our fields and
household plots. There is no food for
them in nature
There is little we can do about this
situation (but some of us have started
growing some of the trees in the
house hold) e.g. Marula trees but they
do not always bear fruits (though
those that grew naturally bears fruits)
We aregoing to buy everything in the
future
These animals will disappear
There was less money but a lot more
access to healthy food grown by us.
We used to mill our own maize and we
did not use chemicals
Now there is still no money, but we
use chemicals that poison our food.
We buy food that is not health and
suffer from diseases that were not
We needto grow our ownfoodThere
should be opportunities for those who
can continue to farm as there will be
fewer farmersthose who can could
make reasonable incomes.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
60
there in the past; high blood pressure,
diabetes, cancer
People will get more educated and
hopefully come with solutions.
Opportunity for things to get much
better and much worse atthe same
time
Having a vision of what you want to
see is important
We need to protect and save whatever
there still is left to be able to preserve
our future.
In thepasttherewas easy access to
water
Since 2015 water has become more
and more scarce. Rivers,boreholes
and dams are drying up
Even if the rains return, it will be
difficult for us to recoverand start
farming again
From the analysis in the table, it is clear that the participants in these workshops have a good grasp of
how things have shifted and the pressures on their farming system. They have some suggestions of
how they can continue into the future, but the increased vulnerability of these people is also obvious.
A lotof what is requiredis reconstructing natural and physical infrastructure to allow for farming to
continue, a task that many smallholders find daunting and for which very limited resources are
available.
Climate change impacts
Impacts of climate change were discussed, again in small groups, doing the climate change impact
mapping exercise. This exercise is designed for participants to explore all the possible CC impacts on
their farming systems and livelihood as a starting point to beginning to identify possible adaptive
measures.
Figure 55: Discussing the impacts nada dative measuresin small groups here assisted by the new intern Constance
Rasweswe (left) and CC impact maps for the two small groups in Worcester (right)
The impacts and adaptive measures proposed by the group members are presented in the two tables
below for Worcester and Santeng as examples.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
61
Table 8: Worcester CCA impacts and adaptive strategies summary
Impacts
Description and linkages
Outcomes
Potential adaptive measure
Worcester
Heat
Plants wilt and die, veld fires
Hunger, skin cancer, affects body
and energy, diarrhoea, vomiting
and fatigue, pest outbreaks, affect
internal body temperature,
disease, plants die, water has salt,
drought
-Provide soil cover (mulching) -
We don’t know what to do -buy
animal feed,
-government livestock feed
support
- cut out bushes to reduce veld
fires and use these as firewood
- use ash to purify water
-plant trees(indigenous) in our
households,
-use blue death,
-buy food and buy water
Water
shortages
Less rain, Increased
evaporation, water sources
dry out
No water for drinking and washing,
less indigenous trees, decreasein
indigenous food, less food or no
food
irrigate using boreholewater,
buy water, drill boreholes
Soil
Soil microorganisms die, soil
erosion, increased soil
temperatures
Loss of fertility, loss of
microorganisms, formation of
dongas
Using erosion control measures
(contour planting)
-Use furrows and ridges asa
planting strategy
Crop
production,
resources
Lower yields, more pests,
veld fires, die back of
indigenous trees
Less or no indigenous fruits
Plant more trees, minimise or
stop burning things
Livestock
Grasses dry out, no grazing,
more diseases,
Livestock decreasing, not healthy-
-Stop burning of bush to increase
feed availability
-buy animal feed, or ask for
animal feed support from
government
- buy medicines
Social
repercussions
Lots of human and animal
diseases (e.g. Malaria)
Poverty, hunger and death,
Population will decrease,
Increase in food prices,
crime, corruption, lack of
economic growth, migration,
police stations overcrowded,
air pollution, stress and
depression, strike for jobs, no
jobs
No tourists, businesses will
perform poorly, people won’t grow
food anymore and there will be no
income,
Hospitalswill be full, increased
demand for medicine
No transfer of knowledge to the
next generation
-Seek professional help
-plant herbs and vegetables,
plant your own crops instead of
always buying
- entrepreneurship, job creation,
Table 9:Santeng CCA CCA impacts and adaptive strategies summary
Impacts
Description and linkages
Outcomes
Potential adaptive measure
Santeng
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
62
Less rainfall
Grass will stop growing,
indigenous plants and crops will
die, nature is not beautiful
Lack of grazing, livestock die,
loss of traditional medicines
Mulching
Water
shortages
Underground water depleted
and rivers are dry
No water for householduse,
irrigation and livestock,
borehole drying out
Rainwater harvesting (rooftop)
Soil
Soil temperature increase and
soil erosion
Poor and less yields, hunger,
poverty and death
They don’t know what to do to
reduce soil erosion and protect
the soil temperature from
increasing.
Crop
production
Yield decreases each year and
crop diseases increase
No yield or less yield
Use blue death powder for pest
control and they don’t control
crop diseases, as they are
unemployed and don’thave
money to buy pesticides. They
lose when their crops are
attacked by diseases.They will
stop their farming activities.
Livestock
Lack of grazing, and water for
livestock
Decrease in livestock
Buy animal feed
Social
repercussions
Human health declines, Diseases,
Loss of jobs, Hunger, poverty,
divorces, crime, jail, death,
Murder,crime,no money to
support families, conflicts
between neighbors
Visit clinics when they are sick.
A summary of adaptive strategies suggested by all four villages is presented below
Table 10: Summary of adaptive strategies suggested by participants
Soil
Water
Crops
Livestock
Natural
resources
Social
Contour
ploughing
Rainwater
harvesting
Mulching
Buy animal
feed
Control veld fires
Visit clinics
Furrow and
ridges
Drilling
boreholes
Drought
tolerant crops
Stop cutting trees
and bushes
Plant own food
instead of buying
Different
planting times
Plant trees in
households
Entrepreneurships,
small businesses
Blue death for
pest control
Job creation
Participants also said that in many cases they don’t know what to do and are willing and interested to
learn new ways and practices to be able to improve their farming and resource management. In all
villages, participants were very concerned with the social problems in their areas, which they feel are
increasing day by day and has a very negative impact on their lives.
Local practices
These were gleaned from conversation and household visits. The intention is also to find local adaptive
practices that are working well which can be included in the practices to be promoted through this
process.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
63
In Worcester some of the local practices noticed during the walks were:
Rearing indigenous chicken
Planting fruit trees (mainly mango trees)
Planting indigenous trees (e.g. morulaand tokonomatrees)
Mixed cropping (with legumes) e.g. groundnuts and jugo beans
Figure 56: Worcester practices; intercropping (left), planting mango trees in fields (centre) and indigenous poultry
enclosure (right)
In Madeira, further practices including banana basins, mulching, roof rainwater harvesting and making
of compost were recorded. Participantsmentioned that in the past they used to make pit compost,
burying crop wastes and watering them well as a way to fertilize their fields and gardens. These days
they cannotfind anyone who is prepared to put in that labour. They also mentioned that as they
cannotafford what people want to be paid to do weeding, they have resorted to using Roundup
herbicide on their fields. They do not believe that they are using it properly and do not have protective
clothing. In addition, they sometimes use pesticides, but do not understand well how they work. They
have requested help with these aspects. It was discussed that there are natural pest and disease
control options and farmers were keen to try these out.
Figure 57: Practices in Madeira; banana basins, roof rainwater harvesting, compost piles and pesticides
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
64
Adaptive measures
After the village walks, groups reconvened and were shown slides outlining some potential climate
resilient agriculture practices that they could try out. These practices are presented as 1pagers that
gives a description of each practice. The practices database is attached separately.
They developed criteria that they would find important when deciding on a practice and used these
to do a matrix prioritization ofpotential practices.
Below is an example of a prioritization matrix for climate resilient agriculture practices for Madeira.
CRA PRACTICE
Cost
labour
Material
accessibility
Hard
labour
Total
Drip irrigation
3
3
3
3
12
Mulching
3
1
3
2
9
Keyhole beds (grey water)
1
2
1
1
8
Furrow
3
3
3
1
5
Banana circles
3
2
3
3
12
Rainwater harvesting
1
1
1
2
10
Tied ridges
3
1
3
1
4
Targeted fertilizer and lime
2
2
2
1
8
Liquid manure
3
3
3
2
8
Trench beds
3
1
2
3
12
Eco-circle
3
3
3
2
8
Note: 1-Hard to do, 2-Medium, 3-Easy to do
Note 2: the difference between labour and hard labour is seen as the labour required to initially implement the practice and
the labour during the growing season to continue or maintain the practice
Farmers indicated that they would like to get practical knowledge on everything they were shown so
that they are able to do it in their farms. The matrix indicates that they are more interested in drip
irrigation, furrows, liquid manure and eco-circles mainly, because these are less costly and does not
require hard labour.
For Santeng the following practice prioritization matrix was developed.
Cost
labour
Material
accessibility
Hard
labour
Total
Drip irrigation
2
3
2
3
10
Diversion ditches
3
2
3
2
10
Greywater
3
3
3
3
12
Rainwater harvesting
3
3
3
3
12
Ridges and furrows
3
1
3
1
8
Stone bunds
3
3
3
1
10
Keyhole
1
2
1
1
5
Banana basins
3
3
3
3
12
Crop rotation
3
3
3
3
12
Mixed cropping
3
3
3
3
12
Mulching
3
3
3
3
12
Conservation Agriculture
3
2
3
2
10
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
65
Targeted fertilizer and lime
2
2
2
2
8
Liquid manure
3
3
3
3
12
Trench beds
3
1
2
1
7
Legumes
3
3
2
3
11
Compost
3
3
3
3
12
Eco-circle
3
3
3
3
12
Note: 1-Hard to do, 2-Medium, 3-Easy to do
Note 2: The difference between labour and hard labour is seen as the labour required to initially implement
the practice and the labour during the growing season to continue or maintain the practice
During the presentation of practices to the learning group, pictures of the results of implementing
practices were used; farmers were impressed and they felt like they could do the same thing, because
they are struggling to grow crops using their old system. Most farmers chose to try trench beds and
shallow trench beds in their garden as a start, and they requested practical demonstration for all the
practices, more especially the trench bed, how to make drip kits, liquid manure, compost, Eco-circles,
tower garden and soil conservation.
For Worcester the criteria chosen for assessing practices were:
Easy to understand and implement
Water use efficiency
Cost effective
Less labour intensive
Produce good results (good quality crops)
Farmers suggested they would want to prepare for winter planting; making and planting seed beds
for growing spinach, tomatoes, mustard spinach, beetroot, onions, carrots and cabbage. Participants
requested seed.
They also said they would like to learn about and try out the following:
Better way of preparing seedling beds
Water saving methods in the garden (drip kit, use of grey water, tower garden)
Pest control measures (natural pest control remedies, and growing of herbs)
For Lorraine, farmers have previously been involved in a food security project implemented by Lima
RDF. They knew most of the practices already and felt that the only thing they still lack are shade cloth
tunnels.
CCA workshop reflection
Farmers felt that they learned a lot from the workshop. They have been facing climate change effects
and couldn’t relate thesechanges; they first thought of them as punishment from God and they
prayed more for rain in their village but still nothing changed, instead the situation is different each
year.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
66
Farmers know about the word climate change but never thought the changes they are facing are the
result of climate change. Through the presentations, farmers showed their interest in learning new
practices to implement mainly in their gardens. Farmers havechosen practices to try out and will
assist with monitoring the impact ofthe practices they implemented in their gardens.
They also stressed more their water challenges. They don’t have water even though there are
municipality boreholes that can supply the villages, some have dried out others need maintenance.
This season farmers have planted field crops, in the hope that the season would be better than the
last five years. They have found however that they will once again not have a harvest and their stocks
of locally saved seed have now dwindled to nothing.
The vast majority of the participants no longer own large livestock (cattle and goats) and are focusing
instead on rearing indigenous poultry as their only option at present.
CCA review and re-planning workshops
These sessions are held with existing learning
groups according to their implementation
cycles. During this period the review and
planning sessions was held for the two turkey
learning groups.
Turkey 1 and 2
Figure 58: Right; A snapshot of a discussion session
during the Turkey review workshop
Date: 20 March 2020
The main purpose is to evaluate the impact of
the programme for the past two years and plan
with farmers the innovative and new practices they will be implementing this year. To also talk more
on the following;
Adding of organic matter to the soil
Seed saving
Markets
Nursery
1.Review of five finger principle with farmers/what have they benefited from the project
The exercise wasdone to evaluate and to get an understanding of what farmers could remember or
have tried fromall practice introduced. Below are some of the responses:
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
67
a)Elizabeth Mokgatla; had a problem of soil erosion in her household and the soil I her yard is hard
because the topsoil was eroded by water during rainy season. What she first did was building
stone bunds around her yard (using cement bricks that she did herself) and diverted water to her
garden. In her garden she uses shallow trench beds and furrows when planting her vegetables.
But she learnt most was that soil is more important thanwater, you can have water and still not
harvest.
b)Sara Madire; she has implemented the following practices in her garden and field-cropping;
Rain water harvesting through roof gutter to a jo-jo tank, also diverted water from her
yard to a well that she built.
Stone bunds around her garden and her yard
She always adds organic waste from her household in her garden, she also makes her own
compost which takes about six months to be ready for use. In her compost she adds dry
leavesfrom and green material, ashes, small chicken manure and grey water.
Trench beds_ Trench beds are the best she has 11 trench beds in her garden. The quality
of crops from the trench beds is very good, but when you didn’t add compost or manure
(chicken/goat/cow) quality decreases, she noticed that with one trench bed and she
started more compost on the trenches.
She uses planting basins and CA when planting her vegetables, maize and cover crops in
her garden. She prefers using Planting basins because she doesn’t have water. Plating
basins saves water and she is for sure that the crop is getting water straight to the roots.
Liquid manure using a chicken manure soaking in water for 10 days and diluting before
use. She uses liquid manure for both pests and soil fertility.
Mulching
Banana basins_ She also has two trench beds in the middle of banana basins and because
they can withhold water it reduces her irrigation schedule; she only irrigates once on
those trench beds.
Tunnels
Mixed cropping
c)Norah Tshetlha;she’s been farming for years. Since she was young. From introduced CCA
practices she firstly implemented trench beds where she planted different kinds of crops for each
practice. Picture below was taken from her garden after her first try of implementing the practice.
Norah was one of the
farmers who used to do
mono-cropping a lot. Since
she was part of the project,
she is now planting
different kinds of
vegetables. She evenplants
crops that she never knew,
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
68
example; kale, Leek, spring onions and herbs.
Mulching_ The practice is not new to her, though now she uses more of organic matter.
When she was growing her elders would use tree leaves to cover the soil, for minimising
soil erosion. Mulching reduces the rate of water evaporation on the ground.
Liquidmanure_ She used this practice, where she made her liquid manure using cow
manure and soaking for 10 days, when she used the liquid manure in winter for pest
control, the
manure didn’t
100 percent
work but she
managed to
manage pest’s
problem in her
garden.
d)Magdalena Shai;she is
one of the young
farmers in the group.
She implemented
trench beds, eco-circles, mixed cropping and crop rotation. She has a smallgarden because she
has too littlewater for both irrigating and consumption. She used toget waterfrom the mountain
but now that thereisconflictandthey only get water once tothree times in a month. Her garden
is 10m by 10m inside the household but she also has a plot that is 50m by 20m for maize and cover
crops. All the practices she implementedare working wellfor her and she always shares with
villagers especially young people that are unemployed.
2.How do farmers make a decision of choosing to implement a certain practice/practices and
not implement all practices introduced?
Farmers base their decisions on how easy is the practice. Mmatshegomentioned that it’s
not easy to implement new things, but if results are presented as an example are shown
to prove that the practice is been tried by other farmers and it’s working very well, then
it makes it easier for her to try.
Isaac Malatjisaid it’s not easy to move from traditional ways of doing things to something
new, reason being they sometimes associate change with risk that they are not ready for.
Elias Mogofeimplemented trench beds after seeing results at Mmatshego’s garden, he
mentioned that if it was not that he doubts he would have implemented the practice. He
also mentioned that it’s easier to choosepractice that you know you not going to lose
anything after implementing.
Lucas Mokhawanethinks it is because farmers don’t go back and check the results and
check whether the practice is working or not, for example tower garden was practically
introduced at Nkurwane Shaai’s household, amongst all farmers present in the learning
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
69
group no farmers has ever visited Mr. Shaai and see how the tower garden is making a
difference in her garden, another example they also had soil and water conservation
workshop at his household and planted pigeon trees, not even one farmer came to check
whether or not what we did is working. The fact that as farmers in a learning group and
we not visiting or working together we not going to progress as fast as farmers that work
together.
3.Seed saving
Around 35% of farmers present are actively saving seed. They mostly store seeds in drums, glass
bottles or jars and plastic packets,somewhere cool and dark inside their homes.
The following list was provided for seed being saved:
Fresh produce; Mustard spinach, Carrots, Onion, Leek, Butternut, Brinjal, Chilli, Kale,
Tomato, peas andMoringa
Herbs; Basil, Rocket,Fennel
Field crops; Maize, Cow-peas, Green beans, Sugar beans, White beans, Sun-flower,Sun
hemp
Those who are not keeping seed provided the following reasons; that they do not have enough water
for cropping, they only produce enough to eat and or forget to keep seed when the time comes.
4.Composting
Compost is decayed organic matter (plant and or animal), used as a fertilizer. Composting is therefore
the art of making and using compost. Farmers were firstly introduced to trench beds as one of the
practicesthat fertilizes the soil. Trench beds are not easy to implement as they require hard labour,
but 90% have more than four trench beds in their gardens. Composting was introduced to farmers
only 10% of farmers implement the practice in their gardens. Out of the 10% of farmers making their
own compost most of them make pit compost, where they throw in all their organic waste from the
garden and the house, grey water, cans, bones.When the pit is full,they plant their fresh produce and
start another pit compost. Other farmers add kraal manure to fertilize the soil with mulch assisting in
the process.
5.Practices and workshops to be implemented in 2020
Suggested practices to focus on in 2020
Suggested workshops and learning sessions
Seeding production
Processing; chilli, Marula, beetroot and atjar
Tower gardens
Organic mango production
Eco-circles
Mango grafting
Seed saving
Composting
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
70
6.Reflection
Nora Tshetlha-she Learnt that she should put same and equal effort both inside the tunnel
and outside the tunnel. What she does inside the tunnel she must also do outside the tunnel
Petrous Tshetlha- He has learnt the importance of saving seeds from my garden to avoid
buying seeds each season.
Elizabeth Mokgatla-Building your own
compost is very important as you will
add the compost on your trees, and
trench beds to keep the bed more
fertile.
Sarah Mohlala- We have been taught
about different practical practices and
the way we chose practices, shows that
if we don’t visit each other to see what
other farmers are doing we will never
grow to be sustainable, for example
Betty we spoke about tower garden
which is one other simple practice to
implement especially farmers who have no space in their yards but yet because we never
visited or made any follow up not even one farmer implemented the practice after the
practical demonstration.
Water committees - Limpopo
Below is a narrative summaryof the process undertakenfor the two water committees in Limpopo
(Sedawa and turkey). It provides a sense of a chronology of the activitiesas well as the ongoing
learning and decision making required fromthegroups to jointly implement these processes.
Starting the process
Initially meetings were held with the 2 water committees representing 4 learning groups across 4
villages to discuss with them how the process could be undertaken and work through some of the
logistical and financial details. Participants were given the task of lookingfor possible locations that
have good ground water retentionpotential, to be surveyed and to also look for drilling companies
that have worked in their villages, that they trust.The groups also finalised participants to be involved
and their financial and labour contributions to this project.
Figure 59: One of the water committee meetings held in Turkey in November 2019 in preparation of the borehole project.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
71
Possible locations and borehole survey
Participants from each village chose two to three possible locations to be surveyed as a starting point.
RaymondVonk from Georay geophysical services and his assistant undertook the surveys using a
process that incorporates bothvertical electrical sounding and horizontal profiling activities. These
tools provide the depth and thickness of various subsurface layers and their relative water yield
capacity. They started working at Turkey 1 accompanied by Isaac Malatji, Sarah Mohlala, Nkurwane
Shaai and Elizabeth Mokgatla and Betty. Raymond moved along the most plausible lines form the
positions suggested and the best option for drilling was calculated from there. Private property such
as orchards and existing unutilised boreholes as well as other obstacles were taken into account. He
also surveyed three suggested locations at Sedawa
Figure 60: Left a view of rock and pebble formations typical of anarea where subsurface water is flowing and Right;
Raymond surveying at Turkey 1
Choosing of location for borehole drilling by Participants
The process of choosing the right location was difficult. From the options provided participants had to
consider distances between the borehole and their homesteads, options for where the header tank
would be and where the mainline pipes would go. Some conflict arose due to a lack of trust and some
participants initially refusing to accept and discuss these challenges objectively. It took a few meetings
and a lot of discussion to make these decisions, after which Betty used a cellphone app known as
Maverick to survey the PGS coordinates of each household This was in order to map (using Google
Earth) out the participants’ receptive distances heights to design the best possible system within the
given constraints of topography and budget.
The maps assisted in outlining the quantity and types of pipe used and also clarified that some
participants were too far away or at a much higher elevation than could be serviced by the process.
Further negotiation was required, which saw the removal of piping to irrigate fields these were all
over 1km away and participants did not foresee themselves being able to afford and install their own
piping. For those few households that fell above the header tank, arrangements were made to provide
tanks for them at a household nearby.
The drilling company that participants preferred was not immediately available and eventually
everyone agreed on Mr Stimie’s recommendation; Afrisolutions from Tzaneen, who were already
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
72
working in thearea and have experience installing community-based infrastructure.
There was a lot of debate about the reliability of drilling companies.
Figure 61; Right: Core samples taken during the drilling process. These pictures were sent to Mr Vonk to
establish decisions about continuing or stopping drilling based on the structure and consistency of these
samples
Figure 62: Left;The drilling machine and Right: water starting to come out during the drilling process.
Only 2 of the 4 proposed boreholes drilled were successful. The one was completely dry and the other
yielded so little water as to be completely impracticable. The successful boreholes yielded around
14000l/hr (Sedawa 1) and 500l/hr (Turkey 2) respectively.
Designing and mapping the mainline pipe lines
Mr Alain Marechal took over this responsibility and worked closely with Betty to fine tune and finalize
the maps. These were discussed and negotiated with the water committee groups repeatedly until
everyone was in agreement. The maps alsoindicted the size of pipes and the different connectors
needed. Pipe sizes differ to ensure even pressure within the system and a reasonably even supply of
water to all households.
Below is a section of the Sedawa pipeline outlining the different pipe sizes in different colours and also
where the pipelines had to cross paved roads.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
73
Figure 63; Map of a section of the Sedawa pipeline outlining the different pipe sizes in different colours.
Figure 64; Map of a section of the Turkey 2 pipeline with the different pipe sizes indicated in different colours.
Decision making with MDF and the participants
Once the boreholes were drilled a number of decisions needed to be made, including the best use of
available budget, whether to proceed with the two working boreholes and how to accommodate
those participants who live in the two villages where the boreholes drilled came up empty.
Firstly, we discussed the process of borehole drilling, how much was used and how much we are left
with on the budget. Some suggestions here included that further sites be surveyed anddrilled in the
two villages without water so that all four should end up with a borehole and then to find further
funding to develop these boreholes later. It had to be explained to participants that project budgets
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
74
could not so wholly be diverted from the purposes they were proposed for. It was thus decided to
continue with the two boreholes and support the villages without boreholes by providing 15 x 2500 L
Jo-jo tanks for participants in Turkey 1. For Sedawa 2 the 3 participants suggested that a 4500L Jo-jo
tank be placed in the system for them closest to their homesteads
and they would arrange between themselves to fetch the water from
there. MDF also undertook to search for further funding
opportunities in the future.
Participants also decided on where to place the electric box for the
boreholes and who will be in charge of pumping water.
Figure 65:
Above left; Jo-jo tanks delivered in Turkey 1 and Above right; installed at Elais Mogofe’s homestead in turkey 1. He built
a nice plinth for the tank, as all participants were urged to do.
Continuing with installation of pumps and header tanks
Afrisolutions then continued with the process of installing PVC casings, pressure pumps, lock boxes
and electric cablingforboth boreholes, as well as the piping, valves and stands required for the
installation of these tanks.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
75
Figure 66: Below left; lock box for Turkey, Below centre; lock box
for Sedawa and Below right; Controlling valve for the pump inside
the lock box.
Afrisolutions hired three participants (decided upon in their groups) to dig the trenches to take cabling
to the households which would manage the electricity supply. Mr David van Wyk from Afrisolutions
worked with the two teams of participants in Turkey and Sedawa. Hefound that the borehole in
Sedawa had partially collapsed, since being drilled a month earlier and this required it being ‘blown
out’ again, which delayed
activities in Sedawaa little.
Figure 67:Right; Electricity supply in
Sedawa showing the cable and plug for
the borehole pump and Far right; the
cable in Turkey which was linked into
the electricity box with a switch.
Planning the digging of
the main pipeline trenches
The delivery of the pipes and
fittings were somewhat delayed, as the cheapest supplier still had to manufacture some of the piping;
a small detail that was not communicated to the team prior to payment. In the meantime, Erna, Alain
and Betty worked with the two water committees to understand the maps and then do walks to stake
out thedifferent sections of pipe, where the
pipe sizes changed, which fittings to use and
where the pipes would cross paved roads.
Figure 68: Erna and Alain working with the Turkey
committee to explain the pipeline on their map
Alain also worked with the committee
members to ensure that they understood how
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
76
the fittings worked, what the reducer couplings looked like and how to install them. People were
confident that they knew how to do this themselves.
These crossings were a cause for concern, but the water committee members felt that they could
easily get permission from their traditional authorities. In Sedawa, the process of approval and
installing pipes below the paving, and replacing paving thereafter worked smoothly. In Turkey
however local residents stopped work on the day after approval by the traditional authority and
insisted instead on having a cement speed-hump
on top of thepaving, with the pipes inside the
structure encased in a steel sleeve. They were
determined that they did not trust the water
committee or the implementer to restore the
road to its original state after laying the pipe.
Alain and Betty worked closely withDavid during
this time, as frustrations ran high and
Afrisolutions threatened to leave until a later
date.
Figure 69: David from Afrisolutions working with Alain to
site and measure the paved road crossings in Sedawa, of
which there were two
At the same time Afrisolutions was installing main tank stands before connecting the jo-jo tank to the
boreholes.Again, some discussion was required as participants had envisaged much higher stands and
felt that the 1m high stands would not allow for proper emptying of their header tanks. Betty and
Alain needed to re explain how the heights and pressures were calculated and the reason for choosing
these lower and cheaper stands.
Participantstook it upon themselvesto digthemainline trenchesfrom the borehole to the header
tank, so that they couldconnect the pipes when they arrive. It was very difficult for participantsfrom
Sedawa to cooperate with each other and dig the trenches. Someparticipantsdidn’t come and work
on the trenchesand they all managed to convince themselves that the soil was too hard and rocky to
dig.The local facilitator, Christinah Thobejane requested assistance from the municipality with digging
trenches using a TLB, but was told that the TLB is occupied with a sanitation project. Participants held
meetingafter meeting discussing the way forward. They then made a decision that they would each
dig 20m of trenchand that each person’s section wold be numbered, so that everyone knew which
section they were meant to dig.Most ofthe participants adhered to the decisions taken,but still there
were a few who did not. Participants again made more rules, where fines ofR350,00 were instituted
and a threat thattheir pipes wouldnot be connected till they pay the fine. Participants started with
the trenches.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
77
Figure 70: Above left; One of the Sedawagroup meetings to thrash out how the main trench would be dug and Above
right; measuring a rope to stake out each person’s 20 m section
Figure 71: Right; Digging the main trench to
the header tank in Sedawa; Centre; Alain
working with Alex and Magale in Sedawa
to stake the crossings and Far right: Digging
the main trench to the header tank in
Turkey
Afrisolutions also connected pipes to the header tanks both at Turkey and Sedawa, once they arrived
and tested the systems by pumping water into these tanks.
Figure 72: Above left; The header tanks (4500 L each) fully functional and tested at Turkey (Michael Makgobatlou) and
Above left at Sedawa (Joyce Seotlo)
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
78
There is however a slight problem with the header tank at Sedawa, where the stand is slowly
collapsing. Afrosolutions has undertaken to replace this stand at their own cost and this will be
ensured by the MDF team.
Laying the pipes from the header tanks to the homesteads
Delivery of piping was done in both villages and participants started on digging their trenches around
the last week of February.
Figure 73: Above; Piping and fittings delivered in Sedawa
Figure 74: Above; Piping and fittings delivered in Turkey
Participants from Turkey also worked on their trenches from the borehole to households, after
markingthe
positionswhere
the pipesizeswill
be change, from
the borehole to
their households.
After pipes were
delivered, they
started
connecting the
pipes and closing
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
79
the trenches with the help of Betty and Jessica from MDF. Afrisolutions inthe meantime were
installing the speed- hump to cross the main road to connect the pipes from the borehole to the main
jo-jo tank.
Figure 75: Right:The sketch for speed hump construction provided to Afrisolutions by Alainand Far Right; the speed hump
being constructed
After the speed hump construction, community members were still not pleased, deciding that the was
too steep and rounded. After much negotiation, in which the traditional council was not very helpful
at all, Mr Malatji eventually agreed to use some of the funds collected by the group to acquire more
cement and the group helped to even out the hump to the grumblers’ satisfaction.
At Sedawa the crossings were done differently; three crossings were done on the paved road sections,
where the paving was removed the steel sleeve and pipes were buried and the pavement wascarefully
replaced.This was done without incident and the crossings now are all but invisible.
Figure 76: Above left: The final speed hump crossing in Turkey and Above right; one of the crossingsunder the paving
being done in Sedawa
Connection of pipes in Turkey
Participantsthought it would be asimple job andthatthey could do this without the help of the
engineer. The encountered a number of challenges but Betty assisted the group, with constant advice
and pointers being provided telephonically by Alain.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
80
During the process it became clear to the group that if they wanted to divide the participants into two
sections, who received water on alternate days, as they decided to do, then further valves would be
required to close off one section and open the other. These were then installed in the lines.It took
participants five days to install all the pipes and fix the speed-hump. Below is a picture of one of the
connections and the drawings provided by Alain to facilitate the process.
Connection of pipes in Sedawa
Sedawa participants found it difficult to dig the trenches from the borehole to their households,due
to the hard, rocky soil. They waited for a few weeks hoping to have a TLB from the Municipality to
undertake this process.The process of allocating a section of the trench to each participant was used
again, but on the day of laying the pipe some members had still not done this; so it took more time as
the group then decided to do these sections together and deal with those individuals who did not dig
their sections later. These participants also thought it would be easy to install all the pipes, but found
the actual implementation quite challenging. Below are the drawings and an example of the
household connector valve for Sedawa.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
81
The pictures below provide some indication of the work and process in Sedawa.
Figure 77:Clockwise from Top
left; A homestead connection
into the main pipeline, digging
out the trenches using picks
and laying a pipe into one of the
trenches
Water committees-KZN
The locally implemented spring protection and agricultural water provision process for 9 households
in Ezibomvini, Bergville has been running well since November 2019.
Phumelele Hlongwane, who is in charge of the header tank and ensuring filling up of all participants’
drums twice a day, commented that she is making sure that everyone gets water and there have been
no complaints. For herself, the process has brought happiness in her life as she is able to irrigate her
two vegetable gardens and can provide food for her family and generate a small income from selling
fresh produce.All 9 participants interviewed were very satisfied with this process and commented
that they are using the water for household purposes and also for small gardens and seedling
production.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
82
Figure 78: Above Left; Phumelele Hlongwane taking water from her 3x200l drums to water her vegetable garden. Centre;
Mr Mkhumeni Nkabinde’s 200L drum, filled in the morning and Right; The Dlamini family’s drum next to their vegetable
garden. They have fixed a lid onto the drum to keep the water clean
4FINAL REPORTS
The final report ‘Climate Change Adaptation for Smallholder farmers in South Africa: An
implementation and decision support guide’will be written up as a number of separate, concise
documents.
The table below summarises the progress to date with each of the chapters. There are no issues
foreseen with completion of this research brief by August 2020 as planned.
The CRA implementation; Intensive Homestead Food Production report (highlighted in grey in the
table below) is attached as a separate document
Table 11: Progress summary with chapters of the final report
1 Background and introduction
ND
2 Research process and methodology
100% - in CCA-DSS facilitation manual
3 Results: Climate Resilient Agriculture (CRA) implementation
3.1Climate change adaptation and CRA practices
3.1.1Soil and water conservation practices
50%
3.1.2Gardening and horticultural practices
100%
3.1.3Field cropping practices
40%; Still to include KZN results for 2019-
2020 and write up
3.1.4Livestock integration practices
40%; Still to include KZN results for 2019-
2020 and write up
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
83
3.2Qualitative and quantitative indicators
30%; to be included in CRA practices
reports
3.3Participatory monitoring and evaluation
ND
3.4Building socio-ecological systems and agency
ND
3.5Best practice options
ND
4 Results: CRA smallholder farmer decision support system (DSS)
4.1The facilitator-farmer DSS
90%; only final layout and editing required
4.2The individual farmer DSS
90%; only final layout and editing required
5 Facilitation and Learning materials
5.1CCA-DSS facilitation manual
80%; update, addition oflatest examples
and final layout
5.3Resources for learning support
ND
6 Recommendations
ND
7 Materials
7.1Community based climate change adaptation
facilitation manual
80%; update, addition of latest examples
and final layout
7.2Climate resilient Agriculture learning
materials for smallholder farmers (English, isiZulu,
siPedi)7
30%; English handouts completed,
translation into isiZulu, isiXhosa and siPedi
in progress
5CAPACITY BUILDING AND PUBLICATIONS
Capacity building has been undertaken on three levels:
Community level learning
Organisational capacity building
Post graduate students
Community level and organisational capacity building have continued within this reporting periodand
have been reported upon in detail in the above sections.
Post graduate students
Progress with ongoing studies:
oPalesa Motaung: (M Soil Science- UP) has submitted her final, corrected MSc thesis
entitled “Evaluating soil health of smallholder maize monocrops and intercrops using
qualitative and quantitative soil quality assessment methods”, to her supervisor Prof
E.H. Tesfamariam(UP) and her co-supervisor Dr JG Jezile(ARC). The thesis now is to
be externally examined and with final corrections is to be submitted and published.
A copy of her these is to accompany this report.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
84
oMazwi Dlamini :MPhil - UWC_PLAAS.He has written up his first round of interviews
and is in the process of analysing all information and data.His progresshas been slow,
but heis also employed full-time as a fieldworker and has another year to complete
this part-time study at UWC. He has opted not to registerthis year.
Networking and presentations
Collaboration
A collaborative process was put in place with the Institute of Natural Resourcesto use the workshop
methodology for exploration of climate change impacts and adaptive strategies as away to discuss
potential natural resources rehabilitation strategies to support the Umkomazi Restoration Project
(Umngeni Water) pilotphaseand to subsequently introduce CA as a potential practice.
The narrative below provides a summary of the Conservation Agriculture piloting withinthis
collaborative programme.
There are considerable issues related to land and water management practices in the communal
tenure areas around Impendle, with resultant high levels of soil erosion, over grazing and wattle
infestation and encroachment, as the three main issues for siltation of streams and rivers in the area.
One of the practices that has been piloted within a suite of ideas to improve soil and water
conservation is the practice of conservation agriculture (CA) within fields and homestead gardens for
selected participants in Emapanekeni and Ntwasahlobo, the two pilot sites identified.
Sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices such as conservation agriculture (CA), that
conserve and increase soil organic carbon (SOC), improve soil health and provide for soil and water
conservation, are increasingly promoted in Southern Africa as an alternative to conventional farming
systems (Smith, et al., 2017)
1
. CA depends on the simultaneous implementation of three linked
principles: (1) continuous zero or minimal soil disturbance, (2) permanent organic soil cover, and (3)
crop diversification, especially with the inclusion of legumes and/or cover crops(FAO,
2013)
2
.Complementary practices supporting CA implementation in smallholder farming systems
include appropriate nutrient management and stress-tolerant crop varieties, increased efficiency of
planting and mechanization, integrated pest and disease and weed management, livestock
integration, and enabling political and social environments (Thierfelder, et al., 2018)
3
.
1
Smith, H. J., Kruger, E., Knot, J. & Blignaut, J., 2017. Chapter 12: Conservation Agriculture in South Africa: Lessons from Case Studies.
Conservation Agriculture for Africa: Building resilient farming systems in a changing climate. CAB International.
2
FAO, 2013. Climate Smart Agriculture Source Book. Rome,Italy: Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.
3
Thierfelder, C. et al., 2018. Complementary practices supporting conservation agriculture in Africa. A review. Agronomy of Sustainable
Development, Volume 38:16.
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
85
Introduction of conservation agriculture (CA) and associated climate resilient agriculture (CRA)
practices within an innovation systems approach and using farmer-level experimentation and learning
groups as the primary learning and social empowerment processes has created a sustainable and
expanding farming alternative for smallholders that is improving their resilience toclimate change
substantially(Kruger, et al.,2020)
4
. This same approach has thus been piloted to introduce CA into
these communities. It is appreciated that most of the positive impacts of CA take some time to become
apparent. The process has been initiated in this way to allow for continuation and expansion.
Methodology and process
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. This focus is used, as it is the
primary concern of the farmers. The agroecological benefits are built into the process as added benefit
for them
4
Kruger, E., Smith, H., Dlamini,M., Mathebula,T. and Ngcobo P (2020). CA innovation systems build climate resilience for smallholder farmers
in South Africa. Conservation agriculture in Africa: Climate smartagricultural development. In press CAB International
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
86
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-termsustainability of the implementation
of CA practices amongsmallholders. It means that a number of villages in close proximity become
involved and this provides an opportunity for organisingfarmers 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 andmaster/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
Innovation Platforms (IPs)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.
Conservation Agriculture demonstration planting
The process of introduction of CA is primarily practical. Demonstration workshops were set up in both
areas, where the learning group gathered at a chosen participant’s homestead. The homestead was
chosen by the group so that there is a suitable area for doing the demonstration planting of a farmer
level trial; thus, a suitably fenced field, that has not been recently ploughed and which has a
‘manageable” weed presence. Fallow fields with grass overgrowth and or tall weeds would need prior
preparation before the demonstration can be undertaken.
The process starts with a presentation on the principles and implementation of CA (See Attachment
1) andisfollowed by layoutof the CA trail plot, spraying of herbicide, marking out lines and basins and
planting. The small table below outlines the participants in each of the villages, along with inputs that
were provided for the farmer level trials. The understanding is that participants provide the labour for
the CA experiments and also undertake to continue planting the rest of their fields/plots in their
“normal” way, to provide a comparison and control for the experiment.
Area
No of
Participant
s
Inputs
Maize
Beans
Cowpeas
Herbicide
Protective clothing
Emapanekeni
14
MAP,
LAN
PAN 6479;
SC701
PAN 9292
Black
eyed
Round Up
Yes (protective
clothing, goggles,
masks, gloves)
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
87
Table 12: CA experimentation participants and inputs provided for the CA farmer level trials.
Demonstration CA trials: Impendle
The planting demonstrations were carried out on the 18thand 19thof 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
compartmentskept 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 tworows of
maize andtwo rows oflegumes,
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.
Figure 79: Ntwasaholbo CA planting
demonstration
Spacing of maize is 50cmx50cm in
and between rows and spacing of
legumes is 10cx25cm in and
between rows. This close spacing
is important to provide for early
canopy cover and reduce weeds. It
was further explained that the maize is plantedin a zig zag and not in straight lines to help give it
breathing space and for the ears to form properly inbetween plants as well as to provide coverinto
an otherwise empty space in between the rows.
Ntwasahlobo
26
MAP,
LAN
Pan 6479
PAN148
Black
eyed
Round U
Yes
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
88
Figure 80: Emapanekeni CA planting demonstration
Crop Growth Monitoring
Crop growth monitoring has been undertaken for each participant. Aspects such as percentage
germination, soil cover, crop growth and establishment, pest and weed presence and the like are
recorded. Participants also discuss any issues and observations for their CA experiments. The
monitoring form is attached in Appendix 1.
Under normal circumstances, atleast one learning group workshop is held during the season to review
progress and discuss solutions to ongoing issues and at the end of the season a review session is held
to analyse the implementation andchanges due to CA. This also serves as a platform to plan the
following season’s experimentation. A farmers’ day is held to showcase the CA implementation to the
broader community. These processes were planned, but have not been implemented due to the
present necessity for social distancing.
The weather conditions this season have not been ideal, with excessive heat, late onset of summer
rains, and longish periods of little to no rainfall (2-3weeks) alternated by heavy storms.
eMapanekenimonitoring
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
89
Household visits about two to three weeks after planting, indicated no germination as yet. It was
decided to replant maize and SC701 was provided to the
participants in Emapanekeni. Subsequently, it was found
that the PAN 6479 had germinated in most trials and
seemed to be growing moderately well, now alongside
SC701. All 14 participants planted their CA trials, with
only 7 of 14 also planting their control plots
Figure 81: Delivery of Lan to the CA experimentation participants,
preceding the in-field demonstration and monitoring.
Monitoring for this village started on the 21stJanuary
2020, when the infield top-dressing workshop was held
and LAN was delivered to the participants.
(i)Mr Mbekheni Duma
His trialshowed patchy germination: around 60% for maize (PAN6479) and around 85% and 80% for
the beans and cowpeas respectively. Soil cover was low at 5%. Weed infestation was reasonably high
and weeding was done late. He only
weeded once. Due to patchy growth
and wide spacing of maize (up to 1m)
the desired early canopy cover was
not achieved.
He planted his control on the 25thof
November, using a hand hoe. Growth
in both plots were comparable.
Figure 82: Mr Duma’s CA trial plots, showing
patchy germination and moderate growth
(ii)Mrs Agnes Nkala
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
90
Her plot looked very beautiful and the maize appeared dark green and was growing well. She had
almost 100% germination for her maize beans and cowpeas. Sheattributed 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.
Sheweeded early before the weeds
overtook her cropsand thus managed to
obtain the desired early canopy cover,
negating the need for further weeding.
She planted her control plot on the 15th
of December, to a maize monocrop. Her
control required more weeding and also
showed more runoff then her CA trial
plot.
Figure 83: Mrs Nkala’s CA trial plot with good
germination, growth and canopy cover.
(iii)Mr Sbusiso Khumalo
Germination was around 80% for maize, and 35% and 30% respectively for the beans and cowpeas. In
the few patches where maize failed to
germinate, most likely due to predation
by crows Mr Khumalo planted in SC701.
He planted a small control plot of maize
on the 23rdof November
Figure 84: Mr Khumalo’s CA trial plot showing
reasonable germination of maize, but very
patchy germination and growth of the legumes
(iv)Mrs Shonisile Madonda
She planted her monocrop maize control on the 14thof December and
her CA trial on the 16th. Germination for her maize, beans and cowpeas
were 70%, 60% and 555 respectively. She has weeded fastidiously.
And crop growth has been
good.
Figure 85: Mrs Madonda’s CA
plot. She did not keep to the
close spacing suggested, which
meant soil remined unprotected
late into the season. The run-off
and capping of the soilare
evident in the picture. She
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
91
nevertheless has obtained good growth for trial as well as her control plots.
(v)Mrs Ntbomizini Nkala
She did not plant a control. Her germination was around 75% for all three crops; M, B and C in her CA
trial plot. Crop growth has been good, despite some yellowing in maize later in the season. She weeded
early and managed to get the desired canopy cover.
(vi)Thembisile and Ncamsile Zuma
Both ladies paid attention to close spacing and early weeding and realised around 90- 95% germination
for all three crops; M.B. and C in their
CA trials. They planted on the 4thand
7thof December respectively. Both
have seen impressive crop growth
and good canopy cover later in the
planting season.
Figure 86: Right; Thembisile Zuma’s CA plot,
photographed towardsthe end of March. She
has had very good growth and cover and Far
right; Ncamsile Zuma’s plot towards the end
of January. She managed her weedingwell
and the good crop germination is evident in
thesepictures, along with better soil cover
than for most of the other participants.
(vii)Mr Feliwze Hlengwa, Mr Zekaya Zulu and MrFanafuthi Nkala
Mr Hlengwa didnot planta control and did little to noweeding; leading to patchy germination,
yellowing of lower maize leaves (as top dressing was also not done) and stunting. Mrs Zekaya Zulu,
also did not plant a control plot and neglected his weeding somewhat, leading to patchy germination,
and restricted subsequent growth. Mr Nkala, also neglected his weeding, with yellowing and restricted
maize growth as a result. His initial germination was good at around 85% for all three crops (M, B, and
C).
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
92
Figure 87: Left to right; CA trails for Mr Hlengwa, Mr Zulu and Mr Nkala. Lack of attention to close spacing and lack of
weeding has affected crop growth in all three cases. They did not plant their control plots.
Summary of results for Emapanekeni
For participants who followed the plot layouts and CA planting instructions and who did their early
weeding, the CA intercropped plots did very well with good germination and growth of the maize,
beans and cowpeas. They achieved canopy cover at 6-8weeks and only needed to weed once. They
have noticed less run-off and capping in their fields as well as less wilting of crops during the hot dry
spells during the season. Yields for their maize in their trial and control plots are likely to be
comparable at around 3-5t/ha on average.
Those who weeded late or didn’t weed at all, primarily the male participants, have had disappointing
germination and growth. These participants will be lucky to get around 1-1,5t/ha yields for their maize.
Participants planted between the 19thof November and the 15thof December. Those participants who
planted between the 5thand 9thof December have had the best germination and growth. This is purely
the luck of the draw in terms of timing of planting, as participants generally will plant when they know
it is going to rain for a few days, but they can never predict what will happen thereafter.
Ntwasahlobo monitoring
Ntwasahlobo farmers reportedly experienced the same challenge asthose inEmapanekeni with
regards to germination, of PAN 6479, but similarly upon monitoring it was seen that the maize had in
fact germinated reasonably well. It appears the farmers were tooready to blame the seed for lack of
germination, rather than the hot dry weather conditions. The PAN 6479 was growing quite well in
most of the trialsand the primary issues identified werelack of weeding and the presence of pests
although no severe damage was present at the time of monitoring.
For Ntwasahlobo 24 of the 26 participants planted their CA trial plots and 18 of the 24 participants
also planted control plots. In this village however, participants did not follow the no-till instructions
well and around 36% of the participants ploughed their “CAplot”, as they did not believe it wold work.
Others did not want to do the intercropping and planted their beans and cowpeas in separate areas.
Still others held back the beans to be planted in February. In all this group resisted many ofthe
suggestions for the CA experimentation and as a result the outcomes have been confusing.
(i)Mrs Nomusa Gwabe
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. She weeded three times, each time insisting on removing the weeds from the field to have
a “clean” field. She also did not plant the maize and legumes close enough together, opting rather to
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
93
use her “normal” spacing. As a consequence, early canopy cover was not reached, necessitating extra
weeding.
Figure 88: Mrs Gwambe’s Ca experiment. Despite her unhappiness, the crops
have grownwell.
Participants who Planted under CA
The participants in the pictures below had good looking crops
which were growing vigorously. Both maize and legumes had a
high germination rate and good 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 ground cover as it grows
vigorously and fixes more nitrogen than beans.
Figure 89: From top
left, clockwise:1) Mr
AnthonyMbelu, 2)
Sechaba Molefe, 3)
Adelaida Molefe, 4)
Otto Mbelu and 5)
MoeketsiMolefe
Ntwasahlobo Participants who ploughed
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
94
There are participants who ploughed their plots prior to planting. It is possible that these participants
decided on ploughing as they were not yet convinced that CA is a viable option for maize production
and has thepotential of reducing erosion and improving soil health over time. All of themplanted
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 normin the area.
Figure 90:Above left; Thembelihle Ndlela,Above Centre: Mbonsiwa Dalmini and Aboveright: Nicky Kwhalu, all ploughed
their plots prior to planting, and opted for monocropping and wide spacing.
There werealsotrials that did not
look good as a result of a lack of
weeding. The weeds were a
combination of broadleaf and
grass species with nutsedge being
quite common as well as kikuyu,
black jack and Amaranthus.
Figure 91: right: Dlofa Skhakhane and Far
Right; Regina Duma’s CA plots, showing
overgrowth of weeds, with low
germination and lack of growth of crops.
The table below provides a summaryof some ofthe monitoring information as collected for the
Ntwasahlobo participants
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
95
Table 13: Selected monitoring information for Ntwasahlobo CA participants.
Summary of results for Ntwasahlobo
For participants who followed the plot layouts and CA planting instructions and who did their early
weeding, the CA intercropped plots did very well with good germination and growth of the maize,
beans and cowpeas. They achieved canopy cover at 6-8weeks and only needed to weed once. They
have noticed less run-off and capping in their fields as well as less wilting of crops during the hot dry
spells during the season. Yields for their maize in their trial and control plots are likely to be
comparable at around 3-5t/ha on average.
Those who weeded late or didn’t weed at all, have had disappointing germination and growth. These
participants will be lucky to get around 1-1,5t/ha yields for their maize. Those who opted to plough or
insisted on keeping to the traditional spacing of 1m for maize, struggled with weeding and then bare
soils that showed signs of crusting and erosion from runoff.
Participants planted between the 18thof November and the 15thof January. Here distinct differences
in crop growth due to panting times were not evident.
Discussion of piloting results
Name Surname
Age
Size of
trial
Dateof
planting
Plot 1Plot 2Plot 3Plot 4MaizeBeans Cowpeas
Canopy
cover
Size of
control
Dateof
planting
Maize Growth Assessment
NomusaGwambe 731000 18-Nov-19 m+b+c m+b+cm+b+c90% 52%48%17% 210018-Nov-19 good
maize dark green and had even growth
Thembelihle Ndlela 38450 25-Nov-19 maize 100%80%450 25-Nov-19 good
slightly uneven growth
Moeketsi FelixMolefe 46
Regina Duma 66100 25-Nov-19 m+c 80%50%70%100 25-Nov-19 Moderate
patchy germination and uneven growth
for both maize and cowpeas
Lucy Zondi 70 150maize cowpea 90%85% 20%80Poor
maize was yellow
Sbongile Hadebe 54400 04-Nov-19 m+b m+c82% 35%50%15% 210004-Nov-19 Poor
uneven growth for maize, low
germination and poor growth for
beans, poor germination in cowpeas
Nicky Khawula 59
Sechaba Molefe 36200 12-Dec-19 m+b m+c200 12-Dec-19
Addelaide Molefe 57200 12-Dec-19 m+b 100%80%100 12-Dec-19 Good
maize was growing well, beans had
many pacthes in between and leaves
had holes
Luvalo OttoMbelu 71 200m+c 100% 60%60%Moderate
patchy germination and uneven growth
Dolfa Khonzekile
Skhakhane
67 19-Nov-19 maize
Petros
Mnyembe
73
Ntombi Mjwara 74350 25-Nov m+b+c 78%65%94%40%350 25-Nov-19 Moderate
Uneven growth on some plots
Lwandiwe Sthole 62250 25-Nov m+c 95%25%65%25%250 25-Nov-19 Moderate
Uneven growth on some plots
Girls Hadebe 67350 25-Nov m+c 95%65%65%25%350 25-Nov-19 Moderate
Yellowing of lower leaves
Lebo Molefe 43150 14-Dec-19 m+c 25%20%350 13-Dec-19 Moderare
reddish discoouration
Boniswa Khwela 34350 10-Dec-19 maize 95%32%150 10-Dec-19 Good
Yellowing of lower leaves
Busisiwe Dlamini 46350 10-Dec-19 maize 80%10%150 10-Dec-19 Good
Uneven growth
Muhle Mnikathi 48380 09-Dec-19 m+b+c 60%45%25%280 09-Dec-19 Good
Uneven growth
Agnes Radebe 6496 27-Nov-19 maize 45%120 27-Nov-19 Moderate
Yellow leaves
Mboniswa Dlamini 491000 15-Jan-20 maize 95%2100 15-Jan-20 Moderate
Discolouration of leaves
Antony Mbelu 60250 23-Nov m+c m+b95% 80%30%35%35023-Nov Good
Uneven Growth, patches in maize,
beans and cowpea
Charles Molefe 51350 07-Dec m+b+cm+c+ pumkin95% 65%45%15%15007-Dec Moderate
Uneven growth, patches in beans and
cowpea
Zodwa Gazu 26350 07-Dec m+b+c m+b+c m+b80% 50%45%15%15007-Dec Good
Uneven growth in some plots, patches
in beans and cowpea
Crop growth
PERSONAL INFORMATION
TRIAL PLOT INFORMATION
Germination
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
96
Although it is still early in the process, Conservation Agriculture has shown the potential to provide
improvement in management of field cropping plots and fields for participants in Impendle, with the
main impacts beingreduced run-off, increased water holding capacity and improved soil health and
soil organic matter for these fields. It is an option for soil and water conservation practice that is much
more readily accepted by participants,given that there is also an immediate benefit for them in this
process; namely improved crop production and yields.
It was unfortunately not possible to host the farmers’ days. These events help to consolidate the
learning across the group members, as some implemented well and some didnot and help to further
persuade those who were doubting the potential for positive impact in the practices. It also allows for
other community members to engage and become involved.
In addition, Conservation Agriculture, is not a short term, once off kind of intervention, as the
experimentation is deepened and expanded every season to include more aspects of this knowledge
intensive land use management process.
Publications
The third instalment of the article for the Water Wheel "A smallholder farmer level decision
support system for climate resilient farming practices improves community level resilience to
climate change. No 3: The smallholder farmer CRA decision support system" has been
published in the January/February 2020 edition
A chapter entitled“CA Innovation Systems build climate resilience for smallholder farmers in
South Africa”,has been submitted to CAB International for publication,in a bookentitled
Conservation Agriculture in Africa: Climate Smart Agricultural Development