Deliverable 11 DSS Finalisation

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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.11:Finalisation of decisions support system
Date: July 2020
Deliverable
11
WRC K5/2719/4Deliverable 11: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation July 2020
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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
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CONTENTS
FIGURES 4!
TABLES 7!
1!OVERVIEW OF PROJECT AND DELIVERABLE 9!
Contract Summary9!
Project objectives9!
Deliverables 9!
Overview of Deliverable 1110!
2!UPDATED ToC FOR FINAL REPORT 13!
!Format of the final report13!
3!DSS finalisatIon14!
!Web platform14!
!CRA practices14!
4!Final Report: CRA IMPLEMentation_Intenstive homestead food production i!
1!Background and introduction 4!
1.1!Climate resilient intensive homestead food production practices4!
!The present situation4!
1.2!Sites and participants6!
!Innovation system process6!
1.3!CRA practices8!
!Bed design8!
!Composting12!
!Liquid Manure13!
!Shade cloth tunnels14!
!Mulching26!
!Eco-circles27!
!Greywater management28!
!Mixed cropping, crop diversification31!
!Natural pest and disease control35!
!Seed Saving37!
!Fruit Production39!
!Stone bunds and check dams41!
!Infiltration ditches (run-on ditches, diversion ditches)43!
!Rainwater harvesting (RWH); from roofs and yardsii!
!Small damsiii!
5!FINAL REPORT CRA IMplementation_water access v!
2!Background and introduction 8!
2.1!Improving water access for climate-resilient intensive homestead food production
practices8!
!The present situation8!
!Group-based access to water sources8!
2.2!Spring protection and reticulation in Ezibomvini, Bergville (KZN)9!
2.3!Borehole installation and water reticulation in Sedawa and turkey (limpopo) 17!
!Introduction17!
!Possible locations and borehole survey18!
!Choosing location for borehole drilling by participants18!
!Designing and mapping the mainline pipelines19!
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!Decision-making with MDF and the participants20!
!Continuing with installation of pumps and header tanks21!
!Planning the digging of the main pipeline trenches22!
!Laying the pipes from the header tanks to the homesteads24!
!Connection of pipes in Turkey25!
!Connection of pipes in Sedawa26!
6!Capacity building and publications27!
!Post graduate students27!
!Networking and presentations28!
!Webinars:28!
!Publications30!
FIGURES
Figure 1: Above left; three 1mx5m trench beds dug with collected tins for layering at the bottom of
the trenches (Mametja, Limpopo). Above middle; trench beds planted to tomatoes and leafy greens,
clearly showing the built-up nature of trench beds, the indented beds for water holding, and a water
flow path above the top-most trench (Turkey, Limpopo). Above right; trenches planted to tomatoes,
mustard greens and spinach, showing their placement in relation to existing mango trees and newly
planted paw-paw trees in the left top corner (Sedawa, Limpopo)........................................................9!
Figure 2: Right; a mulched andmixed cropped trench bed in a tunnel, thriving, compared to............9!
Figure 3: Above left; A furrow and ridge meandering on a contour, planted to sweet potato and
mulched, using maize residues, banana stems and tree leaves. In this case the furrow is also providing
extra water infiltration for the mango trees in this garden. Above centre; Furrows and ridges planted
to tomatoes, carrots, maize and spinach. The water flow paths are clearly visible, as is a trench bed
under construction on the right-hand side of the picture...................................................................10!
Figure 4: Right; digging a shallow trench in a homestead field cropping plot (Turkey Limpopo) and Far
right; the beginnings of filling in a shallow trench (Mametja, Limpopo).............................................11!
Figure 5: Right; Makibeng Moradyie (Sedawa, Limpopo), makes compost from manure, crop residue,
grasses and leaves and ........................................................................................................................12!
Figure 6: Left; Liquid manure tub for Meisie Mokwena (Sedawa, Limpopo).......................................13!
Figure 8:Above; Spinach in Sarah Mohlale’s tunnel, Right and Far Right; Spinach and onion beds
outside and inside Mtashego and Florence Shaai’s tunnels. Insert: Florence dried her coriander, as it
matured prior to the sales arrangements being in place. She sells this dried herb by the teaspoon-full.
.............................................................................................................................................................14!
Figure 9: Makibeng Moradiye used netting that she found lying around discardedby commercial fruit
estates in the vicinity, and poles cut locally to extend her shade netting area, after seeing good results
in her shade netting tunnel.................................................................................................................14!
Figure 7: Line 1 Above left to right: Using a rope template to mark out the tunnel and arch position;
Using a hollow metal bar to make the holes for the metal arches; Bending the arches using a jig;and
joining the bent halvesof the arches with a standard connector.......................................................15!
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Figure 10: Above Line 1 Left to Right; making a hole in the bottom of a 20 litre bucket to be able to
attach the elbow and pipe fitting for the down pipe of the drip kit and placing this bucket on top of a
‘pedestal’ to provide a ‘head’ for the water to flow out along the dripper lines................................16!
Figure 11: Right Christinah Thobjeane adapted the system to accommodate a much larger 200L
container, to allow her to irrigate less often and Far right; Makibeng Moradyie from Mametja
(Limpopo), bought some piping that she connected to and old 50L container to make up her own drip
kit.........................................................................................................................................................17!
Figure 12: Above Left to Right; gravel and rinsed, clean sand wrapped in a muslin ’bag’ make up the
filter for the drip irrigation system......................................................................................................17!
Figure 13: Right; Spinach in Phumelele Hlongwane’s trench bed inside her tunnel (2018), is greener
and larger than Far right; spinach in the trench bed outside her tunnel.............................................19!
Figure 14:Above left; Phumelele Hlongwane’s green pepper and Chinese cabbage bed inside her
tunnel (Feb-May 2019)........................................................................................................................19!
Figure 15: Chameleon sensor readings for Phumelele Hlongwane (Bergville) between July 2018 and
January 2019; measured at depths of 20cm, 40cm and 60cm respectively........................................21!
Figure 16: Chameleon sensor readings for Christina Thobejane’s trench bed inside her tunnel between
January and August 2018.....................................................................................................................24!
Figure 17: Chameleon sensor readings for Christina Thobejane’s furrows and ridges outside her tunnel
between March and July 2018.............................................................................................................24!
Figure 18: Chameleon sensor readings for Norah Mahlaku’s trench bed inside her tunnel between
January and August 2018.....................................................................................................................24!
Figure 19: Right; An example of a Chameleon sensor in this case indicating blue, green and red for the
three different soil depths (20, 40 and 60cm respectively) Far right; Sylvester Selala in Christina’s
tunnel checking the sensor..................................................................................................................25!
Figure 20: Above left; spinach and leeks inside the tunnel, in the bed Makibeng used for her record
keeping.In the foreground are peas and parsley. Above Right; A trench bed outside the tunnel with
beetroot and spinach planted slightly later in the season, planted in an area with shade and
surrounded by shade cloth, to emulate the effects of the tunnel.......................................................26!
Figure 21: Above left; Double digging the 1m diameter circle for the bed,........................................28!
Figure 22: Above left; a tower garden self-constructed by Mrs Mncanyana from Gobizembe (SKZN),
planted to leek, kale, parsley and spinach...........................................................................................29!
Figure 23: Above left and centre; tower gardens for Aviwe Biko (Dimbaza) and................................30!
Figure 24: Vegetable cropping calendar developed with participants in Limpopo (2019)..................32!
Figure 25: Seedlings of vegetables and herbs being sold to participants in the learning group from the
farmer centre in Ezibomvini; spinach, beetroot, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, onions, and herbs (parsley
and coriander).....................................................................................................................................32!
Figure 26: Clockwise from Top left: Mrs Mcanyana (Gobizembe) broccoli, Chinese cabbage, spinach,
coriander and marigolds; Magdelina Malepe (Sedawa), marigolds, thyme, parsley, spinach and kale;
Christina Thobejane (Sedawa) maize, okra, tomatoes kale and marigolds; Alex Makgopa (Sedawa)-
spring onions, spinach, carrots and marigolds and Phumelele Hlongwane (Ezibomvini) beetroot,
mustard spinach, spring onions and parsley........................................................................................33!
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Figure 27; Centre; Mrs Ngobese’s garden with leeks, sprig onions marigolds and basil incorporated,
Right; Herbs growing in an eco-circle, parsley, coriander and rocket by Mrs Xasibe in Gobizembe, KZN
.............................................................................................................................................................33!
Figure 28: Above left: Matsehgo Shaai with mono-cropped beds of coriander and spinach in her tunnel,
.............................................................................................................................................................34!
Figure 29: Onion and leek flowers attract wasps, which are natural predators of common garden pests.
.............................................................................................................................................................35!
Figure 30: Phindiwe Msesiwe’s tower garden that she sprays with a mixture of soap, chilli, onion, garlic
chives and Khaki weed to deter pests.................................................................................................36!
Figure 31: Above left; seed display at a farmers’ exchange in Limpopo for bartering and sale; including
for example beetroot, yarrow, mint, brinjal, Lucerne, pumpkins, chillies and marigolds and Above
right: Seeds that have been saved by group members (Ezibomvini, Bergville) and that are shared
among the learning group members; including coriander, parsley, rape, mustard spinach and kale.38!
Figure 32: Left; Sarah Madire (Turkey, Limpopo), kept seed for kale, mustard spinach and spinach, and
replanted them in trench beds for food and sale, and Right; Odinah Mayibela (Mametja, Limpopo),
kept jam tomato and kale seeds for replanting...................................................................................38!
Figure 33:Above left; A mixed homestead orchard of banana, mango and avocado in Lepelle
(Limpopo).............................................................................................................................................39!
Figure 34: Right; A banana basin recently planted to young banana trees in Sedawa (Limpopo) and40!
Figure 35: Above Left; A pruned mango tree pushing out new growth, with compost added in the
irrigation basin and mulching (Matshego Shaai).................................................................................40!
Figure 36: Left; Sand bags used, where stones were not available to reduce overland flow and erosion
caused by water running along a road in Willows(Limpopo), Centre: Small stone lines along a fence
line in the Oaks (Limpopo) and Right; A large stone bund also acts as a water holding structure for a
line of bananas planted directly below the line in Lepelle (Limpopo).................................................42!
Figure 37:Above left; a closeup of a keyed in stone line,....................................................................42!
Figure 38: Right: Two small stone lines with young pigeon pea trees planted above the lines in a
homestead and Far Right; constructing a check dam to reduce gulley erosion in a participant’s garden
(Turkey, Limpopo)................................................................................................................................42!
Figure 39:Left; A diversion ditch leading water from the road and fence line into a homestead garden
(Botshabelo), Centre; a cut-off drain or run-on ditch intercepting water flowing from a house down
into the garden (Sedawa)and Right; a diversion ditch leading to an infiltration pit into which crops will
be planted, dug as a demonstration at Aviwe Biko’s homestead Dimbaza, EC).................................. 43!
Figure 40: Above Left: A run-on ditch with sweet potatoes planted on the ridge below the ditch (The
Oaks),...................................................................................................................................................... i!
Figure 41: Above Left and Centre; examples of drums and basins used for RWH collection and Right; a
2200 liter JoJo tank for roof rainwater harvesting (Limpopo). ..............................................................ii!
Figure 42: Right; an underground RWH tank (24m3) made from ferrocement, with a brick wall to
support the roof (Sedawa) and Far Right; a similar underground tank constructed using bidim cloth
and sealant (Botshabelo). Below; another example of an underground tank (18m3), with a removable
metal roof (Acornhoek).........................................................................................................................ii!
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Figure 43: Right; Mrs Msesiwe from Qhuzini, EC, has constructed a small dam and planted bananas
on the edge and.....................................................................................................................................iii!
Figure 44: Above Left; tamping down the layer of bentonite which was added after the dam walls and
bottom were dug out to provide a wall angle of around 45-60° and Right; careful filling of this pond
for the first time to allow for the bentonite to swell evenly and seal the pond (Sedawa, Limpopo)....iv!
Figure 45:Above left; fixing the wall angles for a small dam in Turkey, Limpopo and Right; the pond
filled after attention was also given to the inflow and overflow for the pond......................................iv!
Figure 1: Left: The spring’s catchment pond with evidence of use by cattle and people. Right: The
catchment pond dug out to make a bigger pond and small dam wall................................................10!
Figure 2: Left: The capped end of the 1 m length (50 mm diameter) slotted pipe that provides for the
below-ground offtake of water from the spring. Right: The fittings linking this slotted pipe to the main
pipe (50 mm HDPE) (from Chris Stimie RIEng)..................................................................................11!
Figure 3: Photographs showing the process of installing the slotted pipe for collection of water from
the spring.............................................................................................................................................11!
Figure 4: Left: measuring the gradient for the main pipeline using a dumpy level. Right: Adjusting the
line for the pipe to avoid some of the larger dongas and rough terrain, while keeping it on an even
gradient...............................................................................................................................................12!
Figure 5: Left to right: Group members digging the ditch from the spring to the header tank. The header
tank at Phumelele Hlongwane’s homestead which was not installed on a level platform and has
subsequently been corrected. Initial rough layout drawing of the flow of the water to participants’
homesteads..........................................................................................................................................12!
Figure 6: Creating a Google Earth map from GPS coordinates using cell phones is not very accurate, so
a correction was made. The blue line indicates the main feeder pipe to participants’ homesteads
running along the small road to Phumelele Hlongwane’s homestead................................................14!
Figure 7(Right): Plinth for the 2 200 L header tank.............................................................................15!
Figure 8: Left to right: Laying the piping along the edges of the fields. Pipe branches towards the
different homesteads. Fitting the inlet pipes to the 200 L drums. Installation of a float valve in each
drum....................................................................................................................................................15!
Figure 9: Left: The Gumede family’s drum with water five months into the scheme’s management.
Centre: Mr Nkabinde’s drum. Right: Phumelele’s three drums............................................................16!
Figure 10: One of the water committee meetings held in Turkey in November 2019 to prepare for the
borehole project...................................................................................................................................17!
TABLES
Table 1: Deliverables for the research period; completed....................................................................9!
Table 2: Table of Contents for final report for K4/2719/4..................................................................13!
Table 1: Summary of farmer experimentation sites for this study........................................................ 6!
Table 2: Summary of CRA practices tried throughout this farmer level experimentation and learning
process...................................................................................................................................................6!
Table 3:Water productivity calculations for Phumelele Hlongwane, growing spinach intrench beds
inside and outside her shade cloth tunnel (June-Sept 2018)...............................................................21!
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Table 4: Water productivity calculations for Phumelele Hlongwane, growing Chinese cabbage and
green pepper in trench beds inside and outside her shade cloth tunnel (Feb-May 2019)..................21!
Table 5: Water productivity calculations for Phumelele Hlongwane, growing spinach and green pepper
in trench beds inside and outside her shade cloth tunnel (September 2019-March 2020)................21!
Table 6: Water productivity calculations for two participants, growing spinach inside their shade cloth
tunnels, in trench beds with and without mulch, and outside the tunnel on furrows and ridges with
mulch (Sedawa, Limpopo); April - July 2018........................................................................................23!
Table 7: Water productivity calculation for Makibeng Moradiya, Limpopo, June - September 2019. 26!
Table 8: A cost-benefit analysis of planting inside and outside tunnels; with and without paying for
irrigation water....................................................................................................................................26!
ABBREVIATIONS
AEZAgroecological Zones
CAConservation Agriculture
CCAClimate change adaptation
CRAClimate Resilient Agriculture
CSAClimate Smart Agriculture
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
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FinalReport:Resultsofpilots
1OVERVIEWOFPROJECT ANDDELIVERABLE
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 for introduction of a range of
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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 of criteria and practices, introduction of new 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 ofindicators,
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 other resources necessary for learning and
implementation.
11
Final Report: Consolidation
and finalisation of decision
support system
Finalisation of criteria and practices, introduction ofnew 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 Deliverable 11
This report focuses onconsolidation of the finalisation of the decision support system and the DSS
web platform. In addition, work continued on final reports for Cliamte resileitn Agirculture
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implementation as well as finalisation of Farmer Handouts and translation into isiZulu, isiXhosa and
Sepedi.
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 of those CRA practices to be included.
This allows for new ideas and local practices to 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/resilientagricultural 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 includes site
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 two-month period have included:
ØPractices activities: Final update of practices for DSS, Development and finalisation of farmer
handouts (soil management, water management, crop management and livestock
integration) and translation.
ØProcess activities: None during this period
ØMonitoring and evaluation: Outstanding CA dataregardingyields, bulk density, water
productivity, soil health, and run-off had been submitted and is in the process of being written
up. The results have been submitted around 6 weeks later than expected, due to restrictions
of movement as a result of COIVD-19 lockdown, in combination with a very late season for
maize harvests- rains in April meant the maize had not dried off completely in May and had
to be left in the fields until June
Capacity building and publications:
Research presentations and chapters:
oMazwi Dlamini M Phil (PLAAS UWC-yr.2); MPhil on holdforone year, given personal
and world events
oPalesa Motaung M Soil Science (UP); Finalisation of thesis
Publications: CAB Internationalchapter, Water Wheel article (January/February 2020)
Webinars:
oDATE: 17 June 2020. Host; AWARD. Title; Building networks and skills for climate
change preparedness with small-scale farmers in the Olifants’ River Catchment.
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Section presentation by E Kruger; Agroecology learning, mentoring, monitoring and
networking for smallholder farmers in the Lower Olifants’.
oDATE: 19 June 2020: Host; The Integra Trust. Title; Heal the land, heal the people.
Section presentation by E Kruger; COVID-19, climate change resilience and
regenerative agriculture in smallholder farming systems.’
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2UPDATED ToC FOR FINAL REPORT
Format of the final report
The intention is to write up the research process into a compilation of smaller loose standing
documents, suitable for use and distribution by stakeholders, instead of producing one large report,
as outlined in the table below
Table 2: Table of Contents for final report for K4/2719/4
Chap
no
Chapter Name and description
Progress (July 2020)
%
completion
1
Summary of research process and
recommendations
Separate report ,
0%
2
Research process and methodology
2.1
Methodological underpinnings
In facilitation manual
100%
2.2
Process considerations
2.3
The Innovation Systems Model
3
Results: Climate Resilient Agriculture (CRA) implementation
3.1
CRA Implementation: Intensive Homestead
Food production
Separate report
100%
3.2
CRA Implementation: Water access
Separate report
100%
3.3
CRA Implementation: Field cropping and
livestock integration
Separate report
30%
3.4
CRA Implementation: Participatory
monitoring and evaluation. Process and
indicators
Separate report
0%
4
Results: CRA smallholder farmer decision support system (DSS)
4.1
The facilitator-farmer DSS
In facilitation manual and
DSS web platform
100%
4.2
The individual farmer DSS
4.3
CRA practices: Summary
4.4
Publications
5
Facilitation and Learning materials
5.1
CCA-DSS facilitation manual
Community CCA Facilitation
manual
85%
5.2
Farmer level learning materials: Water
management, soil management, crop
management and livestock integration
(English, Zulu, Pedi, Xhosa)
On DSS web platform
85%
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3DSS FINALISATION
Web platform
A website has been set up, linked to the MDF website at www.mahlathini.org/dss/
The site includes the following:
ØThe online decision support tool
ØResearch reports
oCRA implementation Intensive homestead food production
oCRA implementation Water access
oCRA implementation field cropping and livestock integration(not finalised)
oQuantitative measurements (not finalised)
ØFarmer Handouts (English, isiXulu, isiXhosa, sePedi)
oWater management
oSoil management
oCrop management
oLivestock integration
ØProject Resources
oWRC CCA practices
oWRC-CCA Facilitation Manual
ØProject Publications
oCAB In book chapter
o3x Water Wheel articles (Oct 2019-March 2020)
CRA practices
A totalof 44 practices have been included in the final decision support system. These havebeen based
on:
Practices tried out, adapted and assessed for impact during this research process and
Practices not tried out, but selected by smallholder farmer participants as prioritized options
within their farming systems
A number of practices that were included in the initial database have been removed, not because they
do not have value in building climate resilient agriculture systems, but because they require high levels
of skill and resources or were not considered appropriate by smallholder farmer participants. Some
examples include pitting (high mechanisation requirement), bioturbation (too generic as a “practice”
and included into other practices), push-pull technology (resource requirements), gabions (high skill
and resource requirements)and woodlots and hedgerows (not chosen by participant smallholders).
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A few practices were included during the processdue to specific interest from participating
smallholders. These have included for example water access (spring protection and water reticulation
for household gardening irrigation), livestock fodder production and supplementation, organic mango
production and small dams.
The final input parameters for the online decision support system are summarised inthe figures below
and are also attached in a separate excel sheet (Attachment 11;
WRC_CCA_DSS_INPUT_Final_20200621)
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Pr act i ceImages Descr i pt i on
Tr opi cs sem iar i d
warm
Subtropics
sem i ar i d war m
Subtropicssub-
humid cool
Sandysoils
Loam y soi l s
Cla y ey so ils
Siltysoils
<0.5%
0.5-2%
>2%
<5%
5-15%
>15%
Fie ld c ro pp ing
vegetable
gardening
Li vest ock
Tr eeandot her
nat. resources
A
B
C
Dr ipir ri gati on
Also called trickle or micro irrigation applying water slowly and directly to the roots of plants through small plastic pipes and flow control devices. Emitters are integral to the functioning where turbulent flow prevent clogging to a large degree.
1 1 11 1 1 1 1 1 1111 1
Bucket dr i p ki t sbucket-drip-kits
20Lbucket drip systemfor a 1mx5m bed, with two dripperlines.
1 1 11 1 1 1 1 1 111 1
Fu rro ws a n d rid ge s /fu rro wirrig ationfurrows-and-ridges
Furrow irrigation is a method of applying water at a specific rate of flow into shallow, evenly spaced, u-shaped channels from the top end of the furrow. Flow occurs because of gravity and the amount of water applied is dependent on soil type, gradient, flow rate, evenness and the number of previous applications.
1 1 11 1 1 1 1 11 11 1 1
Gre yw a t e r m a n ag e m en t
Irrigation practices involving greywater, including pre-treatment with ash or using sand filters. Specific bed designs for greywater include tower gardens and keyhole beds.
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 111 1
Shadeclothtunnelsshade- cl ot h -t unne l s
Shade cloth structures (40% grey) assist in managing water through reduced evaporation, temperature and pest incidence
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1111 1
Mulching mulching
Soil cover refers to vegetation, including crops, and crop residues on the surface of the soil, covering ideally the projected surface area of crop roots.
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 111 1 1
Diver si ondi tchesdiversion-ditches
Channel or furrow made across the main slope with its ridge on the downhill side; Part of in field RWH
1 1 11 1 1 1 1 1 1 11 111 1 1
Gra ss w a te r w a ysgrass-water-ways
Shaped or graded channels with suitable vegetation, designed to intermittently carry surface water runoff at non-erosive velocities to stable outlets. Part of infield RWH
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 111
Infiltration pits / banana circlesinfiltration-pits
0.7m-1.5m deep pits/basins dug in water flow lines to control water movement and filled with organic matter for improved soil fertility. Various planting regimes including bananas
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 111 1
Za ip itszai - pi ts
Hand dug 0.6m diameter and 0.3m deep circular holes that collect and store water for crop use
1 1 11 1 1 1 1 1 1 1111 1 1
Ra in w a te r h a rv e stin g sto ra g e
rainwater-harvesting-storage,rainwater-harvesting-storage1
The collection of run off from rain, roof and other surfaces for productive use in and outside the field. Both infield and storage options are available
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Ti edr i dgestied-ridges
Increases the water availability by collecting rainfall from an unplanted sloping basin and catching it with a furrow and ridge. Planting takes place on either side of the furrow where the water has infiltrated.
1 1 11 1 1 1 1 1 11 11 1 1
Hal fmoonbasinshalfmoon basins
These are small semi-circular earth bunds for catching water flowing down a slope
1 1 11 1 1 1 1 11 1 111 1 1
Smalldamssmal l - dam s
2m-5m deep pond constructed to catch water during the rainy season with a clay core, a wall (for larger earth dams) and a spillway to let go off excess water
1 1 111 1 1 111 1
Co n to u rs ; la y o u t a n d p la n tin g
Co n to u rs 1 , c on to u rs 2
Ploughing and or planting along the contours of the land in order to minimize soil erosion. Can use line levels, A-frames, dumpy levels etc to mark contours
1 1 11 1 1 1 1 111 11 1 1
Org an ic Ma n go p r o d u ctio n
organic mango production
Practices for management of mango trees and orchards in an organic system
1 11 1 1 1 1 11 11 11 1 1 1
Fru itp rod u ctio nfruit production
Propagation and growth of a range of fruit types for production throughout the year, using agroecological and organic methods
1 11 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 11 11 1 1 1
Stonebundsst one- bunds
Used along contour lines to slow down, filter and spread out runoff water, thus increasing infiltration and reducing soil erosion.
1 1 11 1 1 1 1 111 11 1 1 1
Ch e ck d a m scheck-dams
These are small dams constructed across a drainage ditch, or waterway to counteract erosion by reducing water flow velocity and allowing sedimentation of silt.
1 1 11 1 1 1 1 11 1 1 11 1 1 1
Cu to ffd ra in s / sw a le scut-off-drains
Swales are ditches and bunds constructed on contour to manage water flow and sedimentation. Mulching and planting occurs in both the ditch and on the bunds
1 1 101 101 1 11 1 1 11 1 1
Ter r acesterraces
A terrace is a level strip of soil built along the contour of a slope and supported by an earth or stone bund, or rows of old tyres for example
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 11 1 11 1 1
Stripcroppingst r i p- cr oppi ng
Strip cropping is a strategy for subdividing single fields on slopes into strips that follow contours; where different crops are planted; a mixture of annual and perennial crops are usually used.
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 111 1 1
WaterAccessWateraccess
Securing and developing local water sources for household level water use and irrigation
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 11 11 1 1
Tar get edappl i cat i onof smal l quant it i es of
fertilizer, limeetc
targeted-application-fertilizer-lime
Use of site specific fertilizer recommendation and more efficient use of fertilizer (using the right, source, at right time, at right place and applying the right rate) , liming to manage soil acidity (surface liming and incorporation).
0 1
1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 111 1
Li qui dmanur esliquid-manure
Brews are made of animal and plant matter as liquid supplements to soil fertility,
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 111 1
Agr i-si lvopastor al pr act i ces
agrisilvopastoral practices
Combining crops, pastures and trees to maximise soil improvement and productivity benefits
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 11 1 1 1 1 1 1
Co n se rv a t io n A gric u ltu re
conservation-agriculture
Three main principles of minimal soil disturbance (no ploughing), soil cover (stover, mulching and cropping patterns) and diversity ( inter cropping, relay cropping and cover crops) upheld in the field cropping system
0 0
1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 11 1 1 1 1 1 1
Pla n tin g le g u me s , ma n u re ,g re e n ma n u re splanting-legumes
Use of legumes , manures (improved) and green manures in specific combinations to improve soil fertility and soil health.
0 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 111 1 1
Mixedcroppingmixed-cropping
Managing soil health and pest and disease incidence through crop combinations; mixed cropping, inter cropping, crop rotation
0 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 11 1 1
Her bs andmul tif unct ionalpl ant splanting-herbs
Managing soil health and pest and disease incidence through crop combinations; using herbs and multifunctional plants - including windbreaks, trap cropping, pest deterrents, bee fodder etc
0 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 11 1 1
Agr of or estr y agroforestry-options
Land use management system in which trees or shrubs are grown around or among crops or pastureland
0
0 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 11 1 1 11 1
Tr enchbeds/shal l owt r enches/ Ecoci r cl es
trenches-and-shallow-trenches, Eco-circles,
Intensive beds dug out and filled with a range of organic matter ( dry, wet manure, bones, ash etc) to provide for highly fertile beds with high water holding capacity - e.g. trench beds, shallow trenches, eco-circles
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1111 1 1
Improved organic matter
Improved organic matter
Improving organic matter content of soils for increased productivity for vegetables, fruit and field crops
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 11 11 11 1 1 1
Nur ser ies andpr opagat ion
Nur ser ies andpr opagat ion
Propagation by seed, cuttings and grafting of a range of vegetable, herb and fruit crops, for increased diversity and continuity
1 1 1 1 1 1 11 1 111 1 1 1
Nat ur al pestand diseasecont rol
natural-pest-and-disease-control,natural-pest-and-disease-control1
This is an ecologically based approach to managing pests and diseases including chemical, biological and other regulatory means
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 111 1 1
Integrated weed management
integrated-weed-management
The use of a combination of weed control practices thus reducing dependency on any one type of control. This includes practices such as close spacing, late season weeding for weeding weeds, soil health management (structure and porosity), composting etc
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 11 1 1 1
Improved crop varieties (early maturing,
droughttolerant, improved nutrients),
Improved varieties
Improved varieties can be more productive, grow in drier years and potentially make better use of nutrients
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Seedsaving/production/storingseeds,seeds1,seeds2
The practice of saving seeds or other reproductive material (e.g. tubers) from vegetables, grain, herbs, and flowers for use from year to year for annuals
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 11 1 1 1
Cro p ro ta tio ncrop-rotation
A series of different crops planted in the same field following a defined order to improve soil health and to prevent the build-up of soil related diseases.
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 11 1 1
Stallfeedingandhaymakingst al l - f eedi ng
Feed animals in stalls to reduce energy requirements seeking out grazing; links to agroforestry systems, fallows and improved pastures
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 111 1
Cre e p fe e d in g a n d su p p l e me n ta tio ncreep-feeding
In cases where young livestock do not have adequate access to fodder, or are ‘bullied’ by older animals, enclosures that are only accessible to younger animals (i.e. small entrances) can be built. High quality fodder is placed in the enclosure that younger animals can feed on.
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 111 1
Ro ta tio n a l g ra zin grotational-grazing
Asystem of restingveld to ensuregrazingquality for livestock
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 111 1
Tower gar denstower-gardens
Aboveground beds, builtwith nettingand polesconsistingof soil enriched with compostandash with acentral filtrationcolumn for addition of greywater
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 111 1
Ke y h o le b e d skeyhole-beds
Aboveground beds, builtwith stonesconsistingof soil enriched with compostandash with acentral filtration column for addition of greywater
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 111 1
Proxies for physical environment
Farming system
Typology
AEZ
Soiltexture
SoilOC
Slo p e
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Mahlathini Development Foundation July 2020
17
Pr act i ce
Har vest i n
g
retention
use
efficiency
conservat
ion
improve
ment
Water
Heat
nutrient
disease
Water
Heat
nutrient
disease
watersoi l crop livestock CSA
Dripir ri gat ion1 13 0 2 0 0
Bucket dr ipki ts1 13 0 2 0 1
Fu rrowsa nd ridg e s /fu rro wirriga tio n1 113 2 2 0 0
Gre yw a te r m a n ag e m en t1 13 0 2 0 0
Shadeclothtunnels1 11 11113 1 2 1 1
Mulching 11 1 1 1 12 2 3 1 1
Diver siondi tches1 13 2 2 1 1
Gra ss w a te r w a y s1 13 2 2 1 1
Infiltration pits / banana circles1 11 113 2 3 1 1
Za ipits1 11 113 2 3 1 1
Ra in w a te rh a rv e stin g sto ra g e13 2 2 1 1
Ti edr i dges1 1113 2 2 1 1
Hal fmoonbasins1 1113 2 2 1 1
Smalldams13 2 2 1 1
Co n to u rs; la y o u t a n d p la n tin g11 12 3 2 1 1
Org an ic M a n go p ro d uc tio n1 11 1 1 1 12 2 3 0 2
Fruitp ro du c tio n1 11 1 1 1 12 2 3 0 2
Stonebunds1 12 3 2 1 1
Ch e ck d a m s1 12 3 2 1 1
Cu to ffd ra in s / sw a le s1 12 3 3 1 1
Ter r aces1 12 3 2 1 1
Stripcropping1 12 3 3 2 1
WaterAccess1 113 0 2 1 2
Tar get edappl icat i onof smal lquant i ti es of
fertilizer, limeetc
1 1
2 1 3 1 1
Li qui dm anur es1 11 11 1 3 1 1
Agr i-si lvopast or al pr act ices1 1 1 1 1 111 3 2 2 2
Co n se rv a tio n Ag ric u ltu re1 1 1 1 1 1 1 112 2 3 2 2
Pla n tin g le g u m e s , ma n u re , g re e n ma n u re s11 11 2 3 1 1
Mixed cropping1 11 11 2 3 2 1
Her bs andmul ti funct ionalplant s1 11 11 2 3 2 1
Agr of or estr y11 1 1 1 1 11 12 2 3 3 1
Tr enchbeds/ shal l owt r enches/ Ecoci r cl es11 1 1 1 12 2 3 1 1
Improved organic matter1 1 1 1 1 1 1 112 3 3 1 3
Nur ser ies andpr opagat ion1 1 1 1 10 2 3 1 2
Nat ur al pest anddi seasecont rol11 1 3 1 1
Integrated weed management1 11 1 3 1 1
Improved crop varieties (early maturing,
drought tolerant, improved nutrients),
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
1 1 3 1 1
Seedsaving/production/storing1 1 1 11 1 2 1 1
Cro p ro ta tio n1 11 111 2 3 2 1
Stallfeedingandhaymaking1 11 1 1 3 1
Cre e p fe e d i n g a n d su p p le m e n ta tio n1 11 1 1 3 1
Ro ta tio n a l g ra zin g1 11 11 1 1 3 3
Tower gar dens1 11 113 2 3 1 1
Ke y h o le b e d s1 11 113 2 3 1 1
Re so u rc e s a n d m a n a g eme n t stra te g ie s
Scorebyfacilitator
Water(quantity)
soi l (f er t i l i t y)
crop resistance and efficiency
Li vest ock r esi st anceandef f i ci ency
Resour ces
4FINAL REPORT: CRA IMPLEMENTATION_INTENSTIVE
HOMESTEAD FOOD PRODUCTION
Cover page
Climate Resilient Agriculture.
An implementation and support guide:
Intensive homestead food production
practices
WRC K5/2719/4Deliverable 11: Progress report
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Abbreviations and acronyms
CAConservation Agriculture
CCClimate change
CCA Climate change adaptation
CRAClimate resilient agriculture
ECEastern Cape
KZNKwaZulu Natal
MDFMahlathini Development Foundation
SOCSoil organic carbon
SOMSoil organic matter
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TableofContents
Abbreviations and acronymsii!
1!Background and introduction ......................................................................................4!
1.1!Climate resilient intensive homestead food production practices4!
!The present situation.......................................................................................................................4!
1.2!Sites and participants6!
!Innovation system process............................................................................................................... 6!
1.3!CRA practices8!
!Bed design........................................................................................................................................8!
1.3.1.1!Trench*beds* 8!
1.3.1.2!Furrows*and*ridges*10!
1.3.1.3!Shallow*trenches*11!
!Composting....................................................................................................................................12!
!Liquid Manure................................................................................................................................13!
!Shade cloth tunnels........................................................................................................................14!
1.3.4.1!Water*Productivity*18!
1.3.4.2!Cost-benefit*analysis*26!
!Mulching........................................................................................................................................26!
!Eco-circles......................................................................................................................................27!
!Greywater management................................................................................................................28!
1.3.7.1!Tower*gardens*29!
!Mixed cropping, crop diversification..............................................................................................31!
!Natural pest and disease control...................................................................................................35!
!Seed Saving................................................................................................................................37!
!Fruit Production.........................................................................................................................39!
1.3.11.1!Banana*basins*39!
1.3.11.2!Organic*mango*production*40!
!Stone bunds and check dams....................................................................................................41!
!Infiltration ditches (run-on ditches, diversion ditches)..............................................................43!
!Rainwater harvesting (RWH)........................................................................................................ii!
!Small dams...................................................................................................................................iii!
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1BACKGROUND ANDINTRODUCTION
1.1Climate resilient intensive homestead food production practices
Thepresent situation
Homestead food production is animportant aspect of the smallholder farming system. These are small
(0,01-0,5ha; or 100-5000m2) plots adjacent to homesteads where participants plant a range of crops
and fruit trees, with or without access to water for irrigation. The homesteads also host small livestock
such as poultry and in some cases kraals for goats and cattle. A limited number of people also keep
pigs. These plots are usually fenced. The large majority of smallholders plant for household
consumption and sale of surplus.
Production is constrainedby infertile and badly structured soils. Often, the smallholders live in areas
where soils are not ideal for cropping. This situation is worsened by repeated shallow tillage (with
hand hoes and/or tractors), without addition of nutrients or organic matter, often for many years. The
results are very low fertility soils, with many structural problems such as capping and compaction. This
is now exacerbated by climate change, with alternating hot and dry conditions and heavy downpours
adding extensive erosion of top soil to the list of woes. Productivity is generally extremely low.
In addition, access to water for irrigation is an enormous obstacle for most smallholders, who battle
to have enough just for household use.
Diversity in cropping also tends to be low; with a focus generally on maize and pumpkins for field
crops, as well as legumes in some cases. In terms of vegetables, planting consists mainly of cabbage,
spinach, tomatoes and onions. In KZN and the EasternCape, participants may have a few un-grafted
peach trees. In the subtropical areas of Limpopo lowveld, diversity is somewhat higher with more
habitual planting of a wide range of trees (e.g. bananas, mangoes, avocadoes, paw-paws and citrus,
as well as indigenous trees).
The challenge is thus to work with a combination of aspects; soil fertility, soil erosion control, water
management, cropping, fruittree production and livestock integration, to create a more productive
and resilient, intensive homestead food production system, working within the confines of the local
situation and resources.
The climate resilient agriculture (CRA) practices promoted through this study, encompass vegetable
and fruit production as well as small livestock integration; practices that are undertaken within the
boundaries of the homestead. Practices also include soiland water conservation, as well as
microclimate management.
The potential of practices to have an impact on productivity in a changing climate depends on a
number of criteria. These criteria have been developed and fine-tuned with learning group members.
The most common criteria can be summarised as; productivity, water use, labour, cost, ease of
implementation and income potential. Farmers were encouraged to try out new practices alongside
their normal/ traditional practices to be able to compare these practices and clearly observe potential
advantages.
Comments from farmers about the overall process:
Ø“Leaving the soil exposed to heat and rain and turning over the soil to plough and plant has destroyed
the soil, making it infertile and very hard. Improving the soil takes time, but makes a big difference in
growth of crops.
WRC K5/2719/4Deliverable 11: Progress report
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Ø“I have learnt about practices that will help me continue with farming activities even though water is a
struggle and the sun is too hot for any vegetable to survive in our environment. The little we have been
given is better than nothing.”
Ø“Climate change has been hard on us, especially on our farming activities. Farming seems impossible
in this condition, especially with no rain. Being unemployed and relying on grants is even worse, as the
head of the household; farming makes it better because you farm for both consumption and making
an income.”
Ø“I have experienced harsh weather with no rain and no harvests using our traditional ways of farming,
which affected our livelihood as we had to buy all vegetables instead of growing them myself. Now I
know how to deal with changes of climate, since I met Mahlathini and AWARD and they taught us
practices that changed my life. I don’t buy vegetables that I need every day, I pick from my garden.”
Ø“It’s not easy to implement new things, but if results are presented and examples are shown to prove
that the practice is being tried by other farmers and it’s working very well, then it makes it easier for
us to try.”
Ø“It’s not easy to move from traditional ways of doing things to something new, because we sometimes
associate change with risk that we are not ready for.”
Ø“Seeing results from other people’s gardens motivates us to try these ideas ourselves.”
Ø“We progress much faster when we work together in learning groups, discuss issues and visit each
other’s gardens.”
This document provides a description of different CRA practices tried out by smallholder farmers in
their learning groups, some examples of implementation, comments from farmers, assessment of
impact and an overall rating based on farmers’ views and in some cases, measurements.
Rating
As a means of providing a quick qualitative and visual summary of the impact of each CRA practice on
the resilience of the smallholder farming system, a rating has been devised as follows:
Criteria
Descriptors
Score (1 point for
each descriptor)
Improved food provision
More food, increased diversity, increased continuity
3
Improved soil conditions
Improved fertility, improved organic matter, improved
soil health
3
Improved water
management
Improved water holding capacity, efficient use of water,
improved access
3
Uptake of practice
Experimentation with practice (no of people),
continuation of practice after experimentation,
increased implementation of practice
3
Skills and resources to
sustain practice
Use of own resources, knowledge to implement
practice adequately, access to required/external
resources
3
The stars are filled (black) for each point provided in the score in the following manner
Score 1 to 3
Score 4 to 6
Score 7 to 9
Score 10 to 12
Score 13 to 15
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1.2Sites and participants
Farmer level experimentation and demonstration of practices have been undertaken for three
consecutive seasons. Sites have been chosen to be representative of different agroecological
conditions within South Africa.
The table below summarises the sites, number of participants and farmer level experimentation
undertaken with each village learning group, over a period of three years.
Table 3: Summary of farmer experimentation sites for this study.
Innovation system process
The process started with an introductory workshop with each of the learning groups,to discuss climate
change, impacts on their livelihoods and farming and potential adaptive measures. These workshops
also provide a spaceto introduce concepts and potential practices and discuss inclusionof theseinto
their present farming system, followed by practical demonstrations and setting up the farmer level
experimentationtrial plots.
Interested individualsin a local area or village come together to form a learning group. Several farmers
in that group then volunteer to undertake on-farm experimentation, which creates an environment
where the whole group learns throughout the season through observations and reflectionson the
implementation and resultsof the chosen trials. Farmerscompare various treatments with their
standard practices, which are planted as control plots.
The group assesses and reviews the CRA practices each season and, based on their observations and
learning, make decisions regarding the next season’s implementation and experimentation. In this
way the farming system is continually improved and adapted.
The table below outlines the practices introduced that farmers chose to experiment with and include
in into their farming system. It also gives a summary of the rating for each practice.
Table 4: Summary of CRA practices tried throughout this farmer level experimentation and learning process.
2017/18
2018/19
2019/20
harvesting
retention
use efficiency
conservation
improvement
crop
diversification
mixed cropping
drought and heat
tolarant crops
integrated weed
and pest
management
fodderand
supplementation
Livestock
integration
Mam etja,
Limpopo
Sedawa, Turkey,
Willows, Botshabelo,
Santeng
108 7865xxxx x x x xxx
Bergville,
KwaZulu-
Natal
Ezibomvini, Stulwane,
Eqeleni, Mhlwazini,
65 6850xx x x x x xxx
Southern
KwaZulu-
Natal
Madzikane, Ofafa,
Spring Valley
32 2522xx x x x x xxx
Midlands ,
KwaZulu-
Natal
Gobizembe,
Mayizekanye, Ozwathini
27 2841xx x x x x xxx
Eastern
Cape
Xumbu, Berlin, Qhuzini,
Dimbaza
18 1545xx xx
Village
Area
* This is a simplified categorisation of pratices, as most contribute to
several objectives.
livestock
resilience
Number of
participants
water
Soil
crop/ tree resilience
Climate Resilient Agriculture practices tried*
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Descriptors
More food
increased diversity
increased continuity
Improved fertility
improved organic matter
improved soil health
Improved water holding
capacity
efficient use of water
improved access
Experimentation with
practise (no of people)
continuation of practise
after experimentation
increased implementation
of practice
Useof ownresources
knowledge to implement
practise adequately
access to required
/external resources
Score Rating
1.3.1.1 Trench beds1 11 1 1 1 11 1 1 1 1 113
1.3.1.2 Furrows and ridges11 11 11 1 1 1 1 111
1.3.1.3 Shallow trenches111115
1.3.2 Composting11 1 1 111 18
1.3.3 Liquid Manure111 11 1 17
1.3.4 Shade cloth tunnels111111111111113
1.3.5 Mulching 11 1 1 1117
1.3.6 Eco-circles 11 1 11117
1.3.7.1 Tower gardens11 111 16
1.3.8 Mixedcropping, crop diversification1111111119
1.3.9 Natural pest and disease control1111116
1.3.10 Seed Saving1 1 11 1 1 17
1.3.11.1 Banana basins11 1 1 1 1 11 11 111
1.3.11.2 Organic mango production1111111111111
1.3.12 Stone bunds and check dams111111118
1.3.13 Infiltration ditches (run-on ditches, diversion ditches)1111116
1.3.14 Rainwater harvesting (RWH)1111116
1.3.15 Small dams1111116
Climate Resilient Agriculturepractices tried
Criteria
Skills and resources
to sustain practise
Improved food
provision
Improved soil
conditions
Improved water
management
Uptake ofpractise
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1.3CRA practices
Bed design
The design of the garden and beds within the garden is central to incorporation of soil and water
conservation principles and increase in soil fertility and soil organic matter into the intensive
homestead food production system. Bed designs that provide for in situcomposting are central to the
process.
The learning process in garden and bed design includes aspects of siting, topography, water flow and
run-off, wind protection andshading, to allowfor well-planned inclusion of the different elements
with the layout. Usually the process starts with soil and water conservation activities (e.g. in-field
rainwater harvesting; contours, swales, diversion ditches, etc.), leading on to placement of windbreaks
and trees in the system, before careful consideration of placement of perennial crops and plants and
layout of seasonal beds and paths.
1.3.1.1Trench beds
To make trench beds, soil is dug out to a depth of 60cm to 1m and the resulting trench is filled with a
layered mixture of organic matter and topsoil, before being finished off as a raised bed with an internal
water holding basin and providing for water flow and infiltration pathways. They are basically
underground composting beds, that provide much improved soil fertility, organic matter and water
holding capacity and provide for good yields.
Materials such as branches and old tins are added to the bottom of thetrenches for aeration and
further additions such as bones, bone meal and lime are suggested for ensuring a balance of nutrients
in the resultant bed. During this learning cycle these beds have been made as 1mx5m beds, to allow
for implementation both inside and outside the shade netting tunnels that have also been introduced.
Mulching, attention to management of irrigation and mixed cropping are routinely combined to
provide for the best possible overall practice.
Generally, participants find the constructionofthese beds extremely labour and resource intensive,
but the results speak for themselves. In the drier regions such as Limpopo, finding enough organic
material to fill the trenches can be a challenge. It has beenthe most common practice taken on by
participants, especially when introduced in combination with tunnels. Participants have constructed
anything between 1 and 20 of the beds in their gardens.
Below are a few examples of construction of and growth in trench beds.
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Figure 1: Above left; three
1mx5m trench beds dug with
collected tins for layering at the
bottom of the trenches
(Mametja, Limpopo).
Above middle; trench beds
planted to tomatoes and leafy
greens, clearly showing the built-
up nature of trench beds, the
indented beds for water holding,
and a water flow path above the
top-most trench (Turkey,
Limpopo).
Above right; trenches planted to
tomatoes, mustard greens and
spinach, showing their placement
in relation to existing mango
trees and newly planted paw-
paw trees in the left top corner
(Sedawa, Limpopo)
Figure 2: Right; a mulched and mixed cropped trench
bed in a tunnel, thriving, compared to
Far right; the same crops planted on the same day, in
the conventional raised beds for Phumelele
Hlongwane (Ezibomvini, KZN)
Comments by farmers
ØUse of animal manure when
planting successive crops in the
trench beds helps to keep the
fertility levels high and has also
resulted in the presence of a larger
number of earthworms in the beds.”
Ø“Trench beds are the best. I now
have 11 trench beds in my garden.
The quality of crops from the trench
beds is very good, but when you
don’t add compost or manure (chicken/goat/cow) every season, the quality decreases. I
noticed that in one of the beds, and then started adding compost when planting.”
Assessment of impact
This practice is initially slow to be taken up, unless introduced alongside an incentive such as provision
of a shade cloth tunnel. Trench beds have been extremely popular for the Limpopo based learning
groups, where more than 80% of participants have included them into their gardening practice.
Increase in productivity has been measured and is on average 2 to 3 times higher (200 to 300%
increase) in trench beds, when compared to the normal beds. In KZN and the EC, the uptake has been
a lot lower, in part because of better structured and more fertile soils that have reduced the initial
wow effect of these beds. Here yield increases fall between 30% to around 120%, which is still
significant.
Rating
Criteria
Descriptors
Score (1 point for
each descriptor)
Improved food provision
More food, increased diversity, increased continuity
2
Improved soil conditions
Improved fertility, improved organic matter, improved
soil health
3
Improved water
management
Improved water holding capacity,efficient use of water,
improved access
2
Uptake of practice
Experimentation with practice (no of people),
continuation of practice after experimentation, increased
implementation of practice
3
Skills and resources to
sustain practice
Use of own resources, knowledge to implement practice
adequately, access to required/external resources
3
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1.3.1.2Furrows and ridges
A traditional planting practice, furrows and ridges are used extensively in parts of Mpumalanga and
Limpopo, where soil is ridged and crops are planted on the ridges. The furrows serve to lead water
(irrigation and/or rain) to the crops. Adaptations made to this practice to improve on this design is the
inclusion of organic matter (manure, weeds, compost, crop residues) into the ridges, mulching and
placing these ridges on contour, to improve water flow to the beds and reduce the erosion potential.
The practice is particularly useful for growing sweet potatoes, but a range of crops can be grown. The
effect is very similar to shallow trenches and can be used at any scale. Integrated into the garden
design it also allows for channelling water and allowing for slow seepage into the surrounding beds
for improved water management.
Below are a few examples.
Figure 3: Above left; A furrow and
ridge meandering on a contour,
planted to sweet potato and
mulched, using maize residues,
banana stems and tree leaves. In
this case the furrow is also
providing extra water infiltration
for the mango trees in this
garden.
Above centre; Furrows and ridges
planted to tomatoes, carrots,
maize and spinach. The water
flow paths are clearly visible, as is
a trench bed under construction
on the right-hand side of the
picture.
Above right; Furrows
and ridges mulched with dry
grass and planted to tomatoes.
Flood irrigation is practiced, using
the black irrigation piping seen in
the foreground of the picture
(Sedawa, Limpopo).
Comments by farmers
ØUsing manure and mulching in our traditional beds, the furrows and ridges, has helped to
increase crop survival and yields.”
Assessment of impact
This practice is already widespread in Limpopo and introduction of the improvements to the system
has been easy. It is much simpler for participants to improve on something they are already doing,
than starting on a new practice. The practice is best suited to the conditions and soil types in Limpopo
and the EC, but has not been introduced in KZN. Sandy-clay, low fertility soils with a tendency towards
capping work well, while soils with a high proportion of loam and clay tend to become very hard and
the ridges dry out fast and are difficult to re-wet. The capping of the sandier soils tends to ‘lock’ the
moisture into the soil without reducing aeration which the heavier clay soils do not. Generally, the
water productivity (WP) of furrows andridges ismuch lower than trenchbeds. Calculations have
shown a 150% to 300% increase in water productivity for the trenches when compared to furrows and
ridges, where increased fertility and mulching are not used, and an 80% to 160% increase in WP where
they are.
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Rating
Criteria
Descriptors
Score (1 point for
each descriptor)
Improved food provision
More food, increased diversity, increased continuity
1
Improved soil conditions
Improved fertility, improved organic matter, improved
soil health
2
Improved water
management
Improved water holding capacity,efficient use of water,
improved access
2
Uptake of practice
Experimentation with practice, (no of people),
continuation of practice after experimentation, increased
implementation of practice
3
Skills and resources to
sustain practice
Use of own resources, knowledge to implement practice
adequately, access to required/external resources
3
1.3.1.3Shallow trenches
The shallow trench is a variation on trench beds that can also be implemented at a larger scale, where
a ditch 15cm deep and 30cm wide is constructed on contour and is then filled with organic matter;
usually manure, grass and crop residues, and the top soil is replaced on top of this mixture. Crops are
planted either in the sides of the ridge formed or on top.
Shallow trenches are much easier to construct than deep trenches, but the fertility does not last as
long and thus these beds are re-constructed
every 2ndto 3rdseason. It is recommended
that legumes are planted initially, as in the
beginning stages Nitrogen can be a bit
limiting for these beds.
Alongside are a few examples.
Figure 4: Right; digging a shallow trench in a
homestead field cropping plot (Turkey Limpopo) and
Far right; the beginnings of filling in a shallow trench
(Mametja, Limpopo)
Assessment of impact
Although the practice is comparatively low in
labour and resource requirements and is
particularly good in terms of rehabilitating low fertility capped soils, participants have been slow in
taking on this practice; partly due to deeply entrenched habitual practices, and partly due to the slow
initial increase in fertility and crop growth.
Rating
Criteria
Descriptors
Score (1 point for
each descriptor)
Improved food provision
More food, increased diversity, increased continuity
1
Improved soil conditions
Improved fertility, improved organic matter, improved
soil health
2
Improved water
management
Improved water holding capacity,efficient use of water,
improved access
1
Uptake of practice
Experimentation with practice (no of people), continuation
of practice after experimentation, increased
implementation of practice
0
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Skills and resources to
sustain practice
Use of own resources, knowledge to implement practice
adequately, access to required/external resources
1
Composting
Composting consists of conscious piling and layering of a range of organic materials such as manure,
crop residues, grass and leaves and managing such piles for improved decomposition of material to
make compost for use in soil fertility enhancement in gardens and fields.
Branches and old tins are added to the bottom of the piles for aeration and further additions such as
bones, bone meal and lime are suggested for ensuring a balance of nutrients in the resultant compost.
In smallholder farming systems, very few participants undertake composting. This is related to a
number of constraints including availability of suitable manure, availability of water and availability of
plant material. In addition,
compost piles are often
destroyed by livestock. In
the piloting process and
also related to training in
organic mango production,
a handful of participants in
Limpopo have undertaken
composting.
Figure 5: Right; Makibeng
Moradyie (Sedawa, Limpopo),
makes compost from manure,
crop residue, grasses and leaves
and
Far right; Meisie Mokwena’s compost pile, covered with grass (Sedawa, Limpopo).
Comments by farmers
Ø“It is hard work to make compost and it is often destroyed before we can use it.”
Ø“Including more organic matter in the soil helps to hold water and to protect plants from
heat stress.”
Ø“Compost needs a lot of water, which is difficult to find. We rather use the water we have in
our households and for watering crops.”
Ø“It is too much work. It is really hard to make enough compost.”
Assessment of impact
Although compost is central to organic and agroecological approaches tofood production, smallholder
farmers very seldom make compost. Labour, water and resource requirements are high. Thus
processes with in situorganic matter decomposition and composting such as trench beds, shallow
trenches, mulching and soil cover are promoted as alternatives.
Rating
Criteria
Descriptors
Score (1 point for
each descriptor)
Improved food provision
More food, increased diversity, increased continuity
1
Improved soil conditions
Improved fertility, improved organic matter, improved
soil health
3
Improved water
management
Improved water holding capacity,efficient use of water,
improved access
1
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Uptake of practice
Experimentation with practice (no of people), continuation
of practice after experimentation, increased
implementation of practice
1
Skills and resources to
sustain practice
Use of own resources, knowledge to implement practice
adequately, access to required/external resources
2
Liquid Manure
Liquid manures are water-based extracts made from animal- and plant-based materials, that are
fermented and then diluted prior to spraying on plants or the soilaround plants as an additional
fertility enhancement measure. Liquid manures add and balance nutrients in plants and also add
microbial mixes for increased disease and pest resistance in plants.
Common sources for liquid manure are animal manures (preferably fresh, still containing the urinary
fraction) such as cattle, goat, horse, sheep and poultry manure, and/or plant materials such as dark
green leafy weeds (for Nitrogen), banana stems (for potassium and phosphate), comfrey and stinging
nettle (both provide silicon in addition to macro and micro nutrients for disease resistance in plants).
Below are a few examples of liquid manure prepared by
participants
Figure 6: Left; Liquid manure tub for Meisie Mokwena (Sedawa,
Limpopo)
Farmers comments
Ø“Liquid manure using comfrey we have seen how
comfrey fertilizes the soil and also assists with pest
control and with bone problems.
Ø“Using liquid manure and mixed cropping means
that I now do not need any other means for pest and disease control.”
Ø“Liquid manure using chicken manure soaked in water for 10 days and diluting that before use, works
the best. Liquid manure helps for soil fertility and also for chasing pests.”
Assessment of impact
Smallholder farmers find making and inclusion of liquid manures into their farming system easy and
convenient to do. Issues arise however with; (i) renewing the liquid manure source every 14 to 21
days, (ii) putting lids on the liquid manure fermentation containers, meaning the loss of many more
volatile elements, including nitrogen and (iii) making the more complex nutrient-dense fermented
mixtures that also contain milk, molasses, lime and bone meal. For the latter, participants claim lack
of access. Around 42% of participants have taken on this practice.
Rating
Criteria
Descriptors
Score (1 point for
each descriptor)
Improved food provision
More food, increased diversity, increased continuity
1
Improved soil conditions
Improved fertility, improved organic matter, improved soil
health
1
Improved water
management
Improved water holding capacity, efficient use of water,
improved access
Uptake of practice
Experimentation with practice, (no of people),
continuation of practice after experimentation, increased
implementation of practice
2
Skills and resources to
sustain practice
Use of own resources, knowledge to implement practice
adequately, access to required/external resources
3
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Shade cloth tunnels
Microclimate management is considered an important adaptive measure toclimate change. Shade
netting and tunnels are mostly out of reach for smallholder farmers, both in terms of cost and in terms
of technical skills to construct these structures.
In this regard we have collaborated with Socio-Technical Interfacing, a rural development consultancy
and implementation team, who have specialised in designing and providing at scale, kits for
construction of micro-shade netting tunnels (6m x 4.2m, 2m high), with three bucket drip kits included
in the package. Participants are trained in the construction of these tunnels and they in turn assist
new participants as they come on board.
In our process, these micro tunnels have been provided to the participants free of charge, but based
on a strict set of criteria which include that each prospective participant is required to dig and pack
three 1mx5m trench beds, over which the tunnel is to be constructed. In our case, we have also
specified prioritization of active farmers, women headed households where all members are
unemployed, and households where participants can prove they can access the required labour and
water to effectively manage the tunnel. The demand for these tunnels has far outstripped our present
capacity to provide them to participants.
The tunnels are constructed with 40% grey shade cloth, cut into the correct sized panels, sewed onto
and attached to the galvanised steel conduit
arches, and anchored using ski rope (see
overleaf for construction process).
Farmers, more specifically in Limpopo,
where theshade cloth tunnels have been
extremely popular,have extended their
shade netting by themselves. The original
idea that participants would buy further
tunnel kits to expand, proved to be
unnecessary.
Figure 7:Above;Spinach in Sarah Mohlale’s
tunnel, Right and Far Right; Spinach and onion
beds outside and inside Mtashegoand Florence
Shaai’s tunnels. Insert: Florence dried her
coriander, as it matured prior to the sales
arrangements being in place. She sells this dried
herb by the teaspoon-full.
Figure 8: MakibengMoradiyeused netting
that she found lying arounddiscarded by
commercial fruit estates in the vicinity,and
poles cut locally to extend her shade netting
area, after seeing good results in her shade
netting tunnel.
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Below are some pictures outlining the construction process.
Figure 9:
Line 1 Above left to right: Using a rope template to mark out the tunnel and arch position; Using a hollow metal bar to
make the holes for the metal arches; Bending the arches using a jig; and joining the bent halves of the arches with a
standard connector.
Line 2 Above left to right; ‘Planting” the arches in their holes; Sewing the netting for the end panels onto the two end
arches before putting them up; Pulling and tightening the netting over all arches once they have been put up; then
anchoring the arches and putting the final touches to the structure once the netting around the bottom the edges have
been buried for added structural protection against wind forces.
Line 3 Above left and right: Examples of completed tunnels, with the three bucket drip kits installed.
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The learning also includes the construction and installation of the bucket drip irrigation kits one for
each trench bed.
Figure 10:
Above Line 1 Left to Right; making a hole in the bottom of a 20 litre bucket to be able to attach the elbow and pipe
fitting for the down pipe of the drip kit and placing this bucket on top of a ‘pedestal’ to provide a ‘head’ for the water to
flow out along the dripper lines
Above Line 2 Left to Right; making the string drippers in the pipe and ladies from The Oaks attempting to make their
own drippers after being taught how
Above Line 3 Left to Right: laying the two 5m long dripper lines in the trench bed, 60cm apart, closing off the ends of the
pipes with a home-made clamp and testing the drippers for flow.
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Some participants have already adapted
the bucket drip system to accommodate
for their own priorities and to expand
their use of drip kits.
Figure 11:
Right Christinah Thobjeane adapted the system
to accommodate a much larger 200L container,
to allow her to irrigate less often and
Far right; Makibeng Moradyie from Mametja
(Limpopo), bought some piping that she
connected to and old 50L container to makeup
her own drip kit.
These buckets can also be adapted to
include sand filters to filter greywater
and or dirty warty irrigation water. In this
case a layer of gravel is placed in the
bottom of the bucket, followed by a layer
of rinsed, clean river sand.The sand is placed inside a muslin bag to avoid mixing when the buckets
are filled with water. These ‘filters’ need to be replaced from time to time as the flowrate from the
bucket drip systems starts slowing down. The drip irrigation pipes also need to be ‘flushed’ by opening
the end clamps and allowing the flow of water to wash out any accumulated silt and debris
Figure 12: Above Left to Right; gravel and rinsed, clean sand wrapped in a muslin ’bag’ make up the filter for the drip
irrigation system.
Farmers comments
Ø“The drip irrigation helps to reduce evaporation and saves water.”
Ø“The shade net tunnels work very well to reduce heat and water stress and there are fewer pests.”
Ø“I have learnt that practices such as trench beds andtunnels provide good growth and yields, despite
difficult weather conditions. Also, these practices are cheap. Although it is initially a lot of work, the
increased yields make a big difference. We get more food than we did before and will now be able to
continue farming.”
ØThe cool season crops such as Chinese cabbage, spinach and beetroot do a lot better inside the
tunnels than outside, as they are not stressed by the high variability in temperatures and excessive
wind inside the tunnels.
Ø“Evaporation of water is substantially higher outside the tunnels than inside, even during the winter
months. This is the biggest advantage of the tunnels reducing water and wind stress for the crops.”
Ø“Tunnels also help in reducing heat and water stress in plants and this leads to much better
production”
Ø“Tunnels help in this extreme heat by protecting our vegetables from heat and pests. Climate Resilient
practices enable us to continue with farming activities even in this difficult climate change”
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Ø“Having a tunnel and mulching inside the tunnel is the best in terms of water management for
irrigation”
Ø“We have added further shade-netting structures in our gardens, as they work very well”.
Assessment of impact
Participants with tunnels have all commented on the increased productivity inside the tunnels, due to
a combination of increasing water use efficiency reducing evaporation, reducing pest incidence,
reducing heat and reducing plant stress due to wind.
If use of tunnels is combined with trench beds and mulching, productivity can easily be twice as high
as the productivity outside the tunnels; more especially in areas of Limpopo where this was
implemented, where heat and drought has made vegetable production outside tunnels all but
impossible for extended periods of the year.
More than 80% of participants with tunnels have also extended the size of their vegetable gardens;
having been convinced that it is possible to produce despite difficult weather conditions. Sales from
these small gardens have averaged around R400 to R800/ month.
Surprisingly, a large percentage of the bucket drip kits provided have been used extensively by
participants. They have also replaced the gravel and sand filters, once these became clogged up.
Rating
Criteria
Descriptors
Score (1 point for
each descriptor)
Improved food provision
More food, increased diversity, increased continuity
2
Improved soil conditions
Improved fertility, improved organic matter, improved
soil health
3
Improved water
management
Improved water holding capacity,efficient use of water,
improved access
2
Uptake of practice
Experimentation with practice, (no of people),
continuation of practice after experimentation, increased
implementation of practice
3
Skills and resources to
sustain practice
Use of own resources, knowledge to implement practice
adequately, access to required/external resources
3
1.3.4.1Water Productivity
Water productivity; the amount of crop produced per unit of water, is a verygood indicator for
increased resilience and productivity. However, accurate measurements of the amount of water
added and the yields obtained are required.
This experiment has been undertaken for three participants in KZN and Limpopo respectively, for two
to three growing seasons of six months each. The experiment itself consisted of planting 1x5m trench
beds inside and outside the tunnel to the same crop, at the same time, with or without mulching.
Davis weather stations were installed in both sites to obtain accurate rainfall and evapotranspiration
data and participants were provided with record keeping forms and books to record all irrigation and
harvesting.
Water productivity (WP) experimentation in KZN
This has been undertaken in the Bergville region for; Phumelele Hlongwane (Ezibomvini), Ntombakhe
Zikode (Eqeleni) and Nombono Dladla (Ezibomvini).
Crops used for each experimentation cycle were as follows
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1.Spinach (July- November 2018)
2.Chinese cabbage and green pepper (February- May 2019)
3.Spinach and green pepper (September 2019-February 2020)
Below are a few photographs of
production inside and outside the
tunnels
Figure 13: Right; Spinach in Phumelele
Hlongwane’s trench bed inside her tunnel
(2018), is greener and larger than Far
right; spinach in the trench bed outside
her tunnel.
Figure 14:Above left; Phumelele
Hlongwane’s green pepper and
Chinese cabbage bed inside her
tunnel (Feb-May 2019).
Above centre; spinach and green
peppers newly planted in
September 2019 inside
Phumelele’s tunnel.
Above right; Phumelele’s trench
beds outside her tunnel in
September 2019.
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Calculations for Water Productivity
Note: A crop coefficient of 1,0 was usedforspinach,Chinese cabbage and greenpepper and was gleaned from the scientific
literature
1
WP was calculated as kg produce/m3of water. Water use is calculated by multiplying reference
evapotranspiration (ET0) with the crop coefficient to find the actual evapotranspiration (Etc), which is
the volume of water (m3) used to produce the yield (kg). In our case the ‘Scientific method’ uses Etc
for calculating WP and the ‘Farmers’ method’ uses water applied. The latter was used as farmers felt
they could not think in terms of concepts they did not know, but could think in terms of how much
water they apply.
To this end Chameleon soil water sensors were installed in the beds inside and outside the tunnels, to
assist farmers to manage the amount of water they applied. These sensors use blue, green and red
lights to indicate the soil moisture content at different soil depths (in our case we used three depths,
namely 20, 40 and 60cm deep). The idea was that participants could use these sensors to decide when
and how much to irrigate.
This turned out to be a much more complicated process than anticipated, and in effect the
Chameleons did not help participants much to plan and manage their watering processes. The
example below is for Phumelele Hlongwane. The readings from June 2018 to January 2019 are shown.
It indicates that she over-watered her bed inside her tunnel from June until September (blue colour),
after which a more ideal water content was only reached again towards the end ofDecember 2018
(blue and green colours). The readings actually provide a much clearer indication of access to water
and rainfall than it does of irrigation management. The readings also indicate that Phumelele reduced
the amount of water she used for irrigation from September 2018 onwards.The grey colour indicates
either soil that is too dry to afford a reading, or a sensor that is not working. In addition, the humic
acids released by beds with high organic matter content (pink colour on the graph), slowly (or more
quickly in some cases) dissolve the gypsum covering of the underground sensors over time, leading to
the sensors no longer being accurate or active. It was very difficult to discern whether the lack of
readings was due to the soil being dry or sensors being inactive.
1
FAO, 1998. Crop Evapotranspiration guidelines for computing crop water requirements. In FAO Irrigation and Drainage
Paper No 56. Chapter 6:Simple Crop Coefficients. FAO, Rome.
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Figure 15: Chameleon sensor readings for Phumelele Hlongwane (Bergville) between July 2018 and January 2019;
measured at depths of 20cm, 40cm and 60cm respectively.
Another trend that has been noticed is that water productivity increased substantially for the 2ndand
3rdrounds of the experimentation. Participants reduced their amount of irrigation by more than 60%
after the first season; partly because they realized they were over-watering their beds and partly due
to decreased access to water for irrigation. The three small tables below compare the WP for
Phumelele Hlongwane’s experiments across three seasons. She consistently achieved the best WP
results across the three seasons.
Table 5: Water productivitycalculations for Phumelele Hlongwane, growing spinach in trench beds inside and outside
her shade cloth tunnel (June-Sept 2018).
Plot
Crop
Simple scientific method (ETc)
Farmers' method (Water applied)
Yield per
plot (5x1m)
(kg)
Water
use (m3)
WP
(kg/m3)
Yield per
plot (5x1m)
(kg)
Water
use (m3)
WP
(kg/m3)
Trench bed
inside tunnel
Spinach
21,06
1,65
12,8
21,06
1,85
11,4
Trench bed
outsidetunnel
Spinach
5,32
0,83
6,5
5,32
1,75
3,0
Table 6: Water productivity calculations for Phumelele Hlongwane, growing Chinese cabbage and green pepper in trench
beds inside and outside her shade cloth tunnel (Feb-May 2019).
Plot
Crop
Simple scientific method (ETc)
Farmers' method (Water applied)
Yield per
plot (5x1m)
(kg)
Water
use (m3)
WP
(kg/m3)
Yield per
plot (5x1m)
(kg)
Water
use (m3)
WP
(kg/m3)
Trench bed
inside tunnel
Chinese
cabbage
60,5
0,5
122,0
60,5
0,6
100,9
Trench bed
outsidetunnel
Chinese
cabbage
34,7
0,5
72,1
34,7
0,6
57,9
Trench bed
inside tunnel
Green
Pepper
3,7
0,5
7,2
3,7
0,5
7,2
Trench bed
outsidetunnel
Green
Pepper
2,9
0,5
5,8
2,9
0,5
5,6
Table 7: Water productivity calculations for Phumelele Hlongwane, growing spinach and green pepper in trench beds
inside and outside her shade cloth tunnel (September 2019-March 2020)
Plot
Crop
Simple scientific method (ETc)
Farmers' method (Water applied)
Yield per
plot (5x1m)
(kg)
Water
use (m3)
WP
(kg/m3)
Yield per
plot (5x1m)
(kg)
Water
use (m3)
WP
(kg/m3)
Trench bed
inside tunnel
Green
pepper
30,1
0,7
46,5
30,1
0,5
37,8
Trench bed
outsidetunnel
Green
pepper
24,6
0,7
34,5
24,6
0,5
31,1
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Trench bed
inside tunnel
Spinach
49,0
0,7
73,7
49,0
0,5
62,4
Trench bed
outsidetunnel
Spinach
19,6
0,7
29,1
19,6
0,5
26,4
Observations for these three tables can be summarised as follows:
ØWP calculations using the scientific methodare 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,
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 summermonths
ØWP for spinach was initially calculated as 12,8kg/m3for the 2018 winter season. (trench inside
tunnel). The WP shot up to 73,7kg/m3for the summer growing season going into 2020. For
the same crop. This is considered to be due to more effective irrigation and increased fertility
in the trench beds as they “mature”. These values however are not directly comparable, given
that
Øone crop was produced during the winter season and the other during the summer season
Water productivity (WP) experimentation in Limpopo
This has been undertaken in the Mametja region for Christina Thobejane (Sedawa), Norah Mahlaku
(Sedawa) and Makibeng Moradiya (Mametja).
Crops used for each experimentation cycle were as follows:
1.Spinach (April - July 2018)
2.Spinach, chilli and leek (June - September 2019)
Participants with chameleonsundertook to record irrigation and harvests for a 2ndseason, (June-
September 2019), but most stopped their record keeping around June-July 2019 due to severe water
shortages in the villages. They stopped watering their beds outside the tunnels and focused on keeping
small quantities of crops inside their tunnels alive. It was thus not possible to do a second round of
water productivity calculations. One participant however made a brave attempt and her calculations
are presented below. During the 2ndseasonparticipants planted their own crop combinations and
used crops for selling through the organic marketing system set up in the area and for household
consumption.
Below, the WP calculations are presented for two participants for April - July in 2018. They both
planted spinach in trench beds inside and outside their tunnels and used the traditional furrow and
ridges planting method as a control.
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Table 8: Water productivity calculations for two participants, growing spinach inside their shade cloth tunnels, in trench
beds with and without mulch, and outside the tunnel on furrows and ridges with mulch (Sedawa, Limpopo); April - July
2018
Plot
Crop
Simple scientific method (ETc)
Farmers' method (Water applied)
Yield per plot
(kg)
Water use
(m3)
WP
(kg/m3)
Yield per plot
(kg)
Water use
(m3)
WP
(kg/m3)
Christina Thobejane,
inside tunnel,
trench bed
with mulch (5m2)
Spinach
48,9
0,8
61,7
48,9
1,1
56,7
Christina Thobejane,
outside tunnel,
furrows and ridges
with mulch (3,5m2)
Spinach
24,5
0,5
44,0
24,5
3,9
5
Nora Mahlako,
inside tunnel,
trench bed
without mulch (5m2)
Spinach
19,6
0,8
24,7
19,6
9,5
5
Note 1: Both participants stopped irrigating some of their beds due to a lack of water and these results could not be included.
Observations from the table can be summarised as follows:
ØForChristina; the WP for the trench bed inside the tunnel is ~70% higher than the furrows
and ridges control planting, when looking at the scientific method of calculation. Yields inside
the tunnel were double that of the traditional planting method of furrows and ridges, which
were outside the tunnel.
ØChristina mentioned that she changed the way she does watering, based on her Chameleon
readings and opted for deep watering once or twice a week, rather than using small amounts
of irrigation on a daily basis.
ØFor Norah’s tunnel the situation is quite different. She did not do mulching and she kept to
the ‘traditional’ watering practice of a little in the morning and a little in the evening every
day. She has used a lot more water than Christina did inside her tunnel (9,5m3vs 1,1m3), but
her process was significantly less productive (19,6kg of spinach vs 48,9kg of spinach). This
indicates that her practices greatly increased the required amount of water, without
increasing the efficiency of use of this water. This is a significant difference in yield brought
about by a number of factors, as observed and discussed with the farmers:
oMulching and deep watering inside the tunnel vs no mulching and repetitive
shallow watering
oHarvesting practices; another aspect mentioned by farmers when analysing these
results is that it is possible that Norah overharvested her spinach, with the outcome
that regrowth and further harvesting was reduced
oFarmers also mentioned that there is generally more shade from trees, in Christina’s
garden, even her tunnel is provided with some shade during the day, while Norah’s
tunnel has no shade
oDifferent planting times; this could in fact have played a large part in the WP
differences in the two tunnels as Norah planted at the end of February (when it was
very hot) and Christina planted at the beginning of April (when it was much cooler).
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These resultsgive a clear indication of the productive advantage of using tunnels in these hot, dry
conditions and further show the added yield and water productivity advantages of mulching and deep
watering as crop management practices. Chameleon sensor readings further demonstrate the above
analysis.
Figure 16: Chameleon sensor readings for Christina Thobejane’s trench bed inside her tunnel between January and
August 2018
This data indicates 58% blue, 15% green and 17% red readings throughout this period and is a good
example of reasonable irrigation management. The data set for the furrows and ridges look similar,
as shown below, but she had to use 3,5 times more water on the furrows and ridges, when compared
to the trench inside the tunnel to achieve this result
Figure 17: Chameleon sensor readings for Christina Thobejane’s furrows and ridges outside her tunnel between March
and July 2018
Norah Mahlaku’s Chameleon sensor readings for her trench bed inside her showed under watering
(26% blue, 4% green and 70% red) during the same period despite the fact that she used 8,6 times
more water than Christina did in her tunnel trench bed.
Figure 18: Chameleon sensor readings for Norah Mahlaku’s trench bed inside her tunnel between January and August
2018
Christina has made the following comments about the chameleons:
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ØApplying water until the chameleon changes colour (goes blue) seems to be a good idea as this
saves her some water and means that she only has to irrigate once a week (every 7 days).
ØShe has thus now changed her irrigation practice of watering a little every morning and
afternoon, to a deep watering every 5-7 days. Even though this was discussed in the learning
workshops, she was not convinced until she managed to work it out for herself.
ØThe chameleon in the tunnel stays blue (indicating enough water in the soil) for longer than in
the other beds.
ØShe appreciates the ease of using the chameleons by just checking the colour.
ØShe felt that all the weighing and recording of water applied was time consuming and
unnecessary, since she could visually see the difference in the plants.
ØAnother difficulty lay in the reading the data from the chameleons, as this was often frustrated
by small wires coming loose in the chameleon array. Uploading this data was also a bit
problematic, given that it required a sizeable amount of data, along with good cell phone
reception.
Figure 19:
Right; An example of a Chameleon
sensor in this case indicating blue,
green and red for the three
different soil depths (20, 40 and
60cm respectively)
Far right; Sylvester Selala in
Christina’s tunnel checking the
sensor.
A further interesting
adaptation was employed by
Makibeng Moradiya. She
observedthat the shading in the tunnels has a very beneficial effect on crop growth. She then moved
her outside beds to be either in the shade or surrounded by shade-cloth to reduce the effect of heat
and wind. She has thus already internalised the principles inherent in the advantagesthat tunnels can
provide and have applied these to the rest of her garden.
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Figure 20: Above left; spinach and leeks inside the tunnel, in the bed Makibeng used for her record keeping. In the
foreground are peas and parsley. Above Right; A trench bed outside the tunnel with beetroot and spinach planted
slightly later in the season, planted in an area with shade and surrounded by shade cloth, to emulate the effects of the
tunnel.
The WP calculations for her trench beds inside and outside her tunnel thus do not show such a high
degree of difference, as shown below, using the farmer method of calculation.
Table 9: Water productivity calculation for Makibeng Moradiya, Limpopo, June -September 2019
Farmers' method (Water applied)
Name of farmer
Crops; leeks, chilli and spinach
Water
use (m3)
Total
weight
(kg)
WP (kg/m3)
Trench bed inside tunnel (4,5m2)
1,7
17,4
10,3
Trench bed outside tunnel (4,5m2)
1,8
14,9
8,3
From the above table it can be seen that Makibeng’s water productivity inside her tunnel was around
24% higher than outside the tunnel.
1.3.4.2Cost-benefit analysis
The cost-benefit analysis serves to indicate the effect of payment for irrigation on the potential
profitability of producing crops in the shade net tunnels. Payment for water is by far the most
significant cost to smallholders.
Water costs have been estimated using the common cost of R35/210 litre drum in Limpopo and R300/
2 200 litre JoJo tank in KZN. The table below indicates the potential profit of producing inside and
outside tunnels related to payment for water. The improved financial benefit of planting in tunnels is
a very compelling reason why they are so popular with the smallholder participants.
Table 10: A cost-benefit analysis of planting inside and outside tunnels; with and without paying for irrigation water.
Cropping practice
Water(litres/5m2
bed)
Cost of water
(R/m2)
Yield
(Kg/m2)
Sales
(R/m2)
Profit (R/m2)
KZN: Trench inside tunnel
700
R0,00
2,6
R26
R26,00
KZN: Trench inside tunnel
700
R4,90
2,6
R26
R21,20
Limpopo: Trench inside
tunnel
1100
R0,00
6
R60
R60,00
Limpopo: Trench inside
tunnel
1100
R18,70
6
R60
R41,30
KZN: Trench outside tunnel
700
R0,00
1,6
R16
R16,00
KZN: Trench outside tunnel
700
R4,90
1,6
R16
R11,10
Limpopo: Trench outside
tunnel
2926
R48,80
4,2
R42
-R6,80
Limpopo: Furrows and ridges
3913
R130,40
2,4
R24
-R106,40
Mulching
Mulching is an oft-mentioned climate resilientagriculture practice that has obvious benefits in
reducing evaporation, decreasing soil temperature and to some extent improving soil fertility and soil
health.
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It is a practice that smallholders are generally well aware of, but do not implement often, despite the
obvious benefits. Smallholders cite increased pest and disease incidence along with difficulty in
obtaining material for mulching as the two main reasons.
The important longer-term benefits of mulching in increasing soil health and fertility are generally not
realised, given that farmers stop using the practice after lack of a major impact in the short term.
Around 32% of smallholders who have been introduced to this practice continue to use it as an
ongoing practice in their gardens.
Farmers’ comments
Ø“I use dry leaves for mulching to reduce evaporation. This is good because I have to fetch
water with a wheelbarrow and now I do not need to do this every day.” (Rackson
Makgobatlou, Turkey, Limpopo)
Ø“Mulching also adds to soil fertility.”
ØAlthough the mulching assists in weed control, some weeding is still required- especially in
summer and the main advantage of the mulch is to keep the soil moist and cool
Ø“I experienced pest problems, ants feeding onthe mulch and damaging my crops, when using
mulching, so I do not use mulch anymore.” (Sarah Madire, Turkey, Limpopo).
Rating
Criteria
Descriptors
Score (1 point for
each descriptor)
Improved food provision
More food, increased diversity, increased continuity
1
Improved soil conditions
Improved fertility, improved organic matter, improved
soil health
3
Improved water
management
Improved water holding capacity, efficient use of water,
improved access
1
Uptake of practice
Experimentation with practice, (no of people),
continuation of practice after experimentation, increased
implementation of practice
1
Skills and resources to
sustain practice
Use ofown resources, knowledge to implement practice
adequately, access to required/external resources
1
Eco-circles
These are small circular, double-dug beds with addition of manure or compost, as well as mulch. They
are drip irrigated using a 2-litre bottle with small holes drilled into the sides, which is ‘planted’ in the
centre of the bed.
Eco-circles are appropriate for small gardens and also as a practice to introduce the benefits of
increased soil depth for rooting, organic matter, mulch and irrigation management. A few participants
have incorporated these concepts into their overall gardening practice and around 31% of participants
to whom this practice has been introduced continue to use it in an ongoing manner in their gardens
Below are a few examples.
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Figure 21: Above left; Double
digging the 1m diameter circle for
the bed,
Above centre; A
completed eco-circle with a stone
border (Gobizembe, KZN) and
Above right; Mulching
and 2 litre bottle drip system
adapted for use in a larger trench
bed (Bergville, KZN).
Farmers’ experiences
ØPortia Shai implemented the eco-circles in her garden and found that they improved crop
growth and yields substantially, as long as one has water for irrigation. Magdalena and Lydia
Shaai also added to Portia they have planted spinach, green beans and herbs in the eco-
circles and they are very happy with the results.
Rating
Criteria
Descriptors
Score (1 point for
each descriptor)
Improved food provision
More food, increased diversity, increased continuity
1
Improved soil conditions
Improved fertility, improved organic matter, improved
soil health
3
Improved water
management
Improved water holding capacity, efficient use of water,
improved access
1
Uptake of practice
Experimentation with practice (no of people),
continuation of practice after experimentation, increased
implementation of practice
1
Skills and resources to
sustain practice
Use ofown resources, knowledge to implement practice
adequately, access to required/external resources
1
Greywater management
Greywateris water used for washing in a household (clothes, dishes, people), but does not include
blackwater (toilet water, sewage). Greywater is generally high in soap content of various types and
organic matter. Dangers in use include microbial contamination, nitrification from soap and crusting
on top of the soil if it is used in the same place often. Management for safe use and disposal of
greywater is important. Mostly this consists of using ash and other substances such as moringa seed
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to bind and flocculate some of the soap, and irrigation practices that avoids the greywater from
touching the leaves of the crops.
Greywater is not considered suitable for use by smallholders in vegetable gardens in KZN and the
Eastern Cape, but is generally used to water fruit trees and shrubs. In Limpopo, there is a practice of
settling soaps with ash, prior to using greywater in gardens.
In this process, specific bed-designs were introduced to maximise the benefits of greywater. These
include tower gardens and keyhole beds. Keyhole beds are above ground beds, constructed with stone
walls and have a central composting basket where greywater is applied. Accessto enough stone has
been a severely limiting factor and participants have not undertaken this practice after the initial
demonstrations
1.3.7.1Tower gardens
Tower gardens are built-up beds; a constructed tube ofshade cloth and poles with a central core of
gravel to filter out and bind some of the soaps in greywater. The medium is made of a third each of
soil, compost or manure and wood ash. The wood ash also binds the soaps.
They provide a small, intensive, easy to manage raised bed, that can be placed close to the home, in
circumstances where there is a shortage of water and a safe way to use greywater.
The materials requiredcan be limiting for some gardeners, and includes 2x3m 80% shade cloth, 4x
1,8m poles, 5kg gravel, a 5-litre bottomless bucket and a wheelbarrow full of wood ash. Construction
of the bed is easy, once demonstrated.
Below are some examples of tower gardens constructed by participants in KZN.
Figure 22: Above left;
a tower garden self-
constructed by Mrs
Mncanyana from
Gobizembe (SKZN),
planted to leek, kale,
parsley and spinach.
Above centre
left Mrs Xasibe’s
tower garden
(Gobizembe) planted
to spinach, kale, and
marigolds.
Above centre
right; A tower garden
constructed by Mrs
Msele from Stulwane
(Bergville), from a
large feedbag, planted
to cabbage and
spinach.
Above right;
Mrs Hlongwane’s
tower garden in
Ezibomvini (Bergville),
planted to mustard
spinach, kale, spring
onions and cabbage.
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Below are some examples of tower gardens constructed in the EC and Limpopo
Figure 23: Above left and centre;
tower gardens for Aviwe Biko
(Dimbaza) and
Phindiwe Msesiwe
(Qhuzini) in the EC,
planted to spinach, cabbage,
onions and beetroot
Above right:
Nkhurwane Shaai’s tower garden
in Turkey (Limpopo,) planted to
spinach only.
Comments by farmers
Ø“We do not have easy access to the materials required to build these towers.”
Ø“It is a convenient way of growing crops as it was easy to maintain and to manage and did not require
extensive weeding.”
Ø“These towers provide a good way to use greywater, which otherwise would be wasted and crops
grow very well.”
Ø“As simple as it looks to do a tower garden, for us(Turkey 1, Limpopo) it was too much. Although
trench beds are even more work, we found the results a lot more impressive in terms of improved
yields and water usage and thus prefer these beds.”
Ø“I have now planted three tower gardens, so that I have spinach all the time.”
Ø“The tower gardens are very productive and this is a nice, clean way of using greywater, which is
sometimes the only water for gardening we have access to.”
Assessment of impact
Despite the fact that these beds are highly productive and a good option for easy household
production and safe use of greywater, the practice is not readily taken up by learning group
participants. Participants have a tendency to make the towers too big and to provide too little water
and they tendto forget to flush the bed with clean water from time to time. They are also reluctant
to plant into the sides of the towers, which diminishes the usefulness of the structures substantially.
As a result, the potential advantages of using tower gardens have not been well realised. Around 46%
of learning group participants use greywater, but only about 5% of those participants have
incorporated the use of tower gardens.
Rating
Criteria
Descriptors
Score (1 point for
each descriptor)
Improved food provision
More food, increased diversity, increased continuity
2
Improved soil conditions
Improved fertility, improved organic matter, improved soil
health
1
Improved water
management
Improved water holding capacity, efficient use of water,
improved access
1
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Uptake of practice
Experimentation with practice,(no of people),
continuation of practice after experimentation, increased
implementation of practice
1
Skills and resources to
sustain practice
Use ofown resources, knowledge to implement practice
adequately, access to required/external resources
1
Mixed cropping, crop diversification
Mixed cropping ina gardening context, isa combination of inter-cropping, crop rotation and
companion planting. The intention is to have as many different types of crops (including medicinal,
pest repellent and multi-purpose plants) in your vegetable and fruit production systems as possible,
throughout the year, to ensure a healthy food supply, improve pest, disease and weed management
and reduce risk of shortages due to crop failure.
The choice of crops is based on the following:
oBeing able to harvest food from a garden for household use throughout the year. This means
a focus on crops that can be harvested for extended period such as leafy greens, leaf
lettuces, andspring onions and leeks, and de-emphasising crops such as cabbage and onions
that have long waiting periods without producing food.
oCrops high in Vitamin A; such as dark green leafy vegetables (such as spinach, mustard, rape
and kale), carrots, traditional greens (such as Amaranthus and pumpkin leaves) and herbs
(such as parsley).
oPest-repellent crops such as coriander, garlic chives and other herbs such as rosemary and
thyme.
oLegumes and protein rich vegetables such as beans, peas and turnips.
oPerennial multipurpose plants such as wormwood, lemongrass, bulbinella and comfrey.
oFlowers such as marigolds and calendula.
In addition, attention is given to not planting crops of the same family together in one bed to reduce
the spread of common diseases and nutrient competition. Thus, tomatoes, brinjals, potatoes and
peppers are not planted together, neither are brassicas such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and
kale, or chards such as swiss chard and beetroot.
Crop rotation is introduced both in terms of alternating heavy feeders such as cabbage with light
feeders such as swiss chard and lettuces, as well as the well-known rotation of leaf-root-legume-fruit.
Cropping calendars are developed to suit localities and changing climatic conditions.
Below is a cropping calendar jointly designed with participants from Limpopo, which experiences
warm winters and hot summers. In KZN and the Eastern Cape where winters are cool tocold, standard
cropping calendars are still mostly appropriate.
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Figure 24: Vegetable cropping calendar developed with participants in Limpopo (2019)
Mixed cropping concepts have been easily internalised and adapted by learning group participants in
all three provinces. They have now included a mixed cropping regimeas their standard practice. This
consists of planting 2-5 different crops per bed for each planting cycle of around 4 months, and
rotating these with different crops in the following season; e.g. rotating root crops with leaf crops, or
cabbage with spinach. They explain that the
actual planting mixes are chosen depending
on whether they are heavy feeders or not,
and on crops belonging to different crop
families. It is clear that they are now using
some of the principles of mixed cropping
andcrop rotation that were introduced, in
their cropping cycles.
Participants have been encouraged to grow
their crops from seed and for most learning
groups, participants have also worked
together to buy commercial or locally
produced seedlings.
Figure 25: Seedlings of vegetables and herbs being
sold to participants in the learning group from the farmer centre in Ezibomvini; spinach, beetroot, cabbage, Chinese
cabbage, onions, and herbs (parsley and coriander).
The advantages of mixed cropping are much more apparent when combined with mulching, soil
fertility practices and soil and water conservation techniques.
The pictures below provide examples of what participants have implemented.
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Figure 26: Clockwise from Top left: Mrs
Mcanyana (Gobizembe) broccoli, Chinese
cabbage, spinach, coriander and marigolds;
Magdelina Malepe (Sedawa), marigolds,
thyme, parsley, spinach and kale; Christina
Thobejane (Sedawa) maize, okra, tomatoes
kale and marigolds; Alex Makgopa (Sedawa)-
spring onions, spinach, carrots and marigolds
and Phumelele Hlongwane (Ezibomvini)
beetroot, mustard spinach, spring onions and
parsley
Herbs are not very common in community gardens as they are generally known to be for medicinal
uses and not consumption, hence the general belief is that if required, they must be purchased from
a traditional healer or collected from the nearby bush. Growing herbs was a way to introduce and
create awareness about other
types of herbs and their uses. The
team discussed the various uses of
the herbs with participants when
planting, e.g. use of parsley and
rocket in salads, thyme in meat
dishes, coriander in curry, etc.
Figure 27; Centre; Mrs Ngobese’s garden
with leeks, sprig onionsmarigolds and
basil incorporated, Right; Herbs growing
in an eco-circle, parsley, coriander and
rocket by Mrs Xasibe in Gobizembe, KZN
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However, participants tend to decrease their mixed cropping efforts when planting larger areas and
or when they are planting for sale. It is here that intercropping and crop rotation come to the fore.
This has been most evident in Limpopo, where a handfulof participants have accessed largerfields
and irrigation.
Figure 28: Above left: Matsehgo
Shaai with mono-cropped beds of
coriander and spinach in her
tunnel,
Above centre; Mrs
Maphori with mono-cropped
cabbage in his irrigated field.
Above right; Obridge
Tsethla’s mono-cropped
tomatoes in his irrigated field.
Comments by farmers
Ø“I planted Chinese cabbage for the first time, but it attracted too many snails.”
Ø“We like crops that we can harvest multiple times in our vegetable gardens.”
Ø“Some of the practices such as mixed cropping is good; one can see the results you are working
towards.”
Ø“Working with mixed cropping and crop rotation has decreased the incidence of pests and diseases,
although there are still problems”
Assessment of impact
Mixed cropping and crop diversification arereasonably easy practices to introduce into the
smallholder household food gardening process, despite participants’ initialreluctance in growing
crops that they don’t know and don’t habitually consume.
When the initial introduction of the new crops is done by providing seed, seedlings and plants as
samples, it has been found that by the second or third season, participants have included some of
these into their cropping system and have grown or bought their own stock.
Crop diversification is crucial for building resilience to climate change and farmers have commented
repeatedly on the benefits of increased availability of a diverse range of food from their gardens. They
have mentioned that they have saved money and that their children are healthier.
Rating
Criteria
Descriptors
Score (1 point for
each descriptor)
Improved food provision
More food, increased diversity, increased continuity
3
Improved soil conditions
Improved fertility, improved organic matter, improved soil
health
1
Improved water
management
Improved water holding capacity, efficient use of water,
improved access
1
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Uptake of practice
Experimentation with practice (no of people),
continuation of practice after experimentation, increased
implementation of practice
2
Skills and resources to
sustain practice
Use of own resources, knowledge to implement practice
adequately,access to required/external resources
2
Natural pest and disease control
Natural pest and disease control in an intensified homestead foodproduction system context consists
of a combination of the following four approaches:
üImprovement of soil fertility, soil health and soil water holding capacity to produce vibrant,
healthy plants, working form the assumption
that stressed plants are more susceptible to
pest and disease attacks.
üMixed cropping and garden sanitation; to
reduce the concentration of pests and diseases
that occur in mono cropping systems as well as
the potential for re-infestation and infection
through safe removal of diseased plant material
and removal of breeding grounds for pests. And
to promote the presence of pest predators and
bees.
Figure 29: Onion and leek flowers attract wasps,
which are natural predators of common garden pests.
üPlanting of multi-purpose species, both annual and perennial, to include plants that have
pest repellent and pest control properties. These include for example;
oflowers such as marigolds and calendula;
oherbs such as lavender, rosemary, coriander, parsley, thyme, fennel,basil, rocket,
lemon grass and garlic chives;
omedicinal species such as wormwood bulbine and bulbinella species, aloe spp,
comfrey, stinging nettle; and
oleguminous trees such as Sesbania sesban, moringa, pigeon pea and Acacia spp.
üMaking of brews/ teas with pest and disease control properties. Here common household
recipes include combinations of chilli, garlic, onion and green bar soap (for soft bodied
insects such as aphids), paraffin and onion (for hard bodied insects such as beetles and
grasshoppers) and tobacco (only for pernicious and very heavy pest infestations). There are
however many other options as well.
It is common for participants to wish to be provided with a chemical that can kill all their pests and
gardeners often use pesticides such as ‘blue death’ and ‘bulala zonke’ in their gardens. The concept
of a balanced ecosystem, which can in and of itself reduce pest and disease problems, is a difficult
concept to internalize. Smallholders tend to be somewhat uninformed about different crop diseases
and pay very little attention to this.
In addition, many smallholder farmers are very reluctant to plant anything that does not directly
provide food for themselves and their livestock or a commodity that can be sold.For these reasons,
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introduction of a few new, carefully selected species into the smallholders’ cropping system, is
advised.
There are however some localised practices that participants report using. These include for example:
ØUse of wood ash to deter cutworms and aphids.
ØUse of salt, chilli, garlic and or onion mixed with soap and water to kill snails.
ØUse of pig manure, indigenous garlic, garlic chives and 2 litre bottles half-filled with
water, to deter moles.
ØBurning of cow manure and marigolds; the smoke chases insects away.
ØSprayingof a mixture of water in which cow hides have been soaked for some days
to chase away locusts from crops and trees.
Phindiwe Msesiwe from Qhuzini(EC) explained that she uses the soap, chilliand garlic 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 30: Phindiwe Msesiwe’s tower garden that she sprays with a mixture of soap, chilli, onion, garlic chives and Khaki
weed to deter pests.
Farmers comments
Ø“We learnt about promoting pest predators such as the lizard hotel.”
ØPortia Shai has been planting spinach and garlic on the same eco-circle; she plants spinach in the
middle and on the outside, she plants garlic to help with pest control.
ØLydia Shai has been planting herbs (coriander and parsley) together with vegetables; the smell of the
herbs helps control pests and diseases.
ØIn terms of pest and diseases control they use ash and a brew made from chilli and soap.
ØOther participants said nothing; they normally don’t use any practice for pest control even when they
have pest problems in their garden, and they understand that materials used to make brews for pest
control are easily accessible, some they can find in their garden but they don’t have time to make the
brew.
Impact assessment
Participants have consistently mentioned the increase of pest and disease infestations in their crops
due to the changing climate. They have also observed new types of pestsbecoming more prevalent.
Although most participants are very enthusiastic about the presentations of a more natural garden
eco-system that includes pest predators such as lizards and frogs, very few change their gardening
practices substantially to accommodate these principles. They also enjoy the pest control brews and
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the many options available, but again very few participants actually experiment with these options.
Only around 18% of participants introduced to these concepts have continued to try any of them out.
Mixed cropping however, including the use of strong smelling andpest repellent crops and herbs is
taken on enthusiastically and around 82% ofparticipants incorporated some ofthese practices in their
gardens. Use of liquid manure and greywater as pest repellents is also quite common.
Rating
Criteria
Descriptors
Score (1 point for
each descriptor)
Improved food provision
More food, increased diversity, increased continuity
2
Improved soil conditions
Improved fertility, improved organic matter, improved soil
health
1
Improved water
management
Improved water holding capacity, efficient use of water,
improved access
0
Uptake of practice
Experimentation with practice (no of people),
continuation of practice after experimentation, increased
implementation of practice
2
Skills and resources to
sustain practice
Use ofown resources, knowledge to implement practice
adequately, accessto required/external resources
1
Seed Saving
Seed saving is both a common practice among smallholders and a dwindling one. Seeds are kept from
one year to the next and due to increasingly difficult growing conditions, many participants have
reported losing most of their seed stock. Increasingly, smallholders will buy seed and attempt to keep
seed from those crops when harvested; meaning a substantial attrition in the availability of seed of
traditional crops.
Participants keep seed in drums, grass jars and bottles and plastic packets, usually in their homes.
Some will add ash to their seed to control post-harvest pests such as weevils.
Upon introduction of new open pollinated and untreated seeds into the gardens, participants have
enthusiastically started keeping seed of those crops. In Bergville for example, participants have kept
and shared the following seed varieties;coriander, parsley, rape, kale, mustard spinach, leeks, maize,
sugar beans, cowpeas, sunflower, sorghum, Sun hemp, pumpkins and millet. In Limpopo the list
includes;Mustard spinach, carrots,onions,leeks, butternut, brinjals, chilli, kale, tomatoes, peas, green
beans, moringa, basil, rocket, fennel, coriander, parsley, maize, cowpeas, sugar beans, white beans,
sunflower, Sun hemp, jugo beans, groundnuts and pumpkins.
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Figure 31: Above left; seed display at a farmers’ exchange in Limpopo for bartering and sale; including for example
beetroot, yarrow, mint, brinjal, Lucerne, pumpkins, chillies and marigolds and Above right: Seeds that have been saved
by group members (Ezibomvini, Bergville)and that are shared among the learning group members; including coriander,
parsley, rape, mustard spinach and kale.
Figure 32: Left; Sarah Madire (Turkey, Limpopo), kept seed for kale, mustard spinach and spinach, and replanted them in
trench beds for food and sale, and Right; Odinah Mayibela (Mametja, Limpopo), kept jam tomato and kale seeds for
replanting.
Impact assessment
Around 76% of the programme participants have keptand replanted seed. Seed exchange workshops
are very popular and a few participants have been selling seed to their neighbours.
Seed from bi-annual cropsand crops that need very specific attention to produce viable seed, or cross
easily, such as onions, carrots, peppers, cabbage, broccoli and Chinese cabbage, have not been kept
very successfully. Part of the issue with these crops is that one has to be able to demonstrate to the
farmers what the correct practices are and the timing needs to be precise, which is tricky to manage
with many far-flung participants.
Rating
Criteria
Descriptors
Score (1 point for
each descriptor)
Improved food provision
More food, increased diversity, increased continuity
3
Improved soil conditions
Improved fertility, improved organic matter, improved soil
health
0
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Improved water
management
Improved water holding capacity, efficient use of water,
improved access
0
Uptake of practice
Experimentation with practice, (no of people),
continuation of practice after experimentation, increased
implementation of practice
3
Skills and resources to
sustain practice
Use ofown resources, knowledge to implement practice
adequately, access to required/external resources
1
Fruit Production
Most smallholders will have at least a few fruit trees in their yards, the type depending on where they
are located. In KZN and the EC participants primarily have peaches, some oranges, paw-paws and
bananas. In Limpopo smallholders plant a range of sub-tropical fruit including mangoes, avocados,
bananas, paw-paws and citrus. Fruit such as grapes, plums and apples are grown, but is not common.
In Limpopo, traditional fruit such as Marula and Mokgogoma are grown within the homesteads.
Marula in particular has a good local market for beer and nuts.
On the whole, smallholders plant the trees and then expect them to self-manage thereafter. Irrigation,
fertilisation and pruning are not commonly undertaken. The potential for improvement in production
is substantial.
Figure 33:Above left; A mixed
homestead orchard of banana,
mango and avocado in Lepellle.
Above middle; A Mokgogoma
tree in fruit.
Above right; Marula
being harvested for beer and nuts
Two focus areas in Limpopo, haveinvolved the promotion of a traditional practice in the area - banana
basins; and promotion of improved production practices for mangoes, with a view to create certified
organic mango producers who can sell into lucrative fresh and dried mango markets in the area.
1.3.11.1Banana basins
This practice consists of planting the bananas in large square or circular basins filled with organic
matter and stepping these basins down along a water flow course within the yard.
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Banana basins have improved the survival of bananas substantially during the four- to five-year
drought that has gripped the Lower Olifants
region of Limpopo. Around 18% ofparticipants
who have been exposed tothis practice have
implemented it in their homesteads.
Figure 34: Right; A banana basin recently planted to
young banana trees in Sedawa (Limpopo) and
Far Right; stepwise design of banana basins in a water
flow channel in Botshabelo (Limpopo).
1.3.11.2Organic mango production
Mangoes are extremely hardy fruit trees that
can survive extreme heat and long dry spells.
Most smallholders in Limpopo have at least a few trees in their homesteads and many have between
eight to twenty trees. A few individuals, withsome access to supplementary irrigation have planted
sizeable orchards. Predominantly participants plant the ‘wild’ or ‘fish’ mango as it is locally known
which is un-grafted and produces reasonably small, fibrous fruits. These are mainly suitable for sale
green, into the atjar value chain. Due to reasonably easy access to the fruit estates in the region, many
of these participants also have a number of the more ‘modern’ varieties planted; namely Keitt, Kent,
Tommy Atkins and Shelley, all with large fruit and low in fibre.
The intervention consisted of providing a learning session in making compost, deep mulching and
manuring of trees, creation of irrigation basins for each tree and irrigation schedules for mangoes. It
also included learning on correct pruning of trees for maximum fruit bearing capacity. Around 15% of
participants involved have implemented these practices in their small orchardsand have increased
their harvestable, high quality fruit production by between 30-76%. This has allowed them direct
access to packhouses in the area that receive fruit for drying and fruit rolls and provides for an average
income potential of around R500/tree per annum.
Figure 35: Above Left;
A pruned mango tree
pushing out new
growth, with compost
added in the irrigation
basin and mulching
(Matshego Shaai).
Abovecentre
left; Pruning,
composting and
irrigation basins added
for an old mango tree
to bring it back into
production (Mpelesi
Sekgobela),
Above centre right;
Shakes Searane’s
mango orchard in
Lepelle, being
inspected by a mango
estate manager.
Above right; Mango
juice produced by
Christina Thobejane
(Sedawa).
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Comments from farmers
Ø“I already knew how to prune the mango trees, but these new practices have reduced the pest and
disease problems in our trees and with continued practice I think I will make a lot more money than
the R6000 I made this year (from 15 trees) (Matshego Shaai, Turkey).”
Ø“I have realized that it is important to irrigate the trees, as the ones I did not water have died back in
this drought. Also, if you water the trees, then the small fruit don’t drop off due to stress (Norah
Tsetlha,Sedawa).”
Ø“We always believed that there was nothing we could do to improve the yields of our mangoes and
wondered why the trees in the commercial estates look so good. Now we can produce beautiful
mangoes, just like them (Christina Thobejane).”
Rating
Criteria
Descriptors
Score (1 point for
each descriptor)
Improved food provision
More food, increased diversity, increased continuity
2
Improved soil conditions
Improved fertility, improved organic matter, improved
soil health
3
Improved water
management
Improved water holding capacity, efficient use of water,
improved access
2
Uptake of practice
Experimentation with practice (no of people),
continuation of practice after experimentation, increased
implementation of practice
2
Skills and resources to
sustain practice
Use of own resources, knowledge to implement practice
adequately,access to required/external resources
2
Stone bunds and check dams
Stone lines or bunds are a soil and water conservation practice that is appropriate for large sloped,
eroded areas. The stones are keyed into the slope, along contours, to reduce erosion caused by
overland flow of water. Often small gullies/dongas start forming on such denuded areas in the natural
water flow channels and then check dams are constructed either separately or into the lines of stones.
The intention is to slow the flow of water, so that the silt and soil load can be dropped. The outcome
is the formation of small benched terraces of fertile soil for plant growth.
This practice has been the most appropriate for Limpopo, where in the Lower Olifants’ region there
are large tracts of denuded soil in and around the homesteads, easily erodible top soiland long periods
of heat and drought followed by intense rainfall events. Coupled to the local practice of clearing
homestead plots completely and sweeping or raking the dirt to keep the yards clean, many
homesteads have a high level of erosion. Stone bunds/ lines are a traditional practice in the area,that
was further promoted and also slightly improved upon in terms of placing the stone lines along
contours and keying them into the soil to ensuregreater stability. Around 61% of participants exposed
to this ‘improved’ practice implemented stone lines in and around their yards.
Below are some examples.
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Figure 36: Left; Sand bags used, where stones were not available to reduce overland flow and erosion caused by water
running along a road in Willows (Limpopo), Centre: Small stone lines along a fence line in the Oaks (Limpopo) and Right;
A large stone bund also acts as a water holding structure for a line of bananas planted directly below the line in Lepelle
(Limpopo).
Figure 37:Above left; a
closeup of a keyed in
stone line,
Above centre left; a
group of participants
constructing a stone
line.
Above centre right;
the resultant stone
line structure upon
completion
Above right;
revegetation of the
denuded slope around
four to five months
later (Lepelle,
Limpopo).
Figure 38: Right:
Two small stone
lines with young
pigeon pea trees
planted above the
lines in a
homestead and Far
Right; constructing
a check dam to
reduce gulley
erosion in a
participant’s
garden (Turkey,
Limpopo).
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Rating
Criteria
Descriptors
Score (1 point for
each descriptor)
Improved food provision
More food,increased diversity, increased continuity
1
Improved soil conditions
Improved fertility, improved organic matter, improved soil
health
2
Improved water
management
Improved water holding capacity, efficient use of water,
improved access
1
Uptake of practice
Experimentation with practice (no of people),
continuation of practice after experimentation, increased
implementation of practice
2
Skills and resources to
sustain practice
Use of own resources, knowledge to implement practice
adequately,accessto required/external resources
2
Infiltration ditches (run-on ditches, diversion ditches)
These are shallow ditches (30cm wide and 15-30cm deep) that are dug either to channel water to a
specific area (diversion ditches) or to catch water and allow it to sink into the soil in a cropping area
(run-on ditches); the latter are dug along contours.
These ditches increase access to and availability of water in intensive food production.
Below are a few examples.
Figure 39:Left; A diversion ditch leading water from the road and fence line into a homestead garden (Botshabelo),
Centre; a cut-off drain or run-on ditch intercepting water flowing from a house down into the garden (Sedawa) and
Right; a diversion ditch leading to an infiltration pit into which crops will be planted, dug as a demonstration at Aviwe
Biko’s homestead Dimbaza, EC).
Figure 40: Above Left: A run-on ditch with sweet potatoes planted on the ridge below theditch (The Oaks),
Above centre; A diversion ditch channelling water from the fence line and road to trench beds and
banana basins in the garden (The Oaks).
Above right: A group of participants digging another diversion ditch in ahomestead garden
(Willows).
Farmers’ comments
ØHere in Gobizembe (SKZN), some of us have adapted the diversion ditches to direct greywater to our
gardens. Infiltration ditches do help over time to improve the condition of the soil; as organic matter
collects in these ditches and use of greywater in these ditches improves yields substantially.”
Impact assessment
It can be tricky to decide where to place diversion ditches and run-on ditches in a landscape, as it
requires a practiced eye in terms of water flow patterns.Participants who have been assisted to place
and construct these ditches generally make good use of them, but very few participants undertake to
dig these ditches for themselves. Only around 5 to 7% of participants have undertaken this practice.
These ditches can have a significant impact on reducing localised soil erosion due to water flow and in
increasing available water in the soil for crop production.
Rating
Criteria
Descriptors
Score (1 point for
each descriptor)
Improved food provision
More food,increased diversity, increased continuity
1
Improved soil conditions
Improved fertility,improved organic matter, improved soil
health
Improved water
management
Improved water holding capacity, efficient use of water,
improved access
3
Uptake of practice
Experimentation with practice (no of people), continuation
of practice after experimentation, increased
implementation of practice
1
Skills and resources to
sustain practice
Use ofown resources, knowledge to implement practice
adequately, access to required/external resources
1
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Rainwater harvesting (RWH); from roofs and yards
Rainwater harvesting is a common practice undertaken in all three provinces (Limpopo, KZN and EC),
although it is more prevalentin the water stressed communities in Limpopo, where 100% of
participants avow to using the practice. It consists mainly of using basins and drums to catch water off
roofs and structures.
The number of households who have large tanks; such as 2200 litre and 5000 litre Jo-Jo tanks is much
lower, about 5% of all participants.
Figure 41: Above Left and Centre; examples of drums and basins used for RWH collection and Right; a 2200 liter JoJo
tank for roof rainwater harvesting (Limpopo).
Underground RWH tanks can take advantage of both rainwater off roofs as well as overland flow from
hard surfaces around homesteads. In these cases, large underground structures between 25 and 40m3
have been constructed. The resource and technical requirements for these structures are high and
mostly they cannot be undertaken without dedicated funding and support.
Figure 42: Right; an underground RWH
tank (24m3) made from ferrocement,
with a brick wall to support the roof
(Sedawa) and Far Right; a similar
underground tank constructed using
bidim cloth and sealant (Botshabelo).
Below; another example of an
underground tank (18m3), with a
removable metal roof (Acornhoek).
Impact assessment
For the most part, the enormous potential for RWH is not realised, for both roof RWH and
underground tanks. Both funding and technical expertise is required.
Rating
Criteria
Descriptors
Score (1 point for
each descriptor)
Improvedfood provision
More food,increased diversity, increased continuity
1
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Improved soil conditions
Improved fertility,improved organic matter, improved soil
health
Improved water
management
Improved water holding capacity, efficient use of water,
improved access
3
Uptake of practice
Experimentation with practice, (no of people),
continuation of practice after experimentation, increased
implementation of practice
1
Skills and resources to
sustain practice
Use ofown resources, knowledge to implement practice
adequately, access to required/external resources
1
Small dams
Digging of small dams, for seasonal supply of water during the rainy season, that also increases the
soil water in the surrounding area of the
garden is a traditional practice still used in
both the EC and Limpopo. In KZN it is
generally only used as a practice to utilize
small localised springs in or close to
people’s homesteads.
Figure 43: Right; Mrs Msesiwe from Qhuzini, EC,
has constructed a small dam and planted bananas
on the edge and
Far Right; Esinah Malepe from Sedawa (Limpopo)
has dug an oblong pond/dam in her garden, which
she uses for supplementary irrigation during the
summer months.
As an adaptive measure, we experimented
with lining these ponds with bentonite, to increase their water holding capacity and also to allow for
increased availability of water into the winter growing season. Attention was also given to design of
these small dams to ensure that the inflow and the overflows are well placed and constructed, to
avoid damage to the gardens due to over-topping of these structures.
A few examples are shown below.
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Figure 44: Above Left; tamping down the layer of bentonite which was added after the dam walls and bottom were dug
out to provide a wall angle of around 45-60° and Right; careful filling of this pond for the first time to allow for the
bentonite to swell evenly and seal the pond (Sedawa, Limpopo).
Figure 45:Above left; fixing the wall angles for a small dam in Turkey, Limpopo and Right; the pond filled after attention
was also given to the inflow and overflow for the pond.
Impact assessment
The use of bentonite is a cheap and technically easy way to extend the water holding capacity of small
dams. A major drawback however is the seasonality of access to water. Once the bentonite dries out,
it is unlikely to rehydrate properly to provide a full seal when water is once again available. It is thus
only really an option if there is a way to keep these small dams full and thus the application is limited.
Participants have not extended this practice after the initial piloting phase.
Rating
Criteria
Descriptors
Score (1 point for
each descriptor)
Improved food provision
More food,increased diversity, increased continuity
1
Improved soil conditions
Improved fertility,improved organic matter, improved soil
health
Improved water
management
Improved water holding capacity, efficient use of water,
improved access
3
Uptake of practice
Experimentation with practice, (no of people),
continuation of practice after experimentation, increased
implementation of practice
1
Skills and resources to
sustain practice
Use ofown resources, knowledge to implement practice
adequately, access to required/external resources
1
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5FINAL REPORT CRA IMPLEMENTATION_WATER ACCESS
Cover page
Climate Resilient Agriculture.
An implementation and support guide:
Local, group-based access to water for
household food production
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vi
Abbreviations and acronyms
CAConservation Agriculture
CCClimate change
CCA Climate change adaptation
CRAClimate resilient agriculture
ECEastern Cape
KZNKwaZulu-Natal
MDFMahlathini Development Foundation
SOCSoil organic carbon
SOMSoil organic matter
TLBTractor Loader Backhoe
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TableofContents
Abbreviations and acronymsii!
1!Background and introduction ......................................................................................4!
1.1!Climate resilient intensive homestead food production practices4!
!The present situation.......................................................................................................................4!
1.2!Sites and participants6!
!Innovation system process............................................................................................................... 6!
1.3!CRA practices8!
!Bed design........................................................................................................................................8!
1.3.1.1!Trench*beds* 8!
1.3.1.2!Furrows*and*ridges*10!
1.3.1.3!Shallow*trenches*11!
!Composting....................................................................................................................................12!
!Liquid Manure................................................................................................................................13!
!Shade cloth tunnels........................................................................................................................14!
1.3.4.1!Water*Productivity*18!
1.3.4.2!Cost-benefit*analysis*26!
!Mulching........................................................................................................................................26!
!Eco-circles......................................................................................................................................27!
!Greywater management................................................................................................................28!
1.3.7.1!Tower*gardens*29!
!Mixed cropping, crop diversification..............................................................................................31!
!Natural pest and disease control...................................................................................................35!
!Seed Saving................................................................................................................................37!
!Fruit Production.........................................................................................................................39!
1.3.11.1!Banana*basins*39!
1.3.11.2!Organic*mango*production*40!
!Stone bunds and check dams....................................................................................................41!
!Infiltration ditches (run-on ditches, diversion ditches)..............................................................43!
!Rainwater harvesting (RWH)........................................................................................................ii!
!Small dams...................................................................................................................................iii!
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2BACKGROUND ANDINTRODUCTION
2.1Improving water access for climate-resilient intensive homestead food production
practices
The present situation
Homestead food production is an important aspect of the smallholder farming system. These systems
are small (0,01-0,5 ha; or 100-5 000 m2) plots adjacent to homesteads where participants plant a range
of crops and fruit trees, with or without access to water for irrigation. The homesteads also host small
livestock such as poultry and, in some cases, goats and cattle. A limited number of people also keep
pigs. These plots are usually fenced. The largemajority of smallholders plant for household
consumption and sale of surplus.
Production is constrainedby infertile and badly structured soils. Often, the smallholders live in areas
where soils are not ideal for cropping. This situation is worsened by repeated shallow tillage (with
hand hoes and/or tractors), without the addition of nutrients or organic matter, often over many
years. The results are very low fertility soils, with many structural problems such as capping and
compaction. This is now exacerbated by climate change, with alternating hot and dry conditions and
heavy downpours adding extensive erosion of topsoil to the list of woes. Productivity is generally
extremely low.
In addition, access to water for irrigation is an enormous obstacle for most smallholders, who battle
to have enough just for household use.
Water management in an intensive food production system consists of:
Reduction in run-off and water erosion; mostly through measures such as diversion
ditches infiltration basins, contours,stone bunds, check dams and the like.
Improved water-holding capacity; mostly through increased organic matter in the soil,
mulching and microclimate management (such as improved shade and reduced wind).
Improved water-use efficiency; mostly through irrigation management, drip irrigation
and greywater management.
Improved access to water; mostly through small dams, spring protection and drilling of
boreholes.
Improved access to water can take several forms and interventions are generally conceived as large
infrastructure projects implemented through government and municipal processes. In this report, we
focus on increasing local level access through processes that groups of individuals can undertake
within their communities.
Group-based access to watersources
Water is considered a communal resource and as such water projects need to accommodateall
community members. For the large majority of rural settlements, water access is about household
water needs and it is this aspect that government services focus on.
It is possibleto conceptualise water provision for agriculture at a village level, where an interest group
of smallholders undertake to manage and use a specific water resource, such as a spring, or a
borehole, with consent from the local authorities and Water Service Authority representatives. We do
not include rivers and perennial streams in this activity, as water offtake and management from these
WRC K5/2719/4Deliverable 11: Progress report
9
sources is socially, politically and environmentally a lot more complicated and does require the whole
community to be involved.
Group-based water management options have the advantage that participants can “own” their
scheme and thus have a lot more control over their water access. It also has the advantage that the
group itself designs, implements, maintains and manages access for the members. The members are
responsible for water use and management and are accountable to each other.
In this document two case studies are provided as examples of how this can be done:
Spring protection and water reticulation for nine households in Ezibomvini, Bergville,
KZN.
Borehole installation and water reticulation for two village-based groups of 20 members
each in Sedawa and Turkey, Limpopo.
2.2Spring protection and reticulation in Ezibomvini, Bergville (KZN)
The Climate Resilient Agriculture learning group in Ezibomvini consists of around 36 members. They
have implemented Conservation Agriculture practices for their field cropping and intensive household
food production for vegetable production. Access to water in the village is extremely limited, with one
or two municipalboreholes with hand pumps providing household water. Not unusually, access to this
water is inconsistent, as pumps break and are not fixed, or the boreholes become unreliable and the
situation is not rectified. Access to irrigation for farming is non-existent. Most community members
also get water from local springs, which are unprotected and shared with the livestock in the area.
There are informal arrangements in the community about accessto these springs, and almost
everyone in the immediate surroundings has access.
The learning group, under the proactive leadership of their local facilitator, Phumelele Hlongwane
began discussing the possibility of protecting a few of these springs and piping water to their
households to facilitate their vegetable production efforts, as the spring is far away, requiring about a
1 km walk with buckets. This has severely limited their production ability.
The group presented their concept to MDF and requestedassistance with planning and
implementation. Each member who wanted to be involved gave a financial donation of R1 000 and
agreed to provide the labour for digging trenches and installing pipes and tanks.
1.1.1.Background
This process was initiated in August 2018 and was suggested by the Ezibomvini learning group as a
way to provide both household water and agricultural water for the homestead gardens.
A survey of the local springs and potential options was conducted with assistance from an agricultural
engineer. Aprocess was initiated for the group to come together and collect monies, which would be
matched bya grant from MDF, to provide for a small fund to protect and reticulate one of the springs,
with a simple gravity fed system to participants’ homesteads.
The participants undertook to provide R1000 per household. This process took some time and by
September 2019 an amount of R8000 had been put together. MDF then decided to continue with the
process. Phumelele Hlongwane, the local facilitator and the main driver ofthis process, promoted the
initiative tirelessly throughout this period. She initially put down R7000 and also offered her 2 200
litreJoJo tank as the header tank. She has subsequently been paid back most of this money.
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10
Nine participants paid and comprisedthe water committee: Lungile Sithole, Cabangani Hlongwane,
Phumelele Hlongwane, Phumelele Gumede, Goodman Dlamini, Landiwe Dlamini, Hlengiwe Nkabinde,
Mantombi Mabizela and Devu Dlmaini/Velephi Zimba.
1.1.2.Progress in July 2019
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1.1.3.Phase 1: Protection of the spring and laying of the main pipe to the header tank
The spring is typical of the area, in that the eye is situated in a bank quite close to the streambed.
Local participants havedug out
a small catchment dam for the
spring, from which people
collect water and from which
cattle also drink.
Figure 46: Left:The spring’s
catchment pond with evidence
of use by cattle and people.
Right: The catchment pond dug
out to make a bigger pond and
small dam wall.
It was thus important that this
part of the spring could still be
shared bythe community, as the water group did not directlyownthe spring.
Consequently, the design included an offtake from the spring consisting of a slotted pipe buried in a
trench filled with gravel and stones below the main catchment dam for the spring. This trench could
be completely closed up and covered with soil to avoid any damage and tampering.And itleft a source
of water from which those not involved in the project could collect their water.
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Figure 47: Left: The capped end of the 1m length (50mm diameter) slotted pipe that provides for the
below-ground offtake of water from the spring. Right: The fittings linking this slotted pipe to themain
pipe (50 mm HDPE) (from Chris StimieRIEng).
Figure 48: Photographs showing the process of installing the slotted pipe forcollection of water from
the spring
The spring is situated in the veld above the village and thus allows for a gravity-fed system. Because
this is a low-pressure system and the main pipe to the header tanks is around 350m long, it is
important that the ditch for this pipe be placed on an even slope.If this is not done, the water will not
flow which the group found out the hard way when they initially just dug a ditch and tried to lead
water from the spring.
Starting on the trench for the
slotted pipe, below the spring and
pond
Deepening and widening this trench
to 50 cm x 50 cm x 1,2 m
The trench with slotted pipe
installed in a bed of gravel,
covered by shade cloth and rocks
with a small furrow leading
water from the spring to this
trench
The trench damaged by livestock
before it could be properly
covered and closed.
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Following the contours of the land, with the pipe rising and fallingaccordingly, could lead to air
bubbles that stop the flow ofthe water. These airlocks are extremely difficult to remove without
having release valves at the correct points in the pipe. An even gradient for the pipe removes this
problem.
Figure 49: Left: measuring the gradient for the main pipeline using a dumpy level. Right: Adjusting the
line for the pipe to avoid some of the larger dongas and rough terrain, while keeping it on an even
gradient.
The ditches weredug around 30cm wide and 40cm deep evenly throughout the length of the pipe.
These ditches weredug by the learning group participants as their contribution in kind to the process.
A header tank with a ball valve (in this case a 2200 L tank with a drinking-trough ball valve) is placed,
ideally at the group’s highest homestead. For this group, however, it was placed at Phumelele
Hlongwane’s homestead as she was the leader of the group and prepared to do the daily opening and
closing of taps to provide water to the rest of the learning group members.
Figure 50: Left to right: Group members digging the ditch from the spring to the header tank. The
header tank at Phumelele Hlongwane’s homestead which was not installed on a level platform and
has subsequently been corrected. Initial rough layout drawing of the flow of the water to participants’
homesteads.
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Once it was ascertained that the water actually flowedinto the header tank, the time taken to fill it
was carefully recorded over a few days. In this way, the water flow and overall capacity of the spring
was determined. This was then used to work out the daily water allocation for each of the nine
participants. As at November 2019, due to dry conditions in the area and low flow of the spring(2 200
L in seven hours, thus ~300 L/hr), participants wereallocated 200 L drums with ball valves. These can
be filled twice a dayonce in the morning and once in the late afternoon.
1.1.4.Initial comments after installation
Summary of observations:
Water was being decanted from the 2200 L header tank straight into participants200 L
drums before the tank was full.
The water was somewhatmuddy due to the damage caused in the offtake trench by cattle.
The water was running very slowly, which wasdisappointing for the participants who were
hoping for more water.
Participants suggested making the small pond/dam bigger. It was explained that this would
not increase the flowrate of the spring.
One participant also suggested closing up the whole spring to get more water. It was
stressed that the spring was communal and that removing access entirely was likely to cause
conflict in the community. Participants also mentioned an old community belief that when
you completely close a spring, then the “water owner/spirit” will itdry up and moveit to
another place.
The facilitation teamstressedby that this was an experiment in working together and taking
responsibility for management of a local resource. There was noprecedent. This meant that they
wouldneed very clear agreements and trustthat everyone would to stick to the rules that they made.
If only one person reneged, or tried to take more water than their allocation, or lefttheir tap open, it
would mean that none of the otherparticipants wouldget water. This would quickly escalate into
major conflict among the participants. Thus, was important to commit entirely to the process at the
beginning.
The following rules were subsequently agreed to:
The header tank needs to be left to fill up. Then the tap will be opened and the 200 L drums
for each household will fill up.
Once the top household’s 200 L drum is full, the tap for the header tank is again closedso
that it can fill up again.
No-one can use water while their drum or tank is filling up. You need to wait until it is full,
and the main tap is closed.
Each person can receive 2 x 200 L in one dayso, for example, at 8am in the morning and
again eight hours later at 4pm.
The header tank will be left to fill up and remain full overnight, so as not to draw too much
water from the spring.
Phumelele Hlongwane will have access to 3 x 200 L drumsmore water than the other
participants. (This agreement wasmade because she is responsible for checking the header
tank and opening and closing the main tap twice a day. She also provided a greater initial
financial contribution).
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1.1.5.Phase 2: Laying pipes and installing drums for each participating household
Thereafter, a discussion was held about where the ditches would go for the pipes to peoples’
households. It was agreed that the main feeder pipe would be dug along the small road to Phumelele’s
house, that people would take their pipes off this line, and that the pipes would go through a few of
the participants’ fields.It was agreed that Landiwe’s main homestead, but not the second, could be
included in the system, and that no more participants would be includedthose whohad not yet paid
would beremoved from the list.
GPS coordinates were taken for each participating household using “Maveric” (a free cell phone App)
and then plotted on a map using Google Earth.From this map, heights and distances could be
determined and thereby who could receive gravity-fed water from the header tank and how much
piping would be required.
Figure 51: Creating a Google Earth map from GPS coordinates using cell phones is not very accurate,
so a correction was made. The blue line indicates the main feeder pipe to participants’ homesteads
running along the small road to Phumelele Hlongwane’s homestead.
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1.1.6.The header tank and reticulation to the households
The learning group constructed a level plinth for the header tank after it
collapsed in a storm due to the initial, less secure arrangement of cement
bricks and a pallet. This was an important lesson for the group where an
attempt to save money and effort led to this unfortunate event. The
group shouldered the setback well and collaborated to construct the
more secure plinth.
Figure 52(Right): Plinth for the 2200 Lheader tank
Theythen dug the ditches for the pipes leading to their households
according to the discussion and map provided for them and with
assistance from MDF field staff. Each household procured the 200L drum
required. This was done within a week, after which the agricultural
engineerassisted in laying the procured piping and installing the necessary connections and float
valves in the drums.
Figure 53: Left to right: Laying the piping along the edges of the fields. Pipe branches towards the
different homesteads. Fitting the inlet pipes to the 200L drums. Installation of a float valve in each
drum.
The group also agreed not to have taps installed in the drums, but to take water from the top of the
drums. The system began operatingafter a few false starts when participants tried to take water
before the drums were full and the tap at the header tank had been shut off. Participants eventually
came to understand that none of their drums would fill up unless everyone waiteduntil they were all
full and the main tap had beenclosed. This is a requirement due to the low flow of the spring and the
gravity-feed system.
1.1.7.In conclusion
Five months after installation, the project was still functioning well and all nine households were
receiving their allocations of water. Some maintenance had been done to leaking connections and
float valves. All members were veryhappy with easier access to water for household and gardening
purposes and felt that this scheme would really come into its own in the winter of2020. Phumelele
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Hlongwane foundthat managing the header tank was not too problematic or time-consuming and
was very relieved that the process was running so well.
Figure 54: Left: The Gumede family’s drum with water five months into the scheme’s management.
Centre: Mr Nkabinde’s drum. Right: Phumelele’s three drums.
This has been an extremely valuable process for building social agency in the learning group as well as
for systemic and systematic learning for all the group members. They had to grapple with both the
understanding of the technical aspects as well as the social process that they had to put in place and
adhere to.
The whole group was involved throughout, and learning took place through discussions, provision of
information, working with the mapping and layout aspects, and practical work. A lot of the learning
happened through trial and error, as participants started changing their perceptions and
understanding.
Some of the technical aspects that participants needed to experience before fully appreciating them
were:
That increasing the size of the small dam for the springwouldnot increase the amount of
available water which wasprimarily dependent on the strength of the spring.
That the underground water flow into the slotted pipe was just as strong or stronger than
water flowing in a ditch above the ground.
That the main pipe taking water from the spring to the header tank neededto be onan even
gradient even though the header tank was situated well below the level of the spring. The
initial ditch that was dug by participants did not adhere to this principle and water did not
reach the header tank. This had to do with the broken terrain, the formationof air bubbles
in the pipes and the weakflow of the spring itself.
That households above the header tank were unable to receive water from this gravity-fed
system and that estimating the level of the household compared to the tank did notwork
well this is something that needs to be measured, and was done with GPS coordinates and
Google Earth maps in a participatory fashion.
That the header tank must be on a secure and level plinth due to the weight of the water in
the tank.
That a gravity-fed system fills up the drums from the bottom of the slope first.
That the filling of the household drums was dependent on everyone not using water until all
the drums were full and the main tap onthe header tank had beenclosed.
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In terms of the social aspects, participants initially believed it would be easy for them to manage the
water use, but they very quickly realised that it was very important to have upfront and strict rules to
ensure that everyone received the same allocation of water. This was adeeply empowering process
for learning group participants.
2.3Borehole installation and water reticulation in Sedawa and turkey (limpopo)
Access to water for household purposes and small-garden household food production has become the
most pressing problem inthe Lower Olifants region of Limpopo. Insome areas there are no water
services at all and people still rely on local springs that they share with their livestock. In other areas,
the few boreholes/wells that have been provided by local governments are running dry, have broken
down and are inadequate to provide for everyone in the community. In these villages, women now
have to buy water and must survive off around 200 L of water per week for their entire household.
Even under these circumstances the women are still trying to cooperate to produce small quantities
of food.
In two villages (Sedawa and Turkey in the Mametja area of Limpopo) women and men formed water
committees to cooperate to source water for their households and gardens. They received the
necessary permissions from their traditional authorities, but undertook to do this work independently
of government officials, given the perceived high levels of corruption in local government circles and
local government’s lack of commitment to support poor rural people’s agricultural activities The water
committees collected small amounts of money (R500/household) and developed plans for drilling
wells/boreholes and sharing the water.
Financial assistance was found for these groups as the infrastructural costs of drilling boreholes and
reticulating gravity-fedsystems for so many participants (20 per group) was unaffordable for them. As
was the case in KZN, participants volunteered their labourfor digging trenches and laying pipes and
agreed to arrange for their own homestead storage containers.
Introduction
Initially, meetings were held with the twowater committees representing fourlearning groups across
fourvillages to discuss how the process could be undertaken and to work throughsome of the
logistical and financial details. Participants were giventhe task of looking for possible locations that
had good groundwater retention potential to be surveyed and to look for drilling companies that had
worked in their villages, and whom they
trusted. The groups also finalised participants
to be involved and their financial and labour
contributions to the project.
Figure 55: One ofthe water committee
meetings held in Turkey in November 2019 to
prepare for the borehole project
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Possible locations and borehole survey
Participants from each village chose two to three possible locations to be surveyed as a starting point.
Raymond Vonk from Georay geophysical services and his assistant undertook the surveys using a
process that incorporates both vertical electrical sounding and horizontal profiling activities. These
tools determinethe depth and thickness of various subsurface layers and their relative water-yield
capacity. They started working at Turkey 1 with the water committee members and MDF fieldworker,
Betty Maimela. Raymond moved along the most plausible lines fromthe 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 considered. He also surveyed three suggested
locations at Sedawa.
Figure11: Left: View of rock and pebble formations typical of an area where subsurface water is
flowing. Right: Raymond surveying at Turkey 1.
Choosing 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 refusedto accept and discuss these challenges objectively. It took a few meetings
and a lot of discussion to make these decisions, after which Bettyused the cell phone appMaverick
to survey theGPS coordinates of each household. This was in order to map out (using Google Earth)
the participants’ respective distancesandheights to design the best possible system within the given
constraints of topography and budget.
The maps assisted in outlining the quantity and type of pipe to be used and clarified that some
participants were too distantor elevated to beserviced. Further negotiation was required, which saw
the removal of piping to irrigated fields these were allover one kilometre away and participants did
not see 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 the agricultural engineer’srecommendationAfrisolutions from Tzaneenwho
were already working in the area and had experience installing community-based infrastructure.
There was a lot of debate about the reliability of drilling companies.
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Figure 12(Right):Core samples taken during the drilling process. These
pictures were sent to Mr Vonk to determine whether drilling should
continue or stop, basedon the structure and consistency of these
samples.
Figure13: Left: The drilling machine. Right: Water starting to flowduring the drilling process.
Only twoof the fourproposed boreholes drilled were successful, yielding around 14000L/hr (Sedawa
1) and 500 L/hr (Turkey 2) respectively.
Designing and mapping the mainline pipelines
The agriculturalengineerworked closely with Bettyto finetune and finalise the maps. These were
discussed and negotiated with the water committee groups repeatedly until everyone agreed. The
maps also indicated the size of pipes and the different connectors needed. Pipe sizes differedto
ensure even pressure within the system and a reasonably even supply of water to all households.
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Figure14: Map of a section of the Sedawa pipeline outlining the different pipe sizes in different colours
Figure15: 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 lived in the two villages where the boreholes drilled came up empty.
First, we discussed the process of borehole drilling, the costs involved and how much of the budget
was left thereafter. 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
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funding to develop these boreholes later. It had to be explained to participants that project budgets
could not be so diverted from the purposes for which they were proposed. It wasthus decided to
continue with the two boreholes and support the villages without boreholes by providing 15 x 2500
L Jo-Jo tanks for participants inTurkey 1. For Sedawa 2, the threeparticipants suggested that a 4500
L Jo-Jo tank be placed in the system for them as close as possible to their homesteads and they would
arrange between themselves to fetch the water from there. MDF also undertook to search for further
funding opportunities.
Participants also decided on where to place the electric box for the boreholes and who wouldbe in
charge of pumping water.
Figure16: Left: Jo-Jo tanks delivered in Turkey 1. Right: Tank
installed at a homesteadin Turkey 1. Note thestable plinth
constructed here. All participants were urged to dothis.
Continuing with installation of pumps and header tanks
Afrisolutions then continued with the process of installing PVC casings, pressure pumps, lock boxes
and electric cabling for both boreholes, as well as the piping, valves and stands required for the
installation of these tanks. Afrisolutions worked with the two teams of participantsinTurkey and
Sedawa. It was found that the borehole in Sedawa had partially collapsed, and this required blowing
outagain, which delayed activities in Sedawa somewhat.
Figure17: Left: Lock box for Turkey. Centre:
Lock boxfor Sedawa. Right: Controlling valve
for the pump inside the lock box.
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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.
Figure18: Left:Electricity supply
in Sedawa showing the cable
and plug for the borehole pump.
Right: The cable in Turkey linked
into the electricity box with a
switch.
Planning the digging of the main pipeline trenches
The MDF teamworked with the two water committees to understand the maps and then undertake
walks to stake out the different
sections of pipe, where the pipe
sizes changed, which fittings to use
and where the pipes would cross
paved roads.
Figure19: Erna Kruger and Alain
Marechal working with the Turkey
committee to explain the pipeline on
their map
The agricultural engineeralso
worked with the committee members to ensure that they understood how the fittings worked, what
the reducer couplings looked like and how toinstall them. People were confident that they knew how
to do this themselves.
Thepaved roadcrossings were a cause for concern, but the water committee members felt that they
could easily get permission from their traditional authorities. In Sedawa, theprocess 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
insistinginstead on having a cement speedbump
on top of the paving, with the pipes inside the
structure encased in a steel sleeve. They insisted
that they did not trust the water committee or the
implementer to restore the road to its original state
after laying the pipe.
Figure 20: David van Wyk from Afrisolutions
working with Alain Marechal to site and measure
the two paved road crossings in Sedawa
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At the same time, Afrisolutions was installing main tank stands before connecting the Jo-Jo tanks 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 oftheir header tanks. The MDF
facilitatorand the engineerneeded to re-explain how the heights and pressures were calculated and
the reason for choosing these lower and cheaper stands.
Participants took it upon themselves to dig the mainline trenches from the borehole to the header
tankto ensure timely implementation. It was very difficult for participants from Sedawa to cooperate
and dig the trenches. Some participants didn’t work on the trenches, and theyall became convinced
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 was
occupied ona sanitation project. Participants held meeting after meeting to discuss the way forward.
They eventually reached the decision that they would each dig 20metresof trench and that each
person’s section would be numbered, so that everyone knew which section they were meant to dig.
Most of theparticipants adhered to the decisions taken, but there were a few who did not.
Participants again made more rules, where fines of R350 were instituted for noncompliance and the
threat that their pipes would not be connected until they paidthe fine.
Figure21: Left:
One of the
Sedawa group
meetings to
thrash out how
the main trench
would be dug.
Right: Measuring
a rope to stake
out each person’s 20 m section.
Figure22(Right): Left:Digging the
main trench to the header tank in
Sedawa. Centre: Alain Marechal
working with Alex and Magale in
Sedawa to stake the crossings.
Right: Digging the main trench to
the header tank in Turkey.
Once theheader tanks arrived in
Turkey and Sedawa and had been
tested, Afrisolutions connected the
pipes.
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Figure23: Left: Header tank at Sedawa (Joyce Seotlo). Right: Header tanks (4500 Leach) fully
functional and tested at Turkey (Michael Makgobatlou).
Laying the pipes from the header tanks to the homesteads
Delivery of piping was done in both villages and participants started digging their trenches around the
last week of February2020.
Figure24: Piping and fittings delivered to Sedawa
Figure25: Piping and fittings delivered toTurkey
After the pipes were delivered, participantsstartedlaying andconnecting the pipes and closing the
trenches with the help of MDF facilitators Betty Maimela and JessicaMangema. Afrisolutions in the
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meantime installedthe speedbump across the main road to connect pipes from the borehole to the
main Jo-Jotankin Turkey.
Figure26: Left:
Sketch for speed
bump construction
(Alain Marechal).
Right: Construction
of speed bump.
After the speed
bump
construction,
community
members were still unhappy thatthe bump was too steep and rounded. Aftermuch negotiation, in
which the traditional council notably failed to help, Mr Malatji eventually agreed to use some group
funds to buymore cement and the group helped to even out the bump to the grumblers’ satisfaction.
At Sedawa, the crossings were done differentlythree crossings were constructedon the paved road
sections where the paving was removed, the steel sleeve and pipes were buried and the pavement
carefully replaced. This was completedwithout incident and the crossings wereall but invisible.
Figure27: Left: Final speedbumpcrossing in Turkey. Right: One of the crossingsunder the paving in
Sedawa.
Connection of pipes in Turkey
Turkey participants thought it would be a simple job to connect the pipes and that theycould do
without the help of the engineer. When they encountered several challenges, however, Betty assisted
the group, with continuous telephonic support from AlainMarechal.
During the process it becameclear to the group that if they wanted to divide the participants into two
groups, who received water on alternate days, as they had decided, 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 installall the pipes and fix the speedbump. Below is a figure of one of the
connections and the drawings provided by the agricultural engineer to facilitate the process.
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Figure 28:Left; A picture of one of the connections. Centre and Right; drawings indicating how the
connections are put together
Connection of pipes in Sedawa
These participants also thought it would be easy to install theirpipes, but found the actual
implementation quite challenging. The figure below shows a photograph anddrawings ofan example
of the household connector valve for Sedawa.
Figure29: Left and centre; drawings depicting how to install the household connector valve to pipes
and tanks and Right;an example of a household connector valve in Sedawa
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The pictures below provide some indication of the work and process in Sedawa.
Figure30: Clockwise from top
left: A homestead connection
into the main pipeline. Top
centre and far right: Digging
out the trenches using picks.
Bottom centre: Laying a pipe
into one of the trenches.
Both these systems and the system in Turkey are running smoothly. Participants have calculated the
costs and determined the processes for which each individual is responsible. Generally, pumping is
undertaken once a week for each participant, and in this case, as the borehole is not very strong,
participants receive an allocation of 800 L of water per week.
In Sedawa, participants took longer to install their household connections and tanks and by May 2020
the pumping regime had yet to be finalised. Each participant is to receive 2 200 L of water per week.
In conclusion, these processes have been a very important empowerment process for these villagers,
who now have access to a reliable, self-managed source of household water.
6CAPACITY 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 we finalised prior to this deliverable report
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”.
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A copy of her these is to accompany this report.
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 register this year.
Networking and presentations
Webinars:
oDATE: 17 June 2020. Host; AWARD. Title; Building networks and skills for climate
change preparedness with small-scale farmers in the Olifants’ River Catchment.
Section presentation by E Kruger; Agroecology learning, mentoring, monitoring and
networking for smallholder farmers in the Lower Olifants’.
Below are two presentation slides indicative of the input in the webinar
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oDATE: 19 June 2020: Host; The Integra Trust. Title; Heal the land, heal the people.
Section presentation by E Kruger; COVID-19, climate change resilience and
regenerative agriculture in smallholder farming systems.’
Below are two presentation slides indicative of the input in the webinar
WRC K5/2719/4Deliverable 11: Progress report
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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 forpublication,in a book entitled
Conservation Agriculture in Africa: Climate Smart Agricultural Development