Deliverable 7 Interim Report

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Water Research Commission
Prepared By:
Project team led by 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.7:Development of indicators,proxies and benchmarks and knowledge mediation
processes
Date: May 2019
Deliverable
7
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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
Samukelisiwe Mkhize
Temakholo Mathebula
Phumzile Ngcobo
Catherine van den Hoof
Institute of Natural Resources NPC
Jon McCosh
Rural Integrated Engineering (Pty) Ltd
Christiaan Stimie
Rhodes University Environmental Learning Research Centre
Lawrence Sisitka
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CONTENTS
FIGURES 4
TABLES 4
1OVERVIEW OF PROJECT AND DELIVERABLE6
Contract Summary6
Project objectives6
Deliverables 6
Overview of Deliverable 77
2COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE AND DEMONSTRATION SITES10
Madzikane_SKZN 11
Introduction 11
Workshop day12
Conclusion 13
Swayimane_SKZN 14
Introduction 14
Tower Garden, Eco-circle, Conservation Agriculture14
Experimentation 15
Additional Participants25
Ntabamhlophe (Estcourt-KZN)25
Alice/King Williams Town- EC 29
Climatic Context and Farmer Participants30
Individual Summaries31
Eqeleni and Ezibomvini- Bergville-KZN43
Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation Process44
Water issues- Ezibomvini45
Tower Gardens46
Conservation Agriculture monitoring in Bergville49
Fodder production experimentation process in Stulwane, Eqeleni and Ezimbovini56
Sedawa, Turkey, Mametja - Limpopo61
Planning and review sessions62
Water issues follow-up (Sedawa)66
3Resilience snapshots67
Resilience snapshot case study for KZN67
Learning and change67
Climate smart practices68
4PARTICIPATORY IMPACT ASSESSMENT (PIA)73
Background 74
PIA workshop outline74
PIA workshop Bergville 2019/04/1178
Attendance 78
Climate change78
Climate change impacts on farming and livelihoods78
CSA practices81
Changes and benefits from CSA practices82
Expanding on CSA practices85
Evaluation of the workshop86
5CSA PRACTICES / DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEM86
Baselines and DSS refined87
Typologies 89
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Refinement of the DSS Model91
Assumptions made92
Practices recommended (Round 1) for 26 HH93
Refinement of the DSS model (Version 2)94
Ranking of suggested practices based on score provided by the facilitator96
Ranking of suggested practices based on score provided by the farmer97
6DEVELOPMENT OF MATERIALS AND MANUALS98
7Capacity building and publications101
Post graduate students101
Networking and presentations102
Joint farmers day with KZNDARD in Bergville (12 March 2019)102
Agroecology Network: Agro-ecology smallholder farmers open Day (12 March 2019)102
FIGURES
Figure 1: Layout of Mrs Xasibe's Farming System. (CSA Practices implemented in first cycle highlighted
in bold)..................................................................................................................................................19
Figure 2: Layout of MrsZondi's farmingsystem.(Climate SmartAgriculture (CSA) Practices
implemented.........................................................................................................................................24
Figure 3: Dry land cropping calendar for Lower Olifant’s in Limpopo, March 2019...........................100
Figure 4: vegetable production calendar for the Lower Olifant’s in Limpopo, March 2019..............100
TABLES
Table 1: Deliverables for the research period; completed.....................................................................6
Table 2: CoPs’ established in three provinces (October 2018-January 2019)......................................10
Table 3: CSA Practices implemented by Mrs Xasibe.............................................................................15
Table 4: Past practices vs. present practices and lessons.....................................................................18
Table 5:Mrs Zondi’s CSA experimentation process ..............................................................................21
Table 6: CSA Practices and theirrelevancetowater, soil fertility, crop management,livestock and
natural resources..................................................................................................................................25
Table 8: CA experimentation undertaken in Ntabamhlophe in the 2018-2019 season.......................26
Table 9:ACTIVITIES AND NUMBERS OF FARMERSINVOLVED,PER VILLAGE FOROCTOBER2018-SEPTEMBER 2019.
..............................................................................................................................................................49
Table 10: Rain gauge installation and member responsible for collection of data .............................51
Table 11: Rainfall data recorded from rain gauges across five villages in Bergville 2018-2019...........53
Table 12: Run-off data collected for CA trial and control plots across fivevillages in Bergville; 2018-
2019 ......................................................................................................................................................54
Table 13: Showing cover crop experimentation across Bergville villages............................................54
Table 14: Summary of learning sessions conducted: January-April 2019 ............................................61
Table 15: Traffic light assessment for implementation of practices in Turkey: Feb 2019....................64
Table 16: Rainfall data from 3 community- based rain gauges: Oct 2018-Feb 2019............................66
Table 17: Typologies for participants in baseline survey, 2019............................................................89
Table 18:Criteria to define the resources to manage and related strategies (version 1).....................92
Table 19: Criteria to define the resources to manage and related strategies (version 2)....................94
Table 20: Basket/list of practices recommended for version 1 and 2 of the DSS.................................94
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Table 21:Ranking of suggested practices by ‘the facilitator’ for Phumelele Hlongwane (DSS version 2)
..............................................................................................................................................................97
Table 22: Analysis of CSA practices implemented in KZN (Bergville, Tabamhlophe)2017-2019 ......98
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Interimreport:Refineddecisionsupport
systemforCSAinsmallholder farming
1OVERVIEW OF PROJECT AND DELIVERABLE
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 throughthe DSS by pilotinginterventions
in smallholder farmer systems,considering water productivity, social acceptability and farm-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 laboratory analysis
of soil physical and chemical properties, and water productivity (Output 5)
Deliverables
Table 1: Deliverables for the research period; completed
No
Deliverable
Description
Target date
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
1 June 2017
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
1 September
2017
3
Decision support system
for CSA in smallholder
farming developed
(Report)
Decision support system for prioritization of best bet CSA options in
a particular locality; initial database and models. Review existing
models, in conjunction with stakeholder discussions for initial
criteria
15 January
2018
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 CSA and WSC strategies in homestead farming systems (gardens
and fields)
1 May 2018
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
1 October
2018
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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.
31 January
2019
FINANCIAL YEAR 2019/2020
7
Interim report:
Development of indicators,
proxies and benchmarks
and knowledge mediation
processes
Document and record appropriate visual indicators and proxies for
community level assessment, work with CoPs to implement and
refine indicators.
Analysis of contemporary approaches to collaborative knowledge
creation within the agricultural sector. Develop appropriate
knowledge mediation processes for each CoP. Develop CoP decision
support systems
1 May 2019
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
1 August
2019
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 resources necessary for learning and
implementation.
31 January
2020
FINANCIAL YEAR 2020/2021
10
Final report: Results of
pilots, season
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.
1 May 2020
11
Final Report: Consolidation
and finalisation of decision
support system
Finalisation of criteria and practices, introduction of new ideas and
innovations, updating of decision support system
3 July 2020
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
7 August
2020
Overview of Deliverable 7
This report includes aspects of both deliverable 7 and 8 and focuses on the development of a
Participatory impactmonitoring process for the review and re-planning of the CSA implementation
and research process at community level, with associated resilience indicators, the refinement of the
DSS model through field testing and the development of a facilitation manual.
Farmer level experimentation with practices is ongoingand progress is reported on. A full report on
the progress with quantitative measurements and the development of proxies and visual indicators is
to follow in Deliverable 8.
The designof the decision support system(DSS)is seen as an ongoingprocess divided into three
distinct parts:
Practices: Collation, review, testing, and finalisation of those CSA practices to be included.
Allows for new ideas and local practices to be included over time. This also includes linkages
and reference to external sources of technical information aroundclimate change, soils, water
management etc and how this will be done, as well as modelling of the DSS;
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Process: Through which climate smart agricultural practices are implemented at smallholder
farmer level. This also includes the facilitation component, communities of practice(CoPs),
communication strategies and capacity building and
Monitoring and evaluation:local and visual assessment protocols for assessing
implementation and impact of practicesas 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 incentivebased
support schemes for smallholder farmers.
Activities in this four- month period have included:
Practices activities: Refinement of the DSS model and run the model for 41 households across
three provinces.
Process activities:Conduct CCA farmer training and implementation (Workshop 4)in
Swayimane (KZN), CCA workshop3 in Madzikane (KZN), as well as continuation of farmer level
experimentation inthe EC (3 villages),Bergville (2 villages)and Ntabamhlophein KZN. CoP
engagement has consisted of afarmer level best practice cross visit and learningsession for
the Agroecology network, a soil fertility and soil health Farmers’ day in Bergville in association
with KZNDARD and attendance of aRegenerative Agriculture conference in Reitz, Free State
(Farmers Weekly and theMaize Trust). Initiation of a livestockintegration farmer level
experimentation process in Bergville (fodder production, hay making and supplementation)
Monitoring and evaluation:Design of the participatory impact assessment process and a
resilience monitoring process for the DSS
A chronology of activities undertaken is presented in the table below.
Activity
Description
Team
Yearly team
planning
Whole team planning session for
yearly activities, mentoring and
training in CA implementation in
Limpopo
Erna, Lawrence, Chris,
Mazwi, Lulama, Tema,
Phumzile, Samukhelisiwe,
Nonkanysio
Limpopo review
and re-planning
Review and preplanning workshops
and monitoring processes for villages
in Limpopo (Sedawa, Turkey, Willows,
Botshabelo)
Erna, Betty, Andries
Ntabamhlophe
monitoring
Monitoring of CA and gardening CSA
practices implementation
Samukhelisiwe and Lindelwa
Refinement of DSS
Modify input parameters to better
suite conditions on the ground and re-
run for 41 participants
Erna, Catherine van den
Hoof
Implementation
progress
monitoring
Implementation and monitoring for 3
villages in the EC
Mazwi, Lawrence
Conference
Attendance of Regenerative
Agriculture conference in Reitz (FS)
Erna, Phumzile, Lulama,
Nontokozo
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Farmers day -
Bergville
Jointly organised farmers day in soil
health and fertility with LandCare and
KZNDARD
Nonkanysio, Thabane
Madondo, Bright Mashiyane
Agroecology
network
Farmers cross visit and presentation of
best practice ideas; Sekhukhune- Joint
event with AWARD.
Betty, Andires, Bigboy,
Clayton
Implementation
progress
monitoring
Implementation monitoring and
sharing events Bergville and
Ntabamhlophe
Samukhelisiwe, Phumzile
and Lindelwa (Lima-RDF)
Livestock
integration w/s;
Bergville
Learning workshop on fodder
production, hay making and
supplementation for the Bergville
participants experimenting with
fodder production
Brigid Letty (INR), Erna,
Mazwi,Phumzile,
Samukhelisiwe, Nonkanyiso,
Tema, Lulama
PIA w/s Bergville
Participatoryimpact assessment
workshop for Bergville and
Ntabamhlophe
Lindelwa Ndada (Lima RDF),
Erna, Mazwi,Phumzile,
Samukhelisiwe, Nonkanyiso,
Tema
CCA w/s 4 for
Madzikane (SKZN
Demonstration w/s for participatory
building of shade cloth tunnel, trench
beds and initial round of farmer level
experimentation with CSA practices
Mazwi, Tema, Nokanyiso
Capacity building and publications:
Research presentations and chapters:
oMazwi Dlamini M Phil (PLAAS UWC-yr 2); Report for first round of field work
activities
oSamukelisiwe Mkhize- PhD (Human Sciences): Concept note and registration
Publications: -
Cross visits:
oGrowing Nations farmer cross visit to Bergville (CA)
Attendance: -
oRegenerative Agriculture Conference (Reitz- FS)
Conference papers and presentations: -
oFarmers Days: Joint open day events for Conservation Agriculture with LandCare and
KZNDARD in Stulwane- Bergville (KZN)
oAgroecology Network; Crossvisit and best practice presentations by farmers; Lower
Olifants’ and Sekhukhune.
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2COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE AND DEMONSTRATION SITES
The work with the CoPs and in the demonstration sites is ongoing. The table below summarises the
progress to date.
Table 2: CoPs’ established in three provinces (October 2018-January 2019)
*Note: Activities in bold under Demonstration Sites, were conducted during this time frame
Province
Site/Area;
villages
Demonstration
sites
CoPs
Collaborative strategies
KZN
Ntabamhlophe
- CCA workshop 1
- CCA workshop 2
-CCA workshop 3
-CCA workshop 4
-CCA workshop 5
- Monitoring and PIA
-Farmers w NGO
support (Lima RDF)
- Tunnels and drip kits
- Individual experimentation with
basket of options
Ezibomvini/
, Eqeleni
- CCA workshop 1
- CCA workshop 2
- CCA workshop 3
- CCA workshop 4
(training)
- Water issues
workshops 1,2
-Water issues follow-
up
-CCA workshop 5
-Water issues
continuation
-Monitoring, PIA
- Fodder and
supplementation
learning process
-CA open days, cross
visits (LandCare,
DARD, ARC, GrainSA),
LM Agric forums, ….
- Tunnels (Quantitative
measurements
- CA farmer experimentation
(Quantitative measurements) case
studies
-Individual experimentation with
basket of options; monitoring review
and re-planning
- Livestock integration learning group
and experimentation focus
Swayimane
- CCA workshop 1
-CCA workshops 2 and
3
-CCA workshop 4
- Monitoring, review
and replanning
-CA open days
-Umgungundlovu DM
agriculture forum
- CA farmer experimentation
- gardening level experimentation;
tunnel, trench beds drip kits etc.
Madzikane
-CCA workshop 1
-CCA workshops 2-4
-CA open days
- Madzikane
stakeholder forum
-CA farmer experimentation
- gardening level experimentation;
tunnel, trench beds drip kits etc
Limpopo
Mametja (Sedawa,
Turkey)
- CCA workshop 1
- CCA workshop 2
- CCA workshop 3
- CCA workshop 4
-Water issues
workshops 1-2
-Water issues follow-
up
- CCA workshop 5
- Poultry production
learning and
mentoring
-Agroecology
network
(AWARD/MDF)
-Maruleng DM
-Review of CSA implementation and
re-planning for next season
Tunnels (Quantitative measurements
- CA farmer experimentation
(Quantitative measurements) case
studies
- Individual experimentation with
basket of options
-water committee, plan for agric
water provision
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Below summary reports for progress in each area is presented.
Madzikane_SKZN
Written by MazwiDlamini
Introduction
It has taken some time to schedule this process as people have been busy with different commitments
including other projects and harvesting field crops. The intention of the day was to run a participatory
workshop in construction of a shade cloth tunnel, in a site where three trench beds have already been
prepared, to start the process of group experimentation with production in trench beds and tunnels
the two practices that most of the participants in this learning group wanted to try out.
We did discuss the fact that there is only the one tunnel and the group was in consensus that
MaMdladla Shozi’s household would host the tunnel. The logic behind the decision was because she
is a stay at home person with enough time tomonitor and take readings; she also has a fenced off
garden close to a kraal for access to manure.
-CA learning and
mentoring
-Monitoring, review
and re-planning
Lepelle
Water issues
workshops 1-2
-
-water committee, plan for agric
water provision
Tzaneen
(Sekororo-
Lourene)
- CCA workshop 1
- CCA workshop 2
- Assessment of farmer
experimentation
Farmers learning
group
-Tunnels and drip kits
EC
Alice/Middledrift
area
- CCA workshop 1
- CCA workshop 2
- CCA workshop 3
-CCA workshop 4 and 5
-Monitoring, review
and re-planning
Imvotho Bubomi
Learning Network
(IBLN) - ERLC, Fort
Cox, Farmers, Agric
Extension services,
NGOs
- Monitoring and review of
implementation of CSA practices and
experimentation
- Training and mentoring _CA, furrow
irrigation, ….
-Planning for further implementation
and experimentation and
quantitative measurements
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We were very ambitious on the day as lots of practices and activities were to be covered; starting with
the filling up of the trenches, constructing the tunnel and having the beds planted. We also though it
would be nice show the group the drip kit and have that put in as well.
Workshop day
Trench beds
Three beds were made on the day; the first
one was the deep trench where bones and tins
are added followed by organic matter and
manure. The seconds was a shallow trench bed
with only organic matter and kraal manure and
thirdly the raise bed with soil mixed with
manure. Here the idea is comparing different
types of beds both in and out the tunnel. All
these bedswere 5m x 1m. The hot sun didn’t
make it any easier to do these beds but with
the help of three elderly women and Mrs Shozi
the beds were done in no time.
Right:the three beds from rightto left; deep-
and shallow- trench and raised bed
The tunnel
Seven participants in total assisted with building the tunnel:
-Bending the hoops for the tunnel using a jig and joining these together to make the arches
-Sewing the various panels of netting onto the arches and sewing the doorway ropes into the
netting
-Laying out the tunnel across the three prepared trench beds
-Making the holes for inserting the hoops using a spike designed for the purpose
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-And then erecting the arches and pulling the netting over the arches. And attaching the
netting.
Above Left: arch constructed after bending the lengths of conduit using a jig Above centre and right
sewing the netting onto the back and front arches.
Right: the four arches erected, with
the front and back arches already
having the netting sewn on and
Far right: The completedtunnel
after pulling over and attaching the
rest of the netting.
Conclusion
This was the first-time participants witnessed the building of a tunnel. They believe this practiceis
among the best as a strategy against climate change where crops are protected from both the sun and
cold. Manyparticipants would like to have a tunnel in theirowngardens as well. They were made
aware that thisoneis for experimentationpurposes and comes with additionalworkfor Mrs Shozi
whoagreedto makes beds similar to those in the tunnel, on the outside as well,so as to compare
results; she also agreed to water and monitor her irrigation and harvesting.
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As perconclusion from theworkshop, the rest of thegroup will meetto start implementingfurther
choices for experimentation including;drainage pits and furrows in big gardens, tower gardens,
organic teas and brews as well as seedling production among others.
Swayimane_SKZN
Written by Temakholo Mathebula
Introduction
Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) as a concept has been explored at considerable length in workshops
with the primary aim to understand farmers’ perceptions about the relationship between climate and
their agricultural systems. Workshop 1 and 2 aimed to answer the questions around farmers’
perceptions on climate change and how they prioritize practices. Gobizembe (a village in Swayimane)
farmers noted that weather patterns have become moreerratic over time and that mean
temperatures are steadily rising.
Tower Garden, Eco-circle, Conservation Agriculture
Workshop 3 focussedonexperimentation and included the construction of a tower garden and eco
circle as well asmixed cropping as phase one of the experimentation process. The aforementioned
practices werechosen by the farmer due to their effectivenessin soil and water conservation, the
minimal space they require, low labour intensity as well as affordability. The demonstration was
conducted at Mrs Khanyisile Xasibe’s house with 90 percent of the group members in attendance. The
experiment was to compare crop growth and yield in the tower garden (treatment 1) and the farmer’s
normal way of planting (control). The farmer planted spinach, kale, Chinese cabbage, beetroot,
marigold and leeks in the tower garden and spinach, cabbage, kale and beetroot on the ground.
Right and Far right:
CSA practices
implementer by Mrs
Xasibe; towergarden
and eco circle
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Experimentation
Below is a summary of the experimentation undertaken by Mrs Xasibe, along with her irrigation and
harvesting monitoring.
Table 3: CSA Practices implemented by Mrs Xasibe
Practice
Materials
Used
How was it
implemented
Crops Planted
Irrigation
Amount harvested
Tower Garden
80% shade net,
manure, ash,
tin, stones,
poles
Learning group
Spinach, Chinese
cabbage, kale,
beetroot, marigold,
leeks
10 litre/day
when
required)
10 bunches of
spinach, 5 bunches of
kale, 2 kg beetroot
Eco circle
Manure, grass,
2 litre bottle
Learning group
Parsley, coriander,
thyme, beetroot,
rocket
2 litrebottle
filled once a
day
Picks a few herbs to
use
Raised and flat
beds
Manure, mulch
Learning group
Spinach (bed and
flat), kale, beetroot
(flat)
10 litre /bed
three times a
week
40 bunches of spinach
R10/bunch,
10 bunches of kale
Mixed
Cropping
Seedlings
Learning group
Spinach, Chinese
cabbage, kale,
beetroot, marigold,
leeks
10 litre/day
20 bunches of
spinach,
R10/bunch,10
bunches of kale 2 kg
beetroot
CA
(modification-
addition of
manure,
cowpeas sole
plot)
Manure, MAP,
maize, beans,
cowpeas, lime,
round up,
Decis forte
Planted by
hand with
husband
Maize, beans and
cowpeas
Rain fed
Still in the field
Tower Garden
The leafy green crops grewvigorously in the tower garden;which includes spinach, kale and Chinese
cabbage. These were all planted on the sides. Beetroot and leeks which were planted at the top did
not grow very well. On the ground, most of the crops grew vigorouslybut at times showed signs of
heat stress due to a higher level of evaporation.Mrs Xasibe irrigated the tower garden and the crops
on the ground once or twice a day four times a week.
Right:left:
tower garden
with crops
growing,
Centre; kale
and Right;
spinach after
the farmer
harvested 4
times
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During the month of December there were heavy rains which led to an increase in pests, particularly
snails which caused significant damage on Chinese cabbage. Other problematic pests included beetles
and cut worm and some of thecrops, mainly marigolds and beetroot had black marksand showed
signs of decomposing. The overgrowth of the kale and spinach may have provided too much shade for
the beetroot thus contributing in it not growing well. The pictures below show the tower garden after
the farmer had harvested a number of times.
Above:Chinese cabbage severely damaged by pests (left), snail found on the cabbage (centre),
beetroot showing signs of grey leaf spot (right)
Control Plot
Vegetables on the control plot included spinach, beetroot, kale and cabbages in planting basins and
she also planted spinach on raised beds. The spinach on the ground had the best yield as she planted
in basins which she believed contributed tothe good growth of her crop by holdingwater. The kale
also grew verywell on the ground. The plants on the ground were less severely attacked by peststhan
those in the tower garden. The picture below is an overall depiction of Mrs Xasibe’s garden.
Above left and right: Mrs Xasibe’s conventional gardening plots
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Mrs Xasibe made an income of R480.00 from the spinach and kalefrom thetower garden and the
control plot combined. She utilized the rest of the vegetables for household consumption and a few
were damaged by pests and diseases.
Eco circle
The eco circle was dug 60 cm deep with alternate layers of manure and grass added together with the
soil. A bottle with 16 holes was placed at the centre for irrigation. The farmer planted thyme,
coriander, parsley, rocket and beetroot and the herbs grew very well, however rocketoutgrew the
other herbs and filled half of the circle, shadowing some of the other herbs. It was agreed that since
it takes up so much space needs to be planted on its own going forward.
Herbs are not very common in community gardens as they are generallyknown tobefor 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. Growingherbs was a way to introduce and create
awareness about other types of herbs and theiruses. The team discussed the various uses of the herbs
with Mrs Xasibe when planting, e.g. use of parsley and rocket in salads, thyme in meat dishes,
coriander in curry etc. She harvested the parsley, coriander and thyme to use in soups and salads but
did not like the smell of rocket and ended up not harvesting it.
Above: Mrs Xasibe’s eco-circle
Conservation Agriculture
Conservation Agriculture (CA) is an approach that provides an alternative to conventional ploughing.
CA promotes good agricultural practice through its three core principles:
Minimum soil disturbance
Permanent soil cover
Crop diversification
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Mrs Xasibe started implementing CA in 2018 and is now in her second season. She planted the CA
experiment in the last week of January 2019 which is more than four weeks later than in the previous
season. High temperatures (>32oC) and late rainfall were cited as the main reasons for planting late.
In the current season, her husband accidentally put a ripper through her CA plot, nonetheless she
continued to plant the
intercrop plots of maize
and beans as well as
maize and cowpeas. She
added manure on one of
the plots in order to
assess its effect on soil
fertility and final yield
compared to fertiliser.
Right and far right;Mrs
Xasibe’s CA plots
Past and Present Practices and Lessons
Mrs Xasibeexpressed that there has been a decrease in yields and an increase in pest and disease
outbreaks in recent years. Stalk borer in maize spreads much faster and has become resistant to
Kemprin. The aggressiveness with which it spreads is believed to be a result of persistent high intensity
low duration rainfall with alternating periods of high temperatures. In addition, soils have become
harder and less friable during summer months as a result of years of ploughing and subsequent
erosion, as well as periodical drought conditions. Decreased yields are possibly a direct result of mono-
cropping. In both her maize fields and garden Mrs Xasibe normally plants the same crops in the same
area repeatedly. The aforementioned challenges were the contributingfactor toher willingness to
try new practices and in just one season she has started to notice changes in her farming system,
shown in the table below.
Table 4: Past practices vs. present practices and lessons
Past Issues
Past Practice
Present Practice
Impact
Lesson
High water
drainage
Farmer used to plant
vegetables on flat
ground
Planting in planting
basins or on raised
beds
Improved water
holding capacity
Better practice
results in improved
yield
Erosion
Ploughed and disked
soil
Conservation
Agriculture (planting
basins,
intercropping), tower
garden
More ground
cover, soil
protection from
erosion
Soil disturbance has
negative impact on
soil structure and
fertility.
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Past experience has shown that increasing the resilience of smallholder farming systems requires a
multifaceted approach that considers all factors affecting those farming systems. This is proven by the
failure of one- dimensional approaches (e.g. mono-cropping) to increase the sustainability of farming
systems, but rather have subjected farmers to ever increasing costs of fertiliser and chemicals to
maintain high yields. Therefore, it was important for farmers to come up with criteria that considered
all environmental aspects (water,soil fertility, crop management, livestock, and natural resources),
labour and affordability so as to choose the relevant practices. Looking at different aspects also
allowed the farmer to expand their options rather than focusing on one practice as a solution, i.e. it is
more effective tointegrate a number of practices intoa farming system, hence the implementation
of tower garden, eco-circle and conservation agriculture. Below is a diagram of Mrs Xasibe’s farming
system depicting how she incorporated the new CSA practices which are highlighted
Figure 1: Layout of Mrs Xasibe's Farming System. (CSA Practices implemented in first cycle highlighted in bold)
Maize-uneven
growth/ small
cobs
Mechanical
ploughing, mono
cropping
Addition of lime,
manure,MAP,
Ripping
Pending
Importance of good
soil management
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Shallowand Deep Trench,
Mixed Cropping, CA
Demonstration workshops on the
practices selected by farmers have
been continuing in Natal Midlands. Mrs
Lindiwe Zondi opted for the shallow
and deep trenches as well as normal
raised bedsas her treatments, and her
normal way of planting (on flat ground)
as the control. Planting took place on
the 19th of February 2019 and a total of
six farmers were in attendance. The
deep trench had already been dug and
only needed levelling,so the team
added the layers anddug the shallow
trench.
Right: The demonstration workshop,
preparing of the shallow and deep
trench beds
All three beds were 5x1min size and an
extra 1x1mbed of herbs was planted.
Mrs Zondi alsomade the eco-circle similar to theonethat was demonstrated at Mrs Xasibe’s house
and she planted beetroot and lettuce on it. The farmer was given a monitoring form to record
observations regarding plant growth, pests and disease and also how often the crops are irrigated.
Above: Planting of the different beds, to a similar mixture of mixed crops.
The above figure is a depiction of the beds after planting. Mrs Zondi continued to plant on the normal
raised bed and on flat ground on her own.
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The beds are irrigated with 10 litres of water/bed once a day except on rainy days. Common pests
consist of snails and cutworm which she controls using Ampligo a non-selective pesticide. Marigolds
were also planted to repelinsects especially beetles, snails and nematodes. Although some of the
insects were present, the damaged they caused was minimal.The table below presents a description
of Mrs Zondi’s garden.
Table 5:Mrs Zondi’s CSA experimentation process
Trench bed
Trench beds are an effective way to increasesoil fertility especially in areas where soil has been
mismanaged. The addition of layers of biodegradable material is a form of composting which improves
the quality of soil as well as its water holding capacity. An added benefit of trench beds is their
durability as a trench bed
can last for up to five years.
Trench beds were chosen
as one of the practices as
they are cost effective and
moderately labour
intensive. Below is Mrs
Zondi’s Trench bed where
she planted red lettuce,
green pepper, leeks and
marigolds.
Mrs Zondi’s trench bed
Practice
Materials Used
How was it
implemented
Crops Planted
Trench bed
Rusted tins, newspapers, dry
grass, maize stalks, cattle
manure, straws, soil
Learning group
Red lettuce, leeks, spinach,
marigolds
Shallow Trench
Dry grass, wet grass, goat
manure, soil
Learning group
Green Lettuce, leeks, spinach,
kale, Chinese cabbage, marigolds,
beetroot, rocket
Normal Raised bed
Soil
Individually
Kale, lettuce, turnips, spinach,
leeks, marigolds
Normal ground
Soil
Individually
Leeks, lettuce, spinach and kale
Eco circle
Soil, manure, grass, 2litre bottle
Individually
Beetroot, lettuce
CA
Lime, MAP, maize, beans,
Round Up, Decis Forte
Individually
Maize and beans
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Shallow Trench
The shallowtrench is similar to the trench bed but is dug 30 cm deep with alternating layers of grass
and manure. It consists of less materials than the deep trench and in theory is ‘less beneficial’ than
the deep trench in terms of
improving soil fertility. In this case,
the shallow trench was layered with
dry straws, decaying grassmaterial
and goat manure instead of cattle
manure which was used in the deep
trench. The crops planted included
kale, leeks, Chinese cabbage,
parsley, marigolds andspinach, i.e.
mainly green leafy vegetables.
Right and far right: Views of Mrs
Zondi’s shallow trench bed
According to Mrs Zondi this bed was by far the best in terms of crop growth and yield as she had
already harvested kale and spinach twice in a space of five weeks and the vegetables were still
growing. The fact that the grass was already decomposing when it was added might explain the rapid
growth of the crops, coupled by the use of goat manure whichis believed to contain more nitrogen
than cattle manure. Parsley and leeks were overshadowed by the
kale but appeared to be growing well nonetheless.
Normal Raised bed
The normal raised bed is a raised bed with no composting material
added. Benefits of the raised include increased aeration, reduced
weeds, better water holding capacity and protection of crops from
insects such as snails. Mrs Zondi planted turnips, leeks, marigolds
on the normal raised bed, however the spacing was slightly wider
than on the other two beds and someof the seedlings dried out.
Crop growth was moderate when compared to the other two beds.
Some of the bare soil on the raised bed was washed out when the
rains came which made it appear flatter than when it was first
made.
Right: Normal raised bed with no composting material added
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Control Plot
The control plot is the plot Mrs Zondi planted the way that she
usually plants. It was planted on the ground. There was no
composting material added. Crops planted include spinach, lettuce,
leeks and kale. The crops were growing well however, some of the
spinach and kale were damaged by cutworm. The control plot was
planted two days after the treatment plots.
Right: Mrs Zondi’s control plot – with no composting material added
Herbs
Mixed croppingentails including different types of crops with the
aim of increasing diversity and herbs were introduced for this reason.
Herbs areeasy to grow and containawide rangeof benefits which
include acting as cures for various ailments, uses in condiments and
various dishes and they also function as preservatives. Herbs are also
great companion plants as some are natural insect repellents. The
herbs planted in Mrs Zondi’s garden include thyme, coriander and
parsley. Some of the coriander was damaged by insects.
Right: Bed with herbs planted
Eco-Circle
The eco-circle was planted by Mrs Zondi after seeing the
demonstration. She planted spinach and beetroot. She made the eco-
circle as she wanted to compare which practice would give her the
best yield.
Right: Mrs ZOndi’s eco-circle
Conservation Agriculture
Field crops are an important part of Mrs Zondi’sfarming system as this is where she derives income.
She started implementing CA in 2018 and is now in her second growing season. One of the biggest
challenges with her soil is acidity and poor soil structure from years of erosion. She incorporated CA
as an alternative to mono cropping and also with the hope of improving the condition of her soil. She
planted two 200 m2plots of maize and beans this season. The plot that was previously intercropped
with cowpeas appeared to be growing more vigorously than the plot that had maize and beans.
However, the overallgermination andgrowth of beans was poor.She will plant winter cover crops
comprising of sodbuster radish, forage peas and black Sia oats in the blank spaces as a way to increase
soil cover and improve soil fertility.
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Right and Far right:CA Trial
(left) maize and bean plot,
(right) maize and bean plot
which previously had cowpeas
Mrs Zondiselectedpractices
that leaned moretowards soil
fertility, water conservation
and crop management as these
were the main areas where she
identified issues. Moreover,
practices selected were those
that could easily be incorporated into her farming system. Below is a diagram of Mrs Zondi’s farming
system.
Figure 2: Layout of Mrs Zondi's farming system. (Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) Practices implemented
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Additional Participants
The participants were provided with someseedlings and seed to plant in their homestead garden. Mrs
Rita Ngobese took some marigolds, thyme, parsley and basil to try out in her garden and they grew
well. Two participants stated that their seedlings were damaged by pests. The rest of the participants
that were also given
seed said they will
plant at the beginning
of the winter season.
Right:Mrs Rita
Ngobese's garden
Below is a small table summarising the different practices tried out in Swayimane
Table 6: CSA Practices and their relevance to water, soil fertility, crop management, livestock and natural resources
Ntabamhlophe (Estcourt-KZN)
Written by Samukelisiwe Mkhize
Mahlathini Development Foundation is working with 23 participants fromEmdwebu, Enkunzini and
De Klerk villages in Ntabamhlophe, with Lindelwa Ndaba an agricultural development officer from
Lima RDF who works with the farmers on a more regular basis, monitoring their garden practices and
now assisting with CA ‘maize and beans’ crop growth monitoring. Conservation Agriculture was
initially introduced through the WRC Climate change adaptation programme aimed at identifying best
Name of Practice
Water
Soil
Fertility/health
Crop
Management
Livestock
Management
Natural
Resources
Tower Garden
Eco-circle
Shallow, deep,
normal beds
Mixed Cropping
Conservation
Agriculture
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practice options for Climate-smart agriculture practices as well as soil and water conservation for local
smallholder farmers. Conservation Agriculture was chosen by the farmers as one of the practices to
experiment with to overcome issues with soil erosion, increased prevalence of pests and diseases as
well as seasonal shifts of rainfall and increased temperatures affecting not only agricultural production
but household food security due to decreasing yieldand cropgrowth potential. The farmers would
experiment to assess how the soil cover, intercropping and minimum soil tillage would help to
overcome these issues over time.
Ntabamhlophe is characterized by harsh winter conditions, very cold in winter and often affected by
frost conditions limiting agriculture activity during winter months, the winter months are also
characterized by limited rainfall. During this year’s planting season, farmers have expressed that the
dry and windy drought conditions within lesser rainfall than the past season has lessened maize crop
growth potential and late January rains have revitalised the crops affected by excessiveheatstress.
However, farmers believed that late planting has minimised the sun damage during November and
early December months. Nonetheless, this groupof optimistic and passionate farmers, are glad the
Conservation Agriculture programme began this season and eager to continue with in forthcoming
seasons.
The table below serves to summarise the CA experimentation undertaken in Ntabamhlophe.
Table 7: CA experimentation undertaken in Ntabamhlophe in the 2018-2019 season
Village
Trial
experiments
Trial
size
Inputs provided
Participants
who planted
Emdwebu
(year 1)
14
participants
Maize and
bean intercrop
100m2
28 kg MAP, 6 kg PAN 53 maize seed, 7 kg
uncertified 7 kg, beans seed, 2 bags of lime
(100kg), 140 ml of decis
12
DeKlerk
(year 1)
8 participants
Maize and
bean intercrop
100m2
16 kg MAP, 4 kg beans, 4 kg maize seed,
100kg of lime, 80ml decis
8
Participants received 500g of PAN 53 maize seed and 500g of an uncertified bean seed variety because
PAN 148 or Gadra was unavailable locally. While the certified bean seed is not the generally supplied
variety to farmers, the team relied on the local input suppliers’ knowledge of its suitability to local
conditions. During the monitoring process, it was great to see that the seed provided good
germination and some canopy cover with a few of the participants, in its early growth stages. Most of
the farmers had already planted traditional maize varieties in their fields and had space enough for
one plot but they did express interest in expanding their experimental plots after seeing the results of
this seasons experimentation. Unfortunately, during monitoring of the demonstration plot the
farmers expressed that this plot was taken over another farmer in the villageand they could not
continue there.
Sibongile Zuma
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Right: Mama Zuma standing in her maize and beans field.
Sibongile Zuma is68 years old woman from De Klerk
village. She is very passionateand hard-working, farming
mainly farming vegetablesand maize. She has a 1500m2
field and 400m2 garden where she plants her crops
throughout the year.This season she planted traditional
maize in her control plot and she intercropped PAN 53
maize seed and uncertified locally sourced beans seed on
the 13th December provided by MDF on a 100m2trialplot
without priorapplication of herbicide (see pictures
below). Sheopened basins and furrows and applied
micro-doses of MAP fertilizer with 50cm spacing between
both her maizeand beans. Herspacing is slightly more
than what is recommended in order to develop a canopy cover during early growth stages. The maize
germination percentage was 65% and grow stage at 4 and half weeks with 6 rows 10 metres long. She
believes that the growth potential of her crops would have been much better if it were raining like
past seasons, she hopes that once it starts raining and applies LAN fertilizer growth will improve. She
has not applied LAN fertilizer yet because the soil has been dry because of the low rainfall in December
and January. Beansgermination at 60%,without any signs of wilting, yellowing or pest infestation.
Crops are growing considerably well with in spite of this seasons drought conditions with no weeds
during monitoring. Before monitoring, she weeded once on 30th December andnoticed a few weeks
namely blackjack and couch grass.
Right: Close up
views of the
maize and
bean
intercropped
CA plots
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Thabsile Mzolo
Thabsile Mzolo isa65 year old woman livingin Emdwebu with her 3 children and 3 siblings. She is
unemployed and the headof the household. In her control plot she planted yellow maize on 7th
November, maize has been affected by the hot and dry weather conditions during the critical growth
stagesduringNovember and December Hertrial looks good;she believes the reason is that it was
planted later on the 14 December, without prior application of herbicide. It was good to see that like
Sibongile Zuma’s trial the uncertified bean variety has vigorous growth, despite slight prior concerns.
She has 50cm spacing between her maize and 25cm beans. At the time of monitoring 6 weeks later,
the maize germination percentage was 70% with 4 rows 11 metres long, showing good growth with
no weeds.Beans germination at 70% without any signs of wilting, yellowing or pest infestation. She
hand-weeded once,two weeks after planting, with mainly three typesof weeds; couch grass, black
jack and amaranthus.
Above left and Right: Thabisile Mzolo’s CA maize and bean intercropped plot
Gabisile Sithole
She is a 36 year-old woman livingin Emdwebuvillage with 10 children and 2 adults who are all under
her care. She works as an employee under a Department Public Works community work programme
working onatemporary basis and is a member of a garden learning group experimenting with climate-
smart practices. She sustains her family’s livelihood by selling some of the vegetable and maize harvest
to locals and keeps livestock (5goats and 10 indigenous chickens) in case she needs to eat or sell them.
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Her CA experimentis an intercrop of PAN 53 maizeseed and uncertified locallysourced beans seed
planted on the 20th December on a 100m2trialplot without prior application of herbicide. She used
the same method of planting as the rest of the participants mentioned, except 60spacingbetween
her maizeand 25 cmbeans. The maize germination percentage was 60% at 5 weeks with 6 rows 10
metres long. Beans germination was70% without any signs of yellowing or pest infestation. She
weeded her trial once, noticing a few grass and amaranthus weeds. During monitoring there were no
visible weeds.
Above left and right: Gabisile Sithole’s CA plot of intercropped maize and beans
Above Left and Right:The garden in her homestead and learning group working together in the garden.
Alice/King Williams Town- EC
Written by Lawrence Sisitka
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Climatic Context and Farmer Participants
The area in which the Eastern Cape group of farmers operates lies between Berlin in the east and
Middledrift in the west and includes both peri-urban and rural situations. The climate is transitional
between the summer rainfall and winter rainfall zones, and the weatheris essentially quite
unpredictable, with wide and rapid variations in temperature and precipitation, sometimes on a daily
basis. The past few years have been characterised by long periods of drought broken by spells of
sometimes heavy rain. This, together with the fact that the once fairly predictable spring rains have
fallen later and later each year, arriving only in January this year, thus reducing the growing season
considerably, has played havoc with normal planting and harvesting routines. These shifts in weather
patterns have negatively affected basic food production to a major degree, with, for example, few
households in the area able to guarantee their annual supply of maize, especially this year when the
rains have come too late.
The Eastern Cape farmers participating in the WRC/CSA project are somewhat unusual in that they
have, in most cases, long been involved in the implementation of agro-ecological practices. They have
learned of these practices through their involvement in a number of initiatives and networks and with
organisations with strong agro-ecological leanings. One of the key organisations operating in this area
is the Zingisa Education Project, which works with farmers on a range of agro-ecological practices,
from which they have learned the value of natural methods, such as the improvement of soil health
through mulching and composting, and avoidance of inorganic fertilisers and pesticides. Theyhave
also long been practicing mixed and intercropping, and crop rotation. To this understanding has been
added knowledge of the importance of efficient use of available water, especially rainwater. This was
promoted through another WRC project; the Amanzi for Food Rainwater Harvesting and Conservation
(RWH&C) project lead bythe Environmental Learning Research Centre (ELRC) atRhodes University.
The farmers are also well connected through a range of networks, such as the Rural Women’s
Assembly (RWA), the African Centre for Biodiversity(ACB) and more recently the Imvotho Bubomi
Learning Network (IBLN) of the Amanzi for Food project. They have therefore a strong tradition of
sharing with and learning from each other. They are also very open to experimentation with different
practices.
The introduction of CSA practices in such a context simply added to the farmers’ already quite strong
understandingof alternative, natural approachesto crop production and the rearing of livestock. Their
main concern, given the unpredictability of the climate (see above), is to cushion their food production
against the extremes of hot and cold, and wet anddry, and extend the growing season as much as
possible.
While the already strong understanding of agro-ecological practices and willingness to experiment are
very positive attributes in relation to the farmers’ uptake of CSA practices, they also pose something
of a problem in measuring changes in production in relation to specific practices. In other words, it is
very hard for them to identify a ‘before’ CSA, as they have been using related practices for years in
most cases. In addition, almost none of them have conducted any real quantitative measurements of
production, either in terms of weight or in numbers of bunches or similar. Indications of increased
production aretherefore mostlyanecdotal, and always tempered with the reality of the negative
impacts of the recurring droughts, makingyear-on-year production comparisons impossible. However
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they are all convinced that the agro-ecology related practices including CSA
1
, have been beneficial to
their farming and their productivity. Another area in which most farmers have been active is in trying
different crops, including herbs, companion plants (such as marigolds) and ‘exotic’ crops such as okra
and groundnuts.
For one respondent in particular, Edmore Parichi of the Zingisa Education Project in Berlin, the focus
is on using the practices to train others rather than to actively produce (although there is real
production), and no production comparisons have been possible.
Individual Summaries
There follow brief summaries of the key points raised by the farmers during the monitoring visits.
Further details of the outputs from the visits are recorded in the Monitoring Report Forms, and, where
appropriate, in the Resilience Snapshot worksheets.
Ms Aviwe Biko
Ms Biko farmson 900m² of a cooperative irrigation venture situated by the Dimbaza dam. However
the irrigation system was developed based on the use of a diesel pump to abstract the water from the
dam, and for some time this has not been functional. Ms Biko is therefore reliant on the erratic rainfall
for watering her crops. The 900m² is the area which she farms individually, and on which she conducts
her agroecology practices.The1ha collectivefarming areawith which she is alsoinvolved isnot
included here. Ms Bikoalso has a 400m² homestead garden on which she runs her chickens as she
explains: ‘I can’t run the chickens and the vegetables in the same area’.
Ms Biko uses only basic gardening equipment, but grows a wide range of crops, including most
conventional vegetables together with okra, millet, groundnuts and brown rice; 9 types of herb; and
wild olive, aloe and African tobacco for use in medicines and natural pesticides. She implements a
variety of soil and water management practices, including composting, mulching, mixed cropping,
green manures, crop rotation, raised beds, trench beds, tower garden, eco-circle and diversion
furrows (the last 3 from the CSA project). She is also involved in seed saving (particularly indigenous
maize and celery), and is a seed activistwith the Rural Women’s Assemblyand the African Centrefor
Biodiversity (ACB). Ms Biko claims that apart from providing almost all the food needed by herself and
her 2 children, together with other family members, she loves the physical activity f gardening, and
would not like to be anywhere else. Howevershehas recently been recruited as aTB counsellor (a
post she has heldpreviously) for an NGO operating in her area, and this,together with the drought
has forced her to reduce the area she is cultivating.
1
It should be noted here that CSA, and in particular the Conservation Agriculture (CA)
component, are considered by many agro-ecologists the very antithesis of agro-ecology, as
they condone, and even promote the use of inorganic herbicides in lieu of tillage.
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Right: Ms Biko with
her Millet
Far right:Ms Biko’s
Eco-circle and
Diversion Furrow
(lettuce, beetroot
and onions had
already been
harvested)
Ms Biko is very concernedabout the changes to the climate she is witnessing, and says that: ‘It is
disturbing nature’. It is also impacting on her garden and limiting the area that she can effectively
manage. Her analysis of the impact of the various practices she is using is as follows (from the
monitoring report):
Practice (what is
there)
Diversification:
Crops planted
(livestock kept)
Productivity
Water use and
conservation
Soil conservation,
fertility, health
1.Raised beds
No real impacton
diversity
Limited impact
on productivity
Tend to dry out so not
good for water
conservation
No real impact here
2.Trench beds
Allow for some
diversification
Increases this
Good for this
Very good for this
3.Tower garden
Some
diversification
Can be very
productive in
small space
Probably requires
more water
Depends on how it is
constructed
4.Eco-circle
Some diversity
possible
Very productive
Efficient use of water
Good for fertility and
soil health
5.Diversion Furrow
No real impact
Helps with this
A key practice for this
Probably not much
impact, although
reduces drying out
6.Composting
Allows for diversity
Essential for this
Very helpful here
Great for the soil
7.Mulching
Some impact on
diversity
Certainly good
for productivity
Saves a lot of water
Good for the soil
8.Mixed cropping
and crop rotation
Strong focus on
diversity
Increases
productivity
No real impact here
Should help the soil
9. Seed saving
Part of diversity
Not really
No
No real impact
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10.Natural
pesticides
Increases diversity
by use of
companion plants
Should increase
productivity
No real impact
Probably helps with
healthy soil
Ms Biko is the only farmer in this group who has clear quantitative data on production of some crops.
This is, she says, because of the various agro-ecological practices she has been able to produce enough
to secure a contract with a local Boxer supermarket to provide 100 bunches of spinach (@R12/bunch)
for every month from October to January, and 100 bunches (approx.1kg each) of beetroot
(@R12/bunch) permonth throughoutthe year. She also supplies ‘an Indianshop’ with bunches of
coriander @R10/bunch, throughout the year. The money from these sales and the sales of a few eggs
go into a savings account.
As with all other farmers in this group, Ms Biko is very keen on both learning from others, including
her fellow farmers, and sharing whatever understanding she has with others. These included her local
community, local schools and the clinic at which she is now working.
Although she is generally of a positive disposition, Ms Biko says that the implementation of the agro-
ecology practices, including the CSA practices, together with her interactions with other farmers, and
people from the variousprojects and institutions has strengthened her mindset, whichis now more
positive despite the ongoing challenges presented by life and the weather.
Nomasomi Mjacu
Ms Mjacu is mostly unemployed although receives a small stipend from an NGO for whom she does
occasional training. She is completely passionate about agro-ecology and implements a wide range of
practices on a large, 1500m², plot close to her familyhomestead in Quzini. She says that gardening
makes her feel; complete and that: “…a day without working in the garden is not a real day”.
She works with just basic gardening equipment augmented occasionally by drip irrigation pipes, and
2litere bottles for drip irrigation. She
has her ‘office’ in the garden where
she does her teaching, especially
with learners from the local primary
school.
Right: Ms Mjacu in her ‘Office’ (Her
family homestead and kraal in the
background)
Ms Mjacu grows a very wide variety
of vegetable andherbs, some 30
different types in total, although
they are not always present at the same time. She also has a few chickens and has recently acquired
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a beehive, which is situated at some distance from the
garden in a clump of bushes. She has not harvested any
honey to date, but expects to doso before the winter sets
in.
Right: Ms Mjacu’s Beehive
Ms Mjacuimplements a range of practices, but tends to
focus on raised beds in a variety of shapes, including the
‘Mandela Bed’ in the shape of an M. There are also deep
trenches and diversion furrows in her garden. Soil
improvement is through the use of kraal manure, mostly
from her chickens and the neighbour’s cattle, compost, and
the useof drygrass for mulching. She saysthat everyone
knows she likes to have this grass, and when they are cutting
they bring it to her.In addition Ms Mjacu practices mixed cropping, crop rotation the use of natural
pesticides and seed saving. She is a seed saving trainer for Zingisa Education Project. Her analysis of
the impact of the various practices is as follows:
Practice (what is
there)
Diversification:
Crops planted
(livestock kept)
Productivity
Water use and
conservation
Soil conservation,
fertility, health
1.Composting and
mulching
Possible helps a bit
with diversity
Increases
productivity
Essential for efficient
water use
Great for soil
fertility and health
2. Raised beds
Don’t really make
much different
here
Not necessarily
Can actually be worse
for this as they dry
out easily
Probably easier to
manage with
compost and
mulch, so might
help here
3. Trench beds
Provide
opportunityfor
more diversity
Definitely increase
this
Make gooduse of
available water
Great for this
4.Drip irrigation
Not really
Probably, but on
limited scale
Efficient and effective
use
Stops erosion
5.Diversion furrows
Not directly
Probably but hard
to quantify
Makes more water
available
Can avoid erosion
in some areas
6.Mixed cropping
and crop rotation
Definitely
increases diversity
Good increase
Probably not much
effect on this
Helps keep soil
fertile and healthy
7.Natural pesticides
Allows for greater
diversity
Almost certainly
Little impact on this
Maybe some
impact here?
8. Seed saving
Greater diversity of
crop types
Maybe if they are
more tolerant of the
conditions
Not really
Possibly, not sure
Ms Mjacu has never really quantified the amount she grows, but claims that she doesn’t need to buy
much food, especially vegetables and she also provides the family with eggs and occasional chicken.
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Her main problem is with water, and when there is a drought she has to reduce the area she cultivates
so that she can use what little water she has more effectively. She does have a Jojo tank on her house,
but that is used for domestic purposes as there is no connection to the municipal supply in her part of
the village. She is negotiating with the municipality to clean out an old dam, and she plans then to run
her drip irrigation system from that.
She is generally quite concerned about climate change and suggests that this is why she has hadto
reduce her croppingarea, because of drought. She also says that animals, such as rats frogs and
snakes cannot find food in the bush, so they move into the homesteads and cause trouble. The lack of
water is also causing problems as children are developing rashes from the water brought by the
municipal trucks
She has long been part of various networks, including the Zingisa project and the IBLN,and loves
learning from other farmers and sharing her knowledge with them.She is particularly concerned with
teaching young people about the importance of good farming, and runs workshops in her garden for
local learners. She also learns from older ladies with older cultural practices, such as drying of
traditional foods, whichshe isnow startingto do. For Ms Mjacu,with herhistory ofagro-ecological
practices, the CSA ideas are not really new, but she is happy to incorporate them in her farming.
While usually a positive person, she is finding the ongoing drought quite a challenge, and is currently
growing few vegetables. Her mindset has not really changed much since inaugurating the CSA
practices.
Phindiwe Msesiwe
Ms Msesiwe cultivates a very productive garden covering some 875m² at her homestead in Quzini.
She is unemployed but keeps herself very busywith the garden, which she alsosays she loves, with
her churchand membership of numerous associations, such as the indigenous goat association and
the IBLN. She has long been implementing agro-ecological practices and the new CSA practices she
has introduced, including a tower garden,an ecocircle and diversion furrow, fit in well with her
approach.
Ms Msesiwepractices soil management through deep trenching, composting and mulching, with
mixed cropping and crop rotation to control pests. Her membership of the IBLN has motivated her to
introduce morewater conservation practices, including drip irrigation. She harvests water from her
roof, although does also have a municipal supply in the house. Some of the beds are irrigated using 2
litre drip bottles, while others are irrigated using buckets. Ms Msesiwe also practices green manuring
using legumes, and has a range of different bed designs, including raised beds and trench beds. She
makes compost, which is augmented by the manure from the livestock, all of which are kept in pens,
with only the chickens allowed to roam freely for part of each day.
As with the other farmers in the group Ms Msesiwe grows a wide range of vegetables and herbs, and
some plants such as aloe, wormwood and wild garlic for pest control. She also has a range of fruit,
including strawberries, bananas, apricot, peaches, oranges, apples and figs.
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She has a small pond, fed by a diversion furrow, and has recently
erected a shade-cloth tunnel, which she uses as her nursery and to
grow a variety of different lettuce types.
Right: Ms Msesiwe’s pond, banana plant and shade-cloth enclosure
Ms Msesiwe has a range of livestock, includingchickens, goatsand
pigs, and these with the vegetables produce most of the food
needed by the family. She makes a small income from occasional
sales of vegetables and other produce, although she did not
quantify this. She is also involved in running a soup kitchen for the
elderly people in the village, and uses much of her own produce for
this.
Ms Msesiwe’s analysis of the impact of the various practices is as
follows:
Practice (what is
there)
Diversification:
Crops planted
(livestock kept)
Productivity
Water use and
conservation
Soil conservation,
fertility, health
1.Composting
Helps with this
Increases
productivity
Can save a bit on
water
Improves fertility
and soil health
2.Mulching
Can help with this
Increases
productivity
Saves water
Also improves
fertility
3.Trench beds
Good for diversity
Increases
productivity
Uses water well
Good for fertility
and soil health
4.Raised beds
Not much
difference
About the same
Can dry out too much
No real effect on
this
5.Tower Garden
Can help here
Increases
productivity
Can dry out, needs
quite a lot of water
Can create good
soil
6.Eco-circle
Provides
opportunityfor
this
Very productive
Holds water well
Makes good soil
7.Small dam
No direct impact
Can help with
productivity
Useful source of extra
water
No real impact here
8.Diversion furrow
No direct impact
Can help
Brings extra water in
No direct impact
9. Drip irrigation
Not really
Can increase
productivity
Effective use of
limited water
No real impact
10.Natural
Pesticides
Provides more
diversity
Helps increase this
No obvious impact
Avoids poisoning
the soil
11. Greywater
Just helps a little
with watering
Possibly helps with
this
Certainly helps here
Not much impact
As a member of many different associations andnetworks, Ms Msesiwe is constantly learning from
others and sharing her understanding with them. She is a passionate educator about the value of good
farming, and about doing the physical work herself. Her understanding of climate change is quite
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sophisticated and she agrees with the other famers that the
main problem is the rains coming late, and then being very
unpredictable. She is also concerned that the wild insects and
animals are coming more into the homesteads and becoming
pests. She cites the example of ants now being in the house
constantly, and how she needs to keep everything very clean
and food locked away,in the fridgeif possible to keep the ants
out of it.
Generallya very positive person, Ms Msesiwe has found her
confidence growing with her interactions with different
farmers, associations and networks, and says that she is much
more positive then before shestarted on her agro-ecology
journey.
Right:Ms Msesiwe’s Ecocircle, Bottle circle and Tower garden
Tshembela Nadathini
Ms Nadathini is employed in the Zingisa offices for 2 days each week, and from there has learned
many agro-ecological practiceswhich she hasimplemented in her 400m² garden in uMzantsi near
Dimbaza. She has always been keen to trynew ideas,particularly ones that might help her use the
little water she has more efficiently. She would like to install a Jojo tank to collect her roof water, but
the costs of the tank and the associated guttering and piping are beyond her reach.
Using just basic gardening tools Ms Nadathini grows a variety of the usual vegetables, together with
some herbs including mint and thyme, and pest control plants, such as wild garlic, comfrey, marigold
and aloe. She uses sunlight soap to control aphids, and ashes for slugs.The garden also contains an
apple tree, an apricot tree, and an orange tree which has not yet produced fruit. She also keeps a few
chicken (4 at present), and 1 pig. The pig is permanently pennedbut the chicken roam freely. The pig
manure is used to augment the compost she makes, and is also used directly in the soil.
As her garden is on a slope, Ms Nadathini has put in some contour bunds to prevent soil erosion and
reduce water run-off. She employs a range of practices, includingmixed and inter-cropping,
composting and mulching, all of which she claims enable her to grow some vegetables year-round,
which she was not able to do before implementing these practices.
The majority of the produce is consumed by the family, and she also gives or exchanges some
vegetables with her neighbours, and very occasionally sells a bunch of spinach or a cabbage.She is
very pleased that the garden helps reduce the family’s food costs, and she also really enjoys the
physical exercise involved in the gardening.
Ms Nadathini’s analysis of the impact of the various practices is as follows:
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Practice (what is
there)
Diversification:
Crops planted
(livestock kept)
Productivity
Water use and
conservation
Soil conservation,
fertility, health
1. Contour
bunds
No real impact
Probable increase,
but not quantified
Reduces run-off
Stops loss of soil
through erosion
2.Composting and
mulching
Enables greater
diversification of
crops
Certainly
increases
productivity
Reduces loss of
water and need for
watering
Increases fertility
3.Natural
pesticides
Part of pest
control is
intercropping,so
greater diversity
Reduces losses
No real impact
Probably little
impact
4. Intercropping
and crop rotation
Greater crop
diversity
Increased
productivity
Little impact
Reduces loss of
fertility
Right:Ms Nadathini by one of
her contoured beds
Ms Nadathinifirst learned
gardening from her mother,
but says it was verydifferent
then, when the gardenhad to
be kept very clean and neat
and everything such as the
weeds and crop residues were
thrown away, and you could
only grow 1 crop in a bed. She
says it wasquite hard for her
at first to dothings differently,
mixing her planting, using all the weeds and crop residues for compost, and not minding too much if
the garden didn’t look as neat. She shares what she is learning with others, and wanted her church to
set up a garden like hers, but she says that: “They thought that it would be too much hard work, and
didn’t want to do that.”
She realises that there are changes in the way the weather operates, with the rains coming late, and
being much more unpredictable. There also seem to be more very hot days. She pointed out that
after a long period of drought, followed by some rain, her apple tree had produced some blossoms,
probably as a result of it thinkingthat it was spring. This was an interesting observation, which has
bene reinforced in other places, and by the sight of jacaranda blooms in the late summer.
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Right:Ms Nadathini’s Apple tree blossoming in March
Me Nadathinifeels that her mindsetis more positive than
before she started workingwith the agroecology and CSA
practices, although shewould feel better if she could afford
the Jojo tank.
Mr Edmore Parichi for Zingisa Education Project
Mr Parichiis a training co-ordinator for the Eastern Cape
section of the Zingisa Education Project, and the garden he
manages in Berlin is essentially a training site for agro-ecology
practices. As such he is not a farmer in the conventional
sense, and is not growing crops for his own or his family’s
consumption, or for sale, but rather as training
demonstrations andpractical exercises. The team he leads
comprises 6 staff, including administrative and cleaning staff and 4 interns from Fort Cox Agricultural
and Forestry Training Institute. The garden covers 0.9ha and includes a wide range of different
practices including trench beds, raised beds, minimum tillage, composting, mulching, mixed cropping,
crop rotation, use of natural pesticides, water harvesting and seedsaving (beans, maize and herbs).
Many of the other farmers in the CSA group have received training through Zingisa, and their practices
reflect what they have learned here.
A wide range of vegetables are grown, including some less common types such as watermelon, okra
and sweet potato. Various herbs, including mint and thyme, together with plants used for natural pest
control such as wild garlic, comfrey (also as a soil conditioner), and wormwood.Fruit includes
pomegranate, guava, peach and orange. Vetch is grown as a leguminous cover crop. No livestock is
raised. In addition to the usual basic gardening equipment they have hosepipes, a shade-cloth nursery,
a shade-cloth tunnel, a raingauge, a drip irrigation container and pipes, and 3 soil water testing
chameleons (the last 5 items as part of the CSA project experimentation).
Mr Parichi admits that the initial experiments set up for the CSA project were not successful, primarily,
he says, as there was initially trouble sending the chameleon data to the centre in Pietermaritzburg.
Then they were not provided with sufficient data for the smart-phone to send the information,and
finally the intern responsible for this activity has left. There is now another inter who will be with
Zingisa for 18 months, who will be taking this over. A secondexperiment has been set up with
comparative trench beds, one inside and one outside the shade-cloth tunnel planted with broccoli at
the same spacing on the same day. It is intended to measure the production of these beds carefully.
The drip-irrigation experiment has been provisionallyabandoned as it is intended to extend the area
under irrigation, and this will require a largercontainer, set higher from the ground, and extensions
to the pipes. Once again it is intended to compare production on this to a control plot.
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Right: Temporarily abandoned
drip irrigation experiment at
Zingisa
Far Right: Broccoli planted on
comparative beds (one inside
shade-cloth tunnel) with
chameleons
With regards to the
chameleons itappears that
while these were read regularly
(although most data could not
be sentthrough to the central
computer) the information
from them as not really used to determine the levelsof watering required, as this was determined
through the more conventional process of just looking at the plants and at the soil.
Despite this falteringstart with the CSA experimentation it is intended to pick this up and conduct
some rigorous experiments comparing shade-cloth and non-shade-cloth; trench beds and normal
beds; drip irrigation and normal watering.
Mr Parichi’s analysis of the impacts of the practices which they are implementing are as follows:
Practice (what is there)
Diversification:
Crops planted
(livestock kept)
Productivity
Water use and
conservation
Soil conservation,
fertility, health
1. Trench beds
Can increase
potential for
diversity
Increase
Help with this
Good for this
2. Raised beds
No real impact
Not necessarily
Can be counter-
productive
(drying out)
No real impact
3. Minimum tillage
Some potential for
increased diversity
In the longer term
perhaps
Should certainly
help with this
Definitely
beneficial here
4. Composting
Can help here
Definite increase
Certainly helps
Very good impact
5. Mulching
Some increase
possible
Definite increase
Very useful
Good impact
6. Mixed cropping
and crop rotation
Increases diversity
Definite increase
No real direct
impact
Helps with soil
health
7. Water harvesting
(tanks, drums etc.)
More potential for
diversity
Certainly helps
Very important
No direct impact
8. Natural pesticides
Requires greater
diversity
Positive impact
Not really
Stops poisons in
the soil
9. Seed saving and
propagation
Can leadto greater
diversity
Not directly, but
encourages more
production
No direct impact
No direct impact
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As a training organisation Zingisa’s mandate is to share information with farmers, and this is the main
focus of Mr Parichi’s work. Theyalso share through various networks such as the IBLN and Ilizwi
Lamafama, and are linked tomore national and regional networks including Rural Women’s Assembly
and he African Centre for Biodiversity.
Climate change is seen as a reality, with one of the main effects beinga shortening of the growing
season, through the late arrival of the spring rains. Mr Parichi suggeststhat growing short-season
varieties, for crops such as maize, may be part of the solution, however he cautions that theseare
often lower-yielding than conventional full-season varieties. Zingisa’s approach is very much that good
agro-ecological practicesare in themselves more robust and adaptable than the conventional
commercial approaches, and should help farmers be more resilientin the face of changing climatic
conditions.
Xolisa Dwane for the Mxumbu Youth Co-operative
Mxumbu Youth Group started up in 2015 with 21members. Currently there are 9 active members.
They started with a cleanslate of having no land at all under cultivation, but since themthey have
brought 2ha of vegetable garden associated with different homesteads (although most is connected
to Mr Dwane’shome) under cultivation. They have also negotiated with the local leadership access
to 14.2ha of commonage, previously terraced under the homeland ‘betterment programme’, of which
they have so far plantedsome 2ha. They are avowedly commercial in intent,and are determined to
make a successful business out of their farming activities. In addition,they are already involved in
training people in other communities, for which they sometimes receive payment.
Although the group is relativelynew to farming, they have learned a great deal from other farmers,
the Zingisa Education Project and other NGOs including World Vision, and the IBLN network. Their
approach from the beginning has therefore been inclined towards agro-ecological and water
conservation practices, andthey are always keen to experiment with new practices and new crops.
Their association with the CSA project is therefore a natural extension of this, and they have
wholeheartedly taken up some CSA practices.
In the garden area they grow a large variety of mostly conventional vegetables, but also a range of
herbs and pest control plants, and some peaches and bananas. These are grown under a range of
different practices, including trench beds, tower garden, circles, no-till (CSA), tied ridges (CSA), trickle
irrigation and furrow irrigation (CSA). Mulching and composting are practiced as standard across the
garden.
Mr Dwane,himself raises numbers of livestock with other members of his family. The livestock
currently include 33 goats, 11 chicken, 4 sheep and 1 pig, all of which are in pens or ‘hocks’ with the
goats and sheep grazing on the commonage during the day. At one time Mr Dwane and another
Mxumbu member tried to set up a more intensive chicken rearing business, but thecost of food, and
losses to disease defeated this attempt. They are, however, determined to learn from this experience
and try again.
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They sell produce almost continuously from the garden,
especially spinach, beans, green peppers and carrots.
They also have a growing market for onion seed and
other seeds which they have started saving. They are also
looking for a market for some of the herbs which are
growing profusely.
Right: Mxumbu Youth Group: Rocket (in foreground),
spinach and green pepper plants on raised beds with
tower garden in background
In the cropland they prepared contour ridges on which
they planted a range of crops: maize (which failed
entirely due to a long drought following the planting);
beans (which did produce a small amount to sell);
pumpkin and butternut (which also managed to produce
some saleable produce); and watermelon (which
somewhat surprisingly was the most successful crop and
has produced a large number of watermelons the sale of
which they are negotiating). Their lesson from this
experience is that multi-cropping is likely to be more
effective than mono-cropping in these difficult
circumstances, as, had they only planted maize, they
would have had nothing.
Right: Mr Dwane with watermelon dominating the
cropland
Mr Dwane’s analysis of the impact of their practices is as
follows:
Practice (what is
there)
Diversification:
Crops planted
(livestock kept)
Productivity
Water use and
conservation
Soil conservation,
fertility, health
1.Mulching
Use on all crops
Increases
productivity
Saves water
Improves soil
2.Composting
In garden for
trench beds and
others
Good for
productivity
Holds water in the
ground, so save water
Improves soil
3.Ridges/furrows
Used in garden and
in field
Not sure, but helps
with intercropping
and irrigation
Helps with irrigation
Not sure
4.Trench beds
Can plant good
diversity
Definitely goodfor
productivity
Helps with this
Very good for
fertility and health
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5.Circles
Also good for
diversity
Produce a lot in
small space
Good for this
Certainly helps with
soil fertility
6.Tower Garden
Can plant a lot in
small space
Good productivity in
beginning
Needs a lot of water
Not sure
7. Raised beds
Little impact on
this
Little increase, but
easier to work
Dries out quickly
Not on its own
needs composting
and mulching
8. No Till
No impact
Not sure
Possibly
Probably
9.Mixed cropping
Greater diversity
including herbs
Increases
productivity
Maybe takesmore
water, but keeps
ground covered
Might help
10.Crop rotation
Not much impact
here
Should increase
productivity as
reduces pests
Probably not much
impact
Should help
especially with
green manures
11.Natural
pesticides
No impact
Should help here
No impact
Should help
To date the Group have not kept records of production or sales, but Mr Dwane realises that this is
something they will need to do if they wish to become fully professional in their farming activities. All
they can say at the moment is that they are constantly increasing production, and now producing and
selling year-round. This is perhaps mostly due totheir diligence and energy together with their
adoption of appropriate and effective farming practices.
The Mxumbu Youth Group are deeply involved in both learning themselves, from anyone who is willing
to share their knowledge, and teaching and motivating others, particularly youth from other
communities. They are linked through most of the networks in their immediate area, and are
branching out to provide support in other areas.
In terms of understanding climate change and its implications; Mr Dwane andthe other Mxumbu
Youth Group members have gained considerable understanding from their networksand various
initiatives, such as the WRC Amanzi for Food and CSA projects, with which they are involved. Their
main concern, as with the other farmers, is that the rains are coming later, shortening the growing
season, especially for maize, which is the most important staple crop. They believe that the agro-
ecological practices which they are implementing will help them withstand many of the impacts of
climate change.
Mr Dwane himself has a very positive approach to everything he does, and this remains undimmed
despite challenges with drought and some difficulties in marketing some produce.
Eqeleni and Ezibomvini- Bergville-KZN
Written by Samukelisiwe Mkhize
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Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation Process
The project aims to assist farmers in making decisions with their farming systems and to evaluate and
identify best practice options for Climate Smart Agriculture. The monitoring approachinvolves farmers
in a cyclical learningprocess;to provide for meaningful participation of farmers in the process of
investigating improvements in water and soil management in both garden and field farming activities.
This involves involving taking experimental actions, observing and continuously reflecting on changes
taking place in their gardenand field experiments. This process has been emphasised duringthe
monitoring process holding brief discussions in the field or garden about the importance of noting
information such as pest and disease incidence, water usage, crop growth and harvesting.
It was then critical to explain tothem that thisis a learning process,it is notjust for us but for them
as well. This has been andcontinuesto bereinforced through discussing what the datameans with
them, how its relevant to what they aredoing as well as, validating their thoughts and observations
by acting through experimentation.
This would not be possible without building trusting relationship
with thefarmers inwhich they feltopento be honest with us
about all decisions they are making especially, water
management. Farmers think that vegetable production requires
a lot of water for crops to mature and grow quickly. This acts as a
barrier in assisting farmers to develop into water managers.
Farmers prefer to use their visual assessments of the soil
moisture instead of the chameleons (visual decision support tool)
with robot system (green, blue and red feedback signals.
Right: A chameleon installed in a gardening plot in Ezibomvini
In practice, the issue seems to be integrating
technologies/practices with people, not just practices/technologies with the environment. Initially
participants did not have a good understandingof the significance of this tool andthe use of it was
something too scientific for them. This led to participants not always using the chameleons themselves
but instead asking other household members (younger) to assist with its use. The farmer was not using
the chameleon signals to make water usage decisions. It was explained to the farmers that getting
assistance is not wrong, but the issue is that the chameleons were not used for its intended purpose.
For this reason, an alternative measure had to be sought which included regular monitoring of data
recorded and a workshop going through the theoretical and practical significance of the use of the
chameleon devices. The role of the chameleonswas also discussed as a device installed to enable
them to make informed decisions regarding water usage and thereafter determine how much water
is used, in chameleons installed both in the trench bed inside the tunnel and outside the tunnel.
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Thereafter, the farmer shouldrecord water usage,
harvesting data, pest anddisease incidenceandheat
resistance of the outside tunnel production versus inside
tunnel production. Following this anewdata collection
tool,discussed and agreed upon with the farmers,was
devised to assist the farmerto have a more visual
representation of the chameleon readingsandrelating
this to water applied and produce harvested using atally
system. The tally system was specificallyintroduced to
assist all thefarmers, bothliterate and illiterate,to have
a system to monitor these gardening practices. The role
of local facilitatorshas alsobeenilluminated,because the
process relied on them to assist other memberswith the
concise recording of data. We are working closely with
this process and steadily making some progress.
Right: An example of the new monitoring form filled in by
one of the farmer participants; which indicates watering,
harvesting for each of the crops, the chameleon readings
and a column for comments at the end
During the process,farmers arecontinuallysharing their experiences,including pests and diseases
issues with the team;whatthey think they are and the causes of the infestation. Phase two of the
tunnel experiment included mix croppingof onions, green peppers and Chinese cabbage. According
to the farmers, onions seedlings did not survive because the Chinese cabbage and green pepper tree
leaves covered the onions seedlings preventing growth. The onions were out competed. Farmers also
shared issues with pest and diseases specifically with Chinese cabbage. They believe that the
infestation is caused by their soil type (clay).
Right: Small holes caused by pests feeding, with subsequent rotting of
the stems, in Chinese Cabbage
The team shared that the reason could be that the hot and dry
conditions ofthis past season didnot favour the crop. During this
upcoming cool season, we will repeat experimentation with the crop
which is predominantly a cool season crop during this winter season.
Water issues- Ezibomvini
Farmers in the Ezibomvini village of Bergville encounter various issues
in relation to water and accessibility where their predominant water
source is local springs. These springs are usually quitefar fromtheir
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homesteads and their use is shared with other people from the village as well as livestock.
Spring protection will enable farmers to have a secure and reliable water source which can help them
to focus more on their gardening; which was previously not as widespread due to the unavailability of
required water close by. This issue hasbeen discussed in both Ezibomvini and Eqeleni. In the latter
village not much momentum has been gained for participants to work together to solve their water
issues locally.
A recent follow-up meeting was held with Ezibomvini farmers to discuss their commitment toward
the implementation of the spring protection plan to allow for easier access of water at household
level.
Farmers present at meeting Ezibomvini- 20 February 2019
Name
Surname
Nombono
Dladla
Mantombi
Mabizela
Cabangani
Hlongwane
Landiwe
Dlamini
Lungile
Sithole
Ntombenhle
Hlongwane
Halalisiwe
Mthonti
Phumelele
Hlongwane
Balungile
Mkhwanazi
Zodwa
Zikode
At the meeting thetotal cost of implementation andactivities were outlined (as proposed by Chris
Stimie after his visit to the area). Farmers felt that it would cost a lot, but that they would also be very
willing to carry out some of the activitiesthemselves (to reduce labour costs)and seekalternative
assistance from local leadership (e.g. digging usingTractorloader backhoes-TLB) in order to decrease
the total costs. While there were other members not present at the meeting who would like to be
involved in the process,the group present expressed that a total 10 householdswere committed to
investing in this process and resolvedto contribute R 1000.00 per household towards thematerials
required to protect the spring and connecting pipes.
Between our last meeting and the recent one, they dug up a small damfor a spring to feedintoand
attempted to channel that water with a furrow to one of the homesteads. Although this process did
not work, they have decided that this particular spring would work better for their purposes and have
also decided to have the main header tank at a different household to what originally discussed.
Tower Gardens
Tower gardens were introduced across three Bergville villages. These were demonstrated at
Ezibomvini, Thamela andEmabunzini.The tower gardens were introduced primarilyto out scale
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climate smart agriculture practices with the aim to increase climate change adaptation. In each of the
demonstrationsa few participants from each learning group were present.It was important to use
materials that are easily accessible as alternatives for recommended materials such as, sacks in place
of shade netting. A practical approach was taken to introduce the practice; the farmer will now assess
and manage the practice and report on its water managementbenefits etc. The participants are
collecting materials for keyhole gardens to compare with the tower gardens.
Village and participant
Village
Participants name
Ezibomvini
Phumelele Hlongwane
Emabunzini
Valindaba Khumalo
Thamela
Constance Hlongwane
Materials:
Soil, kraal manure (goats or cow manure), wood ash, dry grass, greens, 50 kg /80 kg sack, tin
cut open on both sidesand stones
Seedlings:
Mustard spinach, regular spinach, kale, cabbage, parsley, spring onions, leeks andregular
onions.
Step 1: Collection and mixing of materials
Step 2: Placed opened tin at centre of 50 kg bag & Fill open tin with stones
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Step 3: Filled sides of bag with mix
of materials and raise tin once the
filling reaches top of the tin (repeat
till bag is full, watering the bag at
alternate layers)
Step 4: Open staggered holes on sides of sack, plant seedlings through the holes and/or ontop of
the sack
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Step 5: Final product
Conservation Agriculture monitoring in Bergville
For the CA experimentation the bulk of field work and monitoring are conducted under the auspices
of the Maize Trust Smallholder Farmer Innovation project. Here, we report some of the relevant
monitoring information.
The table below outlines the villages, numbers of participants and experimentation processesfor the
present learning groups in the Bergville area.
Table 8:ACTIVITIES AND NUMBERS OFFARMERSINVOLVED,PERVILLAGEFOROCTOBER2018-SEPTEMBER2019.
BERGVILLE
Villages
Learning
group No
2017
2018
(planted)
COMMENTS
Emabunzini
13 (4)
13
9
1st and 2nd level experimentation;
intercropping
Emangweni-
Engodini
13
16
5
1st and 2nd level experimentation;
intercropping
Emangweni-
Emaqeleni
13
14
1
1st and 2nd level experimentation;
intercropping
Eqeleni
23
24
15
1st, 2nd ,3rd,4th, 5th level experimentation;
intercropping, crop rotation, SCC
Ezimbovini
25
17
17
1st, 2nd ,3rd,4th, 5th level experimentation;
intercropping, crop rotation, SCC
Magangangozi
23
21
6
1st and 2nd,3rd level experimentation;
intercropping, ???
Mhlwazini
23
20
10
1st and 2nd,3rd level experimentation;
intercropping, SCC
Ngoba
13
13
13
1st and 2nd,3rd level experimentation;
intercropping, SCC
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Nsuka-
Zwelisha
11
4
3
1st and 2nd level experimentation;
intercropping
Okhombe
23(7)
17
14
1st and 2nd level experimentation;
intercropping
Stulwane
18
14
14
1st, 2nd ,3rd,4th, 5th level experimentation;
intercropping, croprotation, SCC, fodder
crops
Stulwane
(Emahlathini)
12
12
12
1st and 2nd level experimentation;
intercropping
Thamela
16
13
13
1st and 2nd level experimentation;
intercropping
Thunzini
26
17
13
1st and 2nd level experimentation;
intercropping
Vimbukhalo
21
28
6
1st and 2nd level experimentation;
intercropping
Ndunwana
25
20
17
1st and 2nd,3rd level experimentation;
intercropping, SCC
Emazimbeni
22(3)
16
17
1st and 2nd,3rd level experimentation;
intercropping, SCC
Emafefetheni
12
10
1st level experimentation; intercropping
Emadakaneni
12
10
1st level experimentation; intercropping
Grand Total
286
279
205
15,2 ha trials;
In this season, due to the localised drought in Bergville and the difficulties in procuring and delivering
inputs 259 participants across 19 villages were provided with inputs for conducting farmer level trials.
Of these 205 participants planted their trials. Of these 14 were new participants for the season 2018-
2019.
Progress snapshots
(i)Gravimetric soil water contentassessmentsoil sampling at Bergville
This season only one set of soil samples were taken for gravimetric soil water assessments, given the
time- consuming nature of this activity. These samples would give an indication of soil water content
at different depths (30cm, 60cm, 90cm and 120cm), at different stages of crop growth, during the
season. Samples are taken at planting, 4-6 leaf stage, tussling and harvesting.
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Samples were taken in Ezibomvini (Phumelele Hlongwane) at planting on the 7th of November 2018.
Above Left and Right: taking the gravimetric soil samples in Phumelele’s CA trial plot
Below is Phumelele Hlongwane’s 1000m2 trial plot layouts(2018/2019) and points or plots where
gravimetric sampling was done.
Plot 5
M
Plot 4
M+B
Plot 3
M+CP
Plot 2
M+CP
Plot 1
SCC
Plot 6
M+B
Plot 7
M+B
Plot 8
M+B
Plot 9
M
Plot 10
LAB LAB
(ii)Participatory monitoring
A total of 7 villages have rain gauges installed in their homesteads with the responsibility of recording
of data entrusted upon the participants along with assistance from members where participants are
illiterate.
In the previous season, participants did not record the rainfall data very welland in this season, they
were provided with more in depth monitoring and assistance to do so. In Thamela the rain gauge was
moved to a different homestead.
The table below indicates present homesteads where rain gauges have been installed.
Table 9: Rain gauge installation and member responsible for collection of data
Village
Name of participant
Person responsible for data collection
1. Ndunwana
Boniwe Hlatshwayo
Boniwe Hlatshwayo
2. Stulwane
Nelisiwe Msele
Nelisiwe Msele
3. Ezibomvini
Phumelele Hlongwane
Phumelele Hlongwane
4. Eqeleni
Ntombakhe Zikode
Cebisile Zikode
5. Emangweni
Thembisile Mazibuko
Thembisile Mazibuko
6. Thamela
Constance Hlongwane
Constance Hlongwane
7. Mhlwazini
Phumzile Zimba
Nompilo Zimba (Grand-daughter)
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From the above table villages 1-4 also have runoff pans installed and the participants are also
responsible for recording this data, as these two sets of data are directly related. It was stressed that
after each rainfall event rain gauge and runoff data should be recorded together
.
Above Left: Thamela: Mam Constance Hlongwaneorientated about reading rain gauge
measurements. Above Middle and Right: Mam Phumelele Hlongwane from Ezibomvini taking run off
pan measurements
In the installation of run off pans, attention needs to
be given to the slope of the field in question; which
should not be more than 5%. Inaddition, the pan
itself needs to be level, toallow the un-off to drain
properly into the catchingbucket, installed
underground below the pan.
Right: measuring the level of the run-off pan on
installation
For each of the four participants a number of run-ff
pans were installed. For example, 5 pans were
installed for Nelisiwe Msele in Stulwane.
Plot 10
M+B
Plot 9
M+CP
Plot 8
BEANS
Plot 7
MAIZE
Plot 6
SCC
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She has a 1000m2trial and a
control plot of equal size the
diagram below indicates the
plots where run-off plots were installed.
Trial-1000m2
Control plot 1000m2
Boniwe Hlatshwayo in
Ndunwanahad two run-off
pans installed; one in her CA trial plot and one in her control plot, as she
is still in her 2nd-3rd year of experimentation with a 400m2trial plot.
Right: Installation of run-off pan in Boniwe’s CA trial plot
Trial 400m2
M+CP
M+B
M+CP
M+B
Control 400m2
MAIZE
(iii)Rainfall and run-off data
The table below outlines the rainfall data kept by the volunteers nad Local facilitators in the 5
viallages. From this information, it is painfully obviushow little rain there has been for this growing
season.
Table 10: Rainfall data recorded from rain gauges across five villages in Bergville 2018-2019
Stulwane
Ndunwana
Ezibomvini
Eqeleni
Thamela
Month
Rainfall (mm)
May-18
1
2
Jun-18
4
3
Jul-18
1
0
Aug-18
8,4
9,2
Sep-18
1,3
5,9
5,0
Oct-18
3,3
2,6
6,0
Nov-18
10,6
10,6
11,0
6,0
3,7
Dec-18
4,6
3,6
13,0
5,8
4,3
Jan-19
5,7
20,5
5,5
19,9
4,2
Feb-19
7,8
12,8
17,2
20,0
16,6
Total Nov-Feb
28,6
47,4
46,7
51,7
28,8
Plot 1
M+CP
Plot 2
M+B
Plot 3
MAIZE
Plot 4
BEANS
Plot 5
MAIZE
MAIZE
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Total May-Feb
47,5
70,1
Run-off data was also collected and these are summarised below.
Table 11: Run-off data collected for CA trial and control plots across five villages in Bergville; 2018-2019
Stulwane
Ndunwana
Ezibomvini
Eqeleni
Runoff
Trial(ml)
Runoff
Contol (ml)
Runoff
Trial(ml)
Runoff
Contol (ml)
Runoff
Trial(ml)
Runoff
Contol (ml)
Runoff
Trial(ml)
Runoff
Contol (ml)
566
413
663
379
11
7
13
10
593
710
2567
750
19
22
971
214
1000
1275
944
588
25
36
4190
6905
929
821
4173
1716
55
64
5174
7129
2521
2806
In general, the run-off from both the CA trial and the conventional control plots was extremely high
for the amount of rainfall, although somewhat less for the CA trial plots in 3 of the 4 villages. This is
quite different from the results obtained in previous years and points towards surface soil compaction
or sealing, as a result of continued hot and dry conditions in the area.
(iv)Cover crops
Cover crops play an important role in the providing soil cover limiting the exposure of soils to weather
extremes. They also contribute toimproved soil health conditions in the soils. In the current
2018/2019 growing season a total of 61 participants in the programme are experimenting with
summer cover crops across 9 of the villages in Bergville. Participants received a 5 mix of summer cover
crops; sunflower, sunhemp, babala (millet), vetch and turnips while some received a 3 mix of
sunflower, sunhemp and millet- all these at 250g per variety.
Table 12: Showing cover crop experimentation across Bergville villages
Village
Number of participants
Ezibomvini
07
Eqeleni
10
Stulwane
15
Vimbukhalo
10
Emazimbeni
06
Ndunwana
01
Thamela
04
Emabunzini
02
Ngoba
06
Total
61
(v)Crop growth monitoring
Fieldworkers and interns used the new e-survey format (in Pendragon) to do the crop growth
monitoring and provided hard copies of the forms to the 3 local facilitators who are assisting in the
monitoring this season.
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Thus far 61 crop growth monitoring forms have been completed across 13 villages. A sample of
participants in each village was used (between 3-7 per village.
(vi)CA trial information
Average residue coveris around 9,5% for participants from 1st-6th year of implementation.
This is quite low, given the ubiquitous practice of livestock grazing stover in the winter
months. The percentage residue cover ranges from 0%-30% and depends more on the
dedication and attention given by the individual farmer than on the years of implementation.
Right: Nombono
Dladla from
Ezibomvini(3rd yr)
with around 30%
residue cover.
Nombono is trying
out the Haraka
planter
and
Far Right: Dudu
Ndlovu from
Emafefeteni (1st yr)
with 55 residue
cover. The heat
stress in her maize is
visible here
Average germination of cropsthis season was only around 66% and canopy cover at about
2,5 months after planting only around 20% on average. This attests to the extreme conditions
in this cropping season;
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Above Left: Phumelele Hlongwane’s crop growth in mid-January 2017 compared to Right: Phumelele
Hlongwane’s trial growth in mid- January 2019. She is one of the most dedicated farmers. The extreme
heat and drought at the beginning of the season has reduced her crop growth considerably.
Right and far
Right: crops
for Bangeni
and Zweni
Ndaba
respectively
from
Emazimbeni
(Loskop area),
also showing
signs of heat
and drought
stress.
Right and far right;
Maize growth for
Khishiwe Cebekhulu and
Nomavila Ndaba in
Eqeleni recovered
somewhat in January,
although the patchy
germination is evident
from earlier drought
stress. This kind of
recovery appears to be
localised as rainfall
differs somewhat across
villages.
Fodder production experimentation process in Stulwane, Eqeleni and Ezimbovini
This season a number of participants decided to plant small plots of different kinds of livestock fodder;
including Teff, turnips, lab-lab beans (Dolichos) white and red clover and Lucerne.
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Replanting of plots was done in January 2019, after
complete crop failurefrom theNovember planting due
to drought and heat. Some success with growing of Teff
was reported- the other crops again failed to germinate.
Right: A few white clover
plants germinated and Far
Right; a respectable
looking patch of Teff grass
growingin Mtholeni
Dlamini’s fodder trial plots
Fodder and supplementation learning workshop
A learning workshop on fodder, supplementation and hay making was held onthe 10th of April for the
livestock interest group from these three villages (26 participants).
Topics covered:
-Why arelivestock thinin winter and
why does it matter
-What to feed and how much
- Supplementation
-How can wetell if it’s making a
difference (rating sheet)
-Making hay
- Experimentation
-
Why is extra fodder and supplementation important
Loss of weight in livestock caused by lack of grazing, but also presence of parasitesand diseases. In
winter the sour veld areas(high elevation, high rainfall, cold winters) the grass is not nutritious in
winter as the grasses draw the nutrients into their roots for the winter period there is no protein in
the grass. Also, milk cows such as Jerseys are not well adapted to grazing on veld and will not do well.
Bulls and oxen are generally fatter then the cows.
Thin cows can’t be sold, have difficulty getting pregnant and lose their calves. They are more prone to
diseases and die easily.
Nutrition for livestock
-Feed a protein supplement
-Make sure there is grass/ hay
-Deworm before winter
-Wean the big calves
-Plant fodder
-Target the animals that need food
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The major issue in winter, or more generally is protein. Carbohydrates can be found in grass and maize.
The type of grass makes a difference; Themida (Rooigrass) is good, other grasses such as Ngongoni
(Aristida), Mtshiki and Uqunga are not very palatable.
Urea supplementation; Premix 450, Voermol LS33and protein licks.One is a powder supplementing
the fodder livestock re given, the other is a liquid that is mixed with feed.
When using these supplements it is important that theydo not get wet- as the urea will dissolve in the
water and if cattle drink this they can die from it.
Supplements
Supplement type
Quantity
Cost
Premix 450 (powder)
1-2 cups/day mixed with the fodder
R230/50kg
Voermol LS 33 (liquid)
2 cups with 2 cups water mixed with 20kg of hay will feed 4
animals for one day. This needs tobe repeated every day
as the urea evaporates
R160/20l
Protein block
1 block/ cow (for 3 months). Or 1 block/week for 20 cattle.
Generally they are put in the kraal, but it is difficult to ensure
younger animals also get access
R150/25kg
(Molasses meal just sugar, no protein)
Fodder crops and Making hay
Grass needs to be cut while it is green (and high in nutrients) and dried quickly, so that it doesn’t get
mouldy. For the fodder high in nitrogen such as Lucerne it needs a long time to dry as the stalks are
quite tough. When grazing Lucerne, it can only be done for an hour or so in a day. If they get toomuch
the livestock will bloat.
Participants were adamant that they could v=cut the grass using sickles and did not feel the need to
have brush cutters for this purpose.
With all the fodder crops, it is better to grow these in summer and keep for winter. One needs to cut
them before they seed to ensure the highest level of nutrients in the fodder.
Teff; grows fast and is better for baling than grazing, as it is quite soft and gest easily trampled by the
livestock. Teff can regrow in the same place if left to seed. If it is cut at the right time, it is good quality
fodder and doesn’t need the LS33.
Ryegrass; this is what dairy farmers grow in winter but it would need irrigation. There are annual
and perennial ryegrass species
Oats; this is much easier to grow than ryegrass and is a better fodder
Clover, vetch;Normally these are mixed with grass species sothat it can be grazed safely. Vetch
comes back year after year and stays green in winter. It can be a bit difficult to establish and also is
difficult to plough into
Crop residues; such as maize and bean stover. These are improved by addition of LS33
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Japanese radish/ fodder radish/ turnips; Good fodder
The small table below outlines the nutritional value of common fodder
Fodder type
% protein
% Fibre
Maize grain
1-10
8
Mazie stover
5
42
Kikuyu
10-17
33
Eragrostis hay
6-18
40
Oats (pasture)
12
35
Fodder turnip leaves
Roots
15-25
9-16
23
9
Vetch
20
25
Fibre intake should be as low as possible
Adult cattle need > 8% protein in their feed If it is < 8%, then add the LS 33.
Maize grain is high in energy so it is good for young and growing animals. The grain should be fed
with Premix450 or LS 33.
How much feed isrequired
This is worked out as 2% of body weight
of the animal, for dry feed. Wet feed is
x5 more
Condition scoring
Body weight
(Kg)
Dry feed
(kg)
200
4
300
6
350
7
400
8
650
13
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This is an easy way to check how well the supplementation
and feeding is working. The score sheet provides an
indication and is used to compare cows that are being feed
and given supplements, with those that are not.
Baling of hay
Brigid Letty from the INR, assisted by providing a home-
made manual baler to the learning group for
experimentation purposes. A second one is available. They
are easy to construct and can be made locally. The men in
Stulwane have undertaken tomake their own balers;
materials and tools can be provided for this.
Experimentation
MAKING BALES: 2 bales/week/ cow; thus around 20-30
bales for each cow (June, July, August). 3x50kg bags of
grass makes one bale.
Right and Far right
making a bale of hay the
baler basically compresses
the grass into a block with
the tying twine in place.
Once compressed,there is
a ‘door’ at the front and the
bale is removed through
the door.
Experiment
Names
Comments
Bales with LS33
Mtholeni Dlamini
Delzakhe Hlongwane
Simon Dlamini
Khulekani Dladla
Phumelele Hlongwane
Ntombakhe Zikode
June; Buy premix, LS 33 and blocks and
supplement with veld. Start feeding bales in
July
July- August bales +LS 33.
Bales with Premix 450
Mtholeni Dlamini
Delzakhe Hlongwane
Simon (Thulani) Dlamini
Khulekani Dladla
Phumelele Hlongwane
Ntombakhe Zikode
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Teff Bales
Ntombakhe Zikode
Mtholeni Dlamini
Baling of the Teff they have grown
Residue with LS33
Thulani Dlamini
Khulekani Dladla
Phumelele Hlongwane(maize
and bean stover mixed)
Maize stover
Veld with protein blocks
Lungile Dladla
Matholozane Gumbi
Zodwa Zikode
Phasazile Sithebe
Veld with Premix 450
Ntobmi Dlamini
Fikile Hltashwayo
Hlupizile Zondi
Thulile Zikode
Hlanganise Hlongwane
Phumelele Hlongwane
Participants undertook to do the following:
-Collect monies for the supplements
-And havethesesupplements, as wellas rolls of twine for the bales available through the
farmer centres
-Set up and participate in condition scoring days for the livestock; the first one in mid-End June
-Ensure that they have a viable experiment; cattle in the experiment and cattle not in the
experiment.
Sedawa, Turkey, Mametja - Limpopo
Written by Erna Kruger and Betty Maimela
Most of the fieldworkand monitoring are conducted under the AWARD AgriSi programme. Below a
snapshot is provided of some of the CCA related aspects pertinent to this process.
Learning processes conducted are summarised in the table below.
Table 13: Summary of learning sessions conducted: January-April 2019
Turkey 1 and 2,
Sedawa,
Mametja,
Botshabelo,
2019/01/24,25
2019/02/10
CA demonstrations;
legumes, cover
crops, and fodder
production
28,11
,6
-All participants provided with seed
samples for individual experiments
on CA
Sedawa, Turkey,
Willows (x2)
2019/01/31
2019/02/21
2019/02/26;
2019/03/05
Planning and review
sessions
28,16
,23,1
2
Sedawa, Turkey
2019/03/08
Natural pest
management
workshop (HH)
5
LF’s and 2 lead farmers attended
Turkey
2019/03/06
Installation of small
layers unit in Turkey
9
The Phedisang Turkey DIC group and
a few members of learning group,
Mazwi Dlamini
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Turkey, Sedawa,
Mametja,
Botshabelo
2019/03/12
Agroecology
network-farmers
learning event
12
Participants prepared posters for the
vent on the 11th of March
Turkey, Willows
2019/03/19,21
Gardening practices
revision workshops
and P&D control -
new ideas,Five
fingers review
19, 8
Review of liquidmanure, shallow
trenches, new ideas for P&D control,
plus revision
Five fingers principles in Willows
Sedawa, Turkey
2019/04/03
Post production
workshop at
Hlokomela
12
Workshop for participants involved
in the organic marketing process
Sedawa, Turkey
2019/04/15
Procurement
workshop at
Hoedspruit Hub
16
Workshop for participants involved
in the organic marketing process
Planning and review sessions
Two of the learning groups, Sedawa and Turkey have asked for regular (monthly) planning and review
sessions toensure better communication and implementation coherence. The first of such sessions
has now been conducted for both groups.Below, the session for the turkey group is summarised.The
meeting was suggested in order to revise activities, assess progress and plan future activities for the
group to really build resilience and ensure food security for our households and make an income from
farming.
Garden practices
The five fingers thematic principles for implementation of practices were reviewed. And farmers
implementationof practices was linked to this and assessed. Quite a few of the farmers have not
implemented much and have forgotten the bulk of learning workshops. This revision process was thus
an important reminder.
3. GO KAONAFATA HLOKOMELO
YA DIBJALWA
CROP MANAGEMENT
Mixed cropping- incl intercropping
Pest control brews -Planting of
herbs Mixing herbs and veg
Seed successions- Seed saving
Conservation Agriculture; minimal
soil disturbance, soil cover, crop
diversity
Planting tomaximise shade in
afternoons
4. GO NONTA MOBU
KEEP THE SOIL
FERTILTY/HEALTHY
Dedicated paths and beds
Soil fertility management-
manure
(incl improved manure),
compost, green manures,
legumes, liquid manure
Bed design -trench beds,
shallow trenches, eco-circles,
banana circles/basins
5. HLOKOMELO YA DIMELA TA
TLHAGO
TAKE CARE OF INDIGENOUS PLANTS
Small nurseries-propagation of fruit
and indigenous crops and trees
Planting-windbreaks, hedges, multi-
functional plants, inter cropping
1. GO KAONAFATA TAOLO YA
MEETSE
GOOD WATER MANAGEMENT
Diversion ditches-to carry
water to beds
Mulching -
Improved furrows and ridges
Greywater management and
use;
Drip kit
Tunnels
RWH storage tanks
Small dams
2.GO FOKOTAKGOGOLEGO
YA MOBU
CONTROLLING
SOIL MOVEMENT
Cut off drainsditches across
a contour at top of
garden/slop
Contours- measured with line
level
Stone lines/bunds-made on
contour
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The learning group decided not to implement some practices because they didn’t have water and
subsequently forgot about them.
Below are summaries of the discussions for each theme
(i) Good water management
Participants could not listone practice that they could implement in order to manage water use.
Mr Rackson Magobatlou said for water management he mulches using dry leaves and he has
witnessed that the practice helps in slowing down evaporation. He implemented mulching because
he doesn’t have water, he fetches water from his brother using a wheelbarrow, and he thought if
he started mulching, he wouldn’t have to fetch water every day, which really worked.
Mr Malatjie added that mulching also adds to soil fertility.
Sarah Madire has implemented mulching in her garden and she experienced pest problems (ants
were in her garden feeding from mulching material and damaging her crops). She then decided not
to mulch anymore.
Participants with tunnels received three bucket dripkits to use insidethe tunnel, yet none of the
participants who were attending the meeting are using them (Sarah Madire and Lydia Shai) and
they don’t have the reason why they are not using them.
(ii) Controlling soilmovement
Participants have forgotten a lot about practices that they can implement to prevent soil erosion.
The only thing they could remember was that planting sweet-potatoes in raised beds and furrows
helps with movement of water in the garden and that it prevents soil erosion.
(iii) Crop management
Participants implemented mixed cropping in their gardens. Portia 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.
Lydia Shai has been plantingherbs (coriander and parsley) together with vegetables; the smell of
the herbs helps control pests and diseases.
In terms of pest and diseases control they use ash and a brew made from chilli and soap.
Other participants saidnothing, they normally don’t use any practice for pest control even when
they have pests’ problems in their garden, and they understand that materials used to make brews
for pests’ control are easily accessible, some they can find in their garden but theydon’t have time
to make the brew.
In terms of crop diversity, they have been practicing without understanding that it is part of crop
management and also helps in pest control.
(iv) Improving soil fertility/soil health
They have done and they are still doing trench beds to fertilise the soil. These beds provide good
harvests, and fresh quality vegetables and work a lot better than the traditional way of planting.
Mr Rackson Magobatlou also pointed that he harvested big quantities of spinach that he managed
to sell in the community out of his three trench beds.
Angelina Malatji uses dry leaves mixed together with cow-chicken-and goat manure when
planting.
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Portia 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 on the eco-circles and they are
very happy with the results.
Sarah Madire and Samuel Mogale have been making compost that they use in their garden to
fertilise the soil. Their compost materials are dry leaves, wet leaves, ashes, manure (they all used
goat and cow manure) and water, but when they started having water issues, they started
fertilising their soil using dry leaves mixed with manure (cow and goat manure) then add to their
soil and they have harvested good quality vegetables from their garden.
(v) Looking after indigenous trees
Most participants don’t understand the importance of continuation of planting indigenous plants
One person only, Angelina Malatji has a nursery for indigenous trees, fruit trees and flowers. She
sells mangoes and Ogogoro at R35.00/tree.
The table below indicates the ranking of practices int terms of implementation by the group.
Table 14: Traffic light assessment for implementation of practices in Turkey: Feb 2019
List of practices
Traffic lights:
red/yellow/green
Water
management
Cut off drains and swales
Diversion ditches
Greywater
Water harvesting and storage (check dams, gabions, drums,
basins, small dams and jo-jo tanks)
Drip irrigation
Mulching
Control soil
movement
Contours, diversion ditches, swales, bunds
Stone lines
Furrows
Soil Health
Bed design (trenchbeds, ridges, dedicated beds and paths,
terraces and raised beds
Compost, improved manure, green manure and legumes
Improved crop
management
Mixed cropping
Crop rotation
Seed saving
Nursery/propagation
Continuity- seeding production
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Natural pests and disease control practices
Looking after
indigenous plants
Indigenous or medicinal plants
Indigenous fruit
Other indigenous plants; including windbreakers, hedges
Bee fodder, pest and disease control practices
CA review principles implemented
How many have tried using CA principle when planting maize and cover crops after the CA
demonstration?
Participants clearly stated that by the time they attended CA workshop, they had already planted
their maize and field crops and had no space to try planting using CA principles.
Sarah Madire stated that she also had already planted maize but what she did was to open lines
in between her maize and planted beans to cover the soil.
Traditional poultrytraining
From the training received what have you done?
We loved the training because we have indigenous chickens but the cost that goes with having
chickens where you have to buy chicken feed and buy water without having a market to sell is too
risky. Mr Michael Magobatlou evenadded that if they have to do a survey to see how many people
are willing to buy indigenous chicken, he will find no one in the community who wants to buy
indigenous chickens.
Do any of the participants have poultry? When did it start and how is it going?
No one in the learning group has poultry.
Organic Mango production training
Those who attended the training have not done anything that they were taught from the training.
They said it was late to implement some of the practices, but they didn’t try to use ways to control
diseases and pests in their orchards, which was the practice they could have tried, or composting.
After harvesting recently, theyalso didn’t prune their trees they said they will do that after
harvesting from all the trees.
Market progress and how it will work this year
The market is starting month end of February beginning of March. We will be doingthe Box Scheme
with Hoedspruit Hublike we were doing last year, but with farmers upfront more than Betty and
Andries. There will be a workshop on the first week of April for the farmers participating in the market,
which will be held at Hlokomela garden.
Water issues
Last year October Turkey learning group took the initiative to start looking at options for getting water
for irrigation. They started having meetings where they discussed how they will go about raising cash
to have boreholes for the group. They agreed on contributing R500.00 per household for the borehole,
starting from the 23rd of October to the 31st of January 2019. To this date no one has contributed. They
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are dragging their feeton this matter. On the 21st of February 2019 they all agreed to extend with
another three months and take it from there, the new closing date is the 21st of May 2019.
Water issues follow-up (Sedawa)
Rain gauge information
Rain gauges have been installedat three participants’ homesteads –Sedawa, Mametja and
Botshabelo. These initiallywere linked to run-off plots, but the latter have subsequently been
removed due to two seasons of lack of rain. The rain gauges are monitored so that participants can
have a good indication of the amount of rain for a given month and period and the results are reviewed
during planning and review sessions.
The results are shown in the table below. Results for Miriam Malepe formBotshabelo, are again
slightly unreliable, and those for Christina and Koko correlate well.
Table 15: Rainfall data from 3 community- based rain gauges: Oct 2018-Feb 2019
Village,
name
Date
Rain
mm
Total
mm
Village,
name
Date
Rain
mm
Total
mm
Village,
name
Date
Rain
mm
Total
mm
Botshab
elo
17/10/2018
5,6
Sedawa
17/10/2018
9,9
Sedawa
17/10/2018
8
Miriam
Malepe
01/11/2018
7,3
Christin
a
Thobeja
ne
01/11/2018
5
Koko
Maphori
01/11/2018
3,9
10/01/2019
37, 4
21/11/2018
4,9
21/11/2018
8,1
13/01/2019
27, 0
05/12/2018
4,9
05/12/2018
8,7
15/01/2019
17,3
11/12/2018
30,2
11/12/2018
32,2
25/01/2019
34,9
28/12/2018
48
28/12/2019
50
27/01/2019
30
10/01/2019
8
30/01/2019
32
05/02/2019
22
13/01/2019
5,1
10/01/2019
10,2
13/02/2019
30
147,1
15/01/2019
10,1
13/01/2019
4
25/01/2019
47
15/01/2019
11
28/01/2019
1
25/01/2019
52,6
30/01/2019
38
28/01/2019
1,5
05/02/2019
19
05/02/2019
21
13/02/2019
31,3
262,4
13/02/2019
27,6
270,8
When comparing this rainfall data kept locally with a weather station in the locality the following small
summary table indicates the similarities between the data sets.
Month
Weather station (mm)
Rain gauges (average)
October 2018
5,5
7,8
November 2018
18,9
9,7
December 2018
43,8
87
January 2019
64,5 (until 15th)
100
February 2019
50
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Continuation of water issues in Sedawa
During the monthly planning and review session held in February 2019, it was decided that the group
would go ahead with the option of installing boreholes (1-3) for agricultural water provision for their
group members. The water committee needed to meet and work through a number of points
including:
Deciding which borehole to start on
Working out which members paid from each of the three sub areas, and whostill needs to
contribute
Assessing whether the contribution made thus far in tandem withthe matching grant to be
provided by MDF is enough for drilling the borehole, setting up a collection tank and or setting
up feeder pipes to the participants’ homesteads.
To enable the water committee to work through these issues a summary document was put together
to help them make their decisions.
3RESILIENCE SNAPSHOTS
Individual impact assessment questionnaires have been designed and linked to a resilience snapshot
questionnaire. These have been tested for6 participants per province. As a result, the impact
assessment questionnaire has been streamlined and can now be more widely use. The questionnaire
is presented in Attachment 4 to this report.
Below a case study for the 6 KZN participants is presented.
Resilience snapshot case study for KZN
Summaries of the responses to specific questions are summarised in bullet point and tables.
Learning and change
What have you learnt about dealing with CC and climatic extremes?
I have learnt that practices such as trench beds and CA provide good growth and yields,
despite difficult weather conditions. Also, these practices are cheap. We get more food than
we did before and will now be able to continue farming
Adaptive practices like mulching help to deal with increased heat and water stress
Practices such as trench beds, eco-circles, mulching and mixed cropping enables the soil to
hold moisture for longer and withstand the heat and dry spells.
What is your experience regarding the impact of CC on yourlife?
This season we had drought; the beans did not grow and maize is stunted. I fear will not have
enough food
Cattle have been negatively impacted- more disease and deaths as grazing diminishes
The climate is changing; low rainfall during the planting season and high temperatures are
affecting farming activities
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I have not experienced climate change I do not have water issues(participant in Midlands
of KZN)
Climate change has destabilised our planting patterns and has created a lot of uncertainty
about planting dates for both summer and winter crops
Do you share your knowledge and experiences with the learning group or community
members?
Yes, I talk to my neighbours about the gardening practices, so that they can also try and
revive their gardens
Yes, I have talked to neighbours, some come and visit to see the garden and experiments
and some have even taken pictures.
Yes, I talk to my neighbours and friends and invite them to the learninggroup sessions if
they are not members yet.
How do you sharethe knowledge gained with other members of your community?
Discussions at savings meetings, at the springs when we collect water
When people visit, I show them my garden
What helps you to learn more about new innovations and information?
No
(N=6)
Comments
Listening to other farmers
experiences and experiments
6
I get motivated by other farmers’ work, get new ideas such as
planting potatoes in bags
By doing and experimenting in own
garden
4
This helps me to know how good the practices area, have tried
a no of experiments and included my own ideas
Motivated by other farmers work
and experiences
5
Learnt about raised beds in Msinga
Learning workshops
5
I find them useful because I always hear new information and
experiences form the facilitator and farmers
What new things have you added into your practices? Howhas it worked?
I have not tried anything else new, outside of the practices we were taught; CA, trench beds,
mulching, mixed cropping, RWH, greywater management, seedling production
I have tried a u-shaped garden which helps to collect water, helping plants to grow better.
I have used some of the maize and sunflower seed I grew in the CA trials to feed my indigenous
chickens; this has helped for a better survival rate and even the ability to sell a few.
Climate smart practices
Impacts and lessons learnt
Past issues
Past Practice
Present Practice
Impact and lessons
Livestock
Low
production
Bartered
indigenous
chickens
Selling indigenous
chickens locally
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Feed too
expensive
to buy
Fed chickens’
scraps
Feed of sunflower
and crushed maize
seed from own
production
More chickenssurvive and grow
well making sales possible
Gardening
Low yield
and dry
beds
Raised beds
Trench bedsand
raised beds
Better growth and yield,
increased water holding, beds
remain moist during hot periods,
beds hold water for a long time
fewer pests and diseases,
Fetched water from
communal taps and
springs
Also RWH and grey
water use (unfiltered)
Saves water and timein fetching
water to irrigate
Mulch (dry grass)
Mulch retains moisture, but can
encourage termites
Buy seedlings
Seedling production
Increased number and types of
crops;
Standard veggies
New veggies and
herbs
There is demand in the village for
the new crops; kale, Chinese
cabbage, carrots, More and
different food for longer periods
in the year
Short season for
planting, or no
planting due to lack
of water
Winter planting
Grow crops in garden and in the
fields (sweet potatoes, potatoes)
Field
cropping
CA
Increased water holding and less
run-off, increased ability to
withstand drought
Intercropping
Increased availability of more
types of food,
Legumes
Increased yields
Cover crops
Increased soil health, Feed
availability for livestock
Assessment of impact for CSA practices triedout using local indicators
-1 = worse than normal practice
0=no change
1=some positive change
2=medium positive change
3= high positive change
Name of practice
Soil
Water
Productivity
Labour
Pest and
disease control
Cost and
maintenance
Livelihoods
Adaptation
1
Trench beds
2
2
3
-1
2
0
2
3
2
RWH
0
3
1
-1
0
-1
1
3
3
Mulching
2
2
3
0
3
0
1
2
4
Tower garden
2
3
3
2
0
0
2
2
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5
Planting basins
0
2
2
0
0
1
1
1
7
Raised beds, with mulch
1
2
2
1
0
1
0
1
8
eco-circle
2
3
2
-1
1
0
1
1
9
CA; w intercropping, legumes,
cover crops
3
2
3
1
1
0
2
2
1o
Using goat manure
(composted in a kraal)
3
1
2
0
1
0
1
1
Resilience snapshot
A summary table of the results for all 6 participants is presented below, followed by the more in-depth
Resilience indicators
Rating for increase
Comment
Increase in size of farming
activities
Gardening 18%
Field cropping 63%
Livestock 31%
Cropping areas measured, no of livestock
assessed
Increased farming activities
No
Most participantsinvolved in gardening, field
cropping and livestock management
Increased season
Yes
For field cropping and gardening- autumn and
winter options
Increased crop diversity
Crops: 12 new crops
Practices: 8 new practices
Management options include; drip irrigation,
tunnels, no-till planters, JoJo tanks, RWH
drums,
Increased productivity
Gardening 72%
Field cropping 79%
Livestock 25%
Based on increase in yields
Increased water use
efficiency
25%
Access, RWH, water holding capacity and
irrigation efficiency rated
Increased income
13%
Based on average monthly incomes
Increased household food
provisioning
Maize- 20kg/week
Vegetables 7kg/week
Food produced and consumed in the
household
Increased savings
R150/month
Average of savings now undertaken
Increased social agency
(collaborative actions)
2
Villages savings and loan associations and
learning groups
Increased informed decision
making
5
Own experience, local facilitators, other
farmers, facilitators, extension officers
Positive mindsets
2-3
More to much more positive about the future:
Much improved household food security and
food availability
RESILIENCE SNAPSHOT
(6 participants)
Date
Feb-19
Province
KZN
Bergville, Midlands
Village
Ezibomvini, Eqeleni and Gobizembe
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Increased in
farming (Size)
Before
(Size in
sqm)
Now (Size
in sqm)
Comment: Percentage increase
Gardening
76
93
18%
Field cropping
1400
3767
63%
Livestock
22
32
31%
Trees nat
resources
4
4
0%
Increased
diversity in
farming
Y/N
before
Y/N now
Comment:
Gardening
1
1
Most participants undertake activities in all
four farming categories
Field cropping
1
1
Livestock
1
1
Trees, nat
resources
1
1
Increased
diversity (1)
Managem
ent and
practices
before
No
b4
No
now
What has
changed;
new crops
What has
changed; new
practices
What has
changed; ,
new
manageme
nt
Gardening
raised
beds; use
of ash and
kraal
manure
1
4
Kale, chinese
cabbage,
carrots,
mustard
spinach,
Coriander
mulching,
trenches,
seedling
production,
more crops,
towergardens,
eco circles,
raised beds,
planting basins,
RWH (Jojo
tanks and
drums),
greywater
and organic
gardening,
tunnel, drip
irrigation,
Field cropping
traditional
planting
of maize
1
4
Maize,
beans,
cowpeas,
Lab-Lab,
sunflower,
sunnhemp,
millet,
potatoes,
sweet
potatoes
CA,
intercropping
,legumes,
cover crops,
rotation
Livestock
extensive
foraging
1
1
sunflower,
maize
Feeding of
poultry -
crushed maize
and sunflower
Trees nat
resources
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Types
BEFORE:
Quantity
(KG, No)
NOW:
Quantity
(KG,No)
Percent
age
increas
e
Increased
productivity
Gardening
Spinach
7,8
15,3
49%
(Amount in
kgs/tonnes,
10,20,50kg
bags/containers,
no of meals (for a
family)
Cabbage
5
8
38%
Potatoes
10
20
50%
Carrots
0
10
100%
Green
pepper
0
30
100%
Chinese
cabbage
0
8,5
100%
Chilli
5
7
29%
Onions
5
8
38%
Beetroot
4,3
11,3
62%
Kale
0
15
100%
Mustard
spinach
0
30
100%
Coriander
0
30
100%
72%
Field cropping
Maize
99,3
257,8
61%
Beans
4
16,8
76%
Cowpea
0
5
100%
79%
Livestock
Chickens
15
20
25%
Trees nat
resources
Increase
Access
Inc
RWH
Inc water
holding
incr water
productivity
(irrigation)
SCALE
Increased water use
efficiency (inclRWH,
water holding, water
access, water
productivity)
1
1
2
1
0= same or worse than
before; 1= somewhat better
than before, 2= much better
than before
Increased
livelihood security
(income)
Income before
(ave monthly in
Rands)
Income now(Ave
monthly in Rands)
Comments
1433
1650
Increased
livelihood security
(Household
provisioning and
food security)
Food types (staples, veg,
livestock, fruit)
Quantity/
week (kg)
No of times/
week (1-7)
Sales/week
(in Rands)
Comments
maize
20
7
0
6 of 6
Veg (Spinach, chillies,
green pepper)
10
5
225
2 of 6
Veg(spinach, chinese
cabbage, tomato
10
3
0
6 of 6
Veg (beetroot, chilli)
1
1
0
6 of 6
Chicken
2
2
0
1 of 6
Pigs (kg of meat)
10
1
2500
1 of 6
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Cattle (no sold/yr)
1
10000
1 of 6
Fruit
1
1
1 of 6
Increased
livelihood
diversity/opti
ons
Income
options
Before
Income
options
Now
Comment; name new
options e.g. which
crops, etc
Scale
1,4
1,3,4
Small incomes form
farming now possible
1=social grants; 2= remittances;
3=farming income;4= small
business
Amount per
month Before
Amount per
month Now
Use of savings
Scale
0
R150
2,3,4
1=food; 2=household use;
3=education; 4= production;
5=other
Increased
growing season
Yes/no
Before
Yes/no Now
Comment
Gardening
0
1
Now grows crops in winter in garden
and fields
Field cropping
0
1
Livestock
0
0
Trees nat
resources
0
0
Collaborative
actions/social
agency
Activities in groups Before-
name
Activities in
groups Now
E.g. savings, church, learning groups,
coops, farmers associations, work
teams, selling, inputs, farmers
centres water committees
Stokvel
VSLA
Learning group
Informed
decision
making
Information used to
choose activities Before
Information used to choose
activities Now
E.g. Other community
members, learning in
groups, written info, radio,
facilitators, extension
officers, etc
Own experience
Own experience
Extension officer
Extension officer
Learning group members
Local facilitator
Facilitator
Positive
mindsets
Rate your
mindset
Before
Rate your
mindset
now
SCALE:0=less positive about the future; 1=the same;
2=more positive about the future; 3=much more positive
0
2-3
Much improved household foodsecurityand food
availability.
4PARTICIPATORY IMPACT ASSESSMENT (PIA)
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Background
A specific framework for monitoring of impact of the CSA practices on livelihoods and vulnerability is
required to be able to assess increased resilience.This framework works alongside the more
conventional process, output and outcome indicators. ‘
For this process the PIA framework has been used to outline the indicators used at communitylevel
and provide for a qualitative assessment of increased resilience by community members. A group
process has been designed and tested, as has an individual survey instrument. Both will be reported
on here.
In PIAs there are three basic questions:
1. What changes have there been in the community since the start of the project/process
2. Which of these changes are attributable to the projects
3. What differences have these changes made to people’s lives
Impact indicators measure changes that occur in people’s lives and can be qualitative or quantitative
Impact indicators look at the end result of project activities on people’s lives. Ideally, they measure
the fundamental assets, resources and feelings of people affected by the project. Therefore, impact
indicators can include household measures of income and expenditure, food consumption, health,
security, confidence and hope.
Community impact indicators may be quantitative, such as income earned from crop sales, or
qualitative, such as improved skills, knowledge or social status.
Therefore, tracking changes in food, income and expenditure can often be a useful way of measuring
impact against community indicators of impact and against coping strategies.
2
PIA workshop outline
1. Recap climatechange impacts
Explore what people have noticed about impacts and make lists under headings: natural,
physical, economic, human and social
Group level brainstorming of ideas; written on cards under the headings given, with arrows for increase
or decrease
2. Recap adaptive strategies/ practices
What have people been doing to adapt to this, fix the problems, make things better?
What can be done? (first look at hat has been done and then any further ideas of what can
be done)
2
Catley A, Burns J, Adebe D and Suji O. 2014. Participatory Impact Assessment: A Design
Guide. Feinstein International Centre. Tufts University, Somerville, USA.
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Elucidate adaptations for each category: natural, physical, economic human, social
Group level brainstorming; write on different cards (those done and those thought of) and place next
to theimpact, indicate with a * which of these havebeen facilitated or introduced (and by whom)
this can be other farmers, projects, extension officers….
3. Practices: Recap 5 fingers and list all practices under each category
Re-introduce the 5 fingers concept and include a further category of the whole hand
which is the social and personal
Which practices have been implemented (introduced and other)?
Go around in the circle and each person mentions what s/he has done (productive, economic, social,
personal actions) and what she would still like to try
Add these practices to the five fingers diagram
Make an A1 diagram of the five finger and then add practices on cards
Go through practices recommended through the DSS
Use cards with ranked practices from the DSS-describe and show the ones that people are not familiar
with.
Rank practices for next round of implementation
Rank the list of practices by a show of hands.
4. What have been the changes or benefits from each practice
What changes have there been?
Brainstorming changes an interrogate to get to the more
How important are these changes to your lives? How do you decide? Which criteria would
you use to decide?
Do a matrix ranking: changes (in columns), criteria (in rows) Use proportional piling, working down
each column by asking “how importantis this practice for the criteria”and comparing the practices
with each other (to an extent) as you go down the list…. Exercise is done in small groups of 5-8
participants
Below is an example of how this could look
food
income
Soil, water
Access, ease,
knowledge
Trench beds
Tunnels
CA
Cover crops
Legumes
Other crops;
potatoes,
sweet potatoes
Savings
Subsidised
inputs
Saving for
inputs
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Farmer centre
Small
businesses
Learning group
Water
committee
6. Expanding on practices
Introduce new practices for each of five fingers
Participants assess each practice (after deciding on criteria for how you decide this practice
is useful?)
Eventually the whole exercise can be summarised in the table below
Natural
Physical
Economic
Human
Social
CC impacts
Adaptive
strategies
Actions/
practices
Changes due
to practices
Importance of
these changes
to your
livelihood
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Crops Livestock
Soil health and
fertility
Water
Natural
resources/
landscape
SYNERGIES
Soil
and water
conservation
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PIA workshop Bergville 2019/04/11
Attendance
30 participants were invited; A selection of participants from
learning groups in 8 villages: Stulwane (8 participants), Thamela
(1 participant), Nthabamhlophe -Estcourt (2 participants),
Eqeleni (4 participants), Ezibomvini (10 participants),
Emazimbeni (3 participants) and Emabunzini (2 participants).
These participants represent those in the villages actively
pursuing and experimenting with some of the CSA practices
introduced and those most engaged in the mixed farming
systems typical in the area.
Right Above and Below: Bergville and Ntabamhlophe
participants in the PIA workshop
Facilitators; Lindelwa Ndaba (from Lima-RDF) joined the MDF
team with one of her local facilitators from Ntabamhlophe, to
learn about this process, for incorporation into her work in Food
Security in her organisation.
Climate change
Here participants summarised their observations as an
introduction into the process of assessingthe impact of CSA
practices:
Less rainfall
Late rains
Greater intensity of storms and strong winds
Increased heat in spring, summer and autumn
Climate change impacts on farming and livelihoods
This exercise was repeated, partly to assess whether people’s perception of changes and impacts have
shifted, now that they are moreaware tothe issues at hand. It also provided anopportunity for
participants across villages and from different areas to engage with each other around their
understanding and perceptions. This exercise was conducted at the beginning of the process as well.
For this exercise the impacts were divided into the 5 livelihoodcategories and is summarised inthe
table below.
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Natural
(environment and
farming
Physical
(infrastructure,
environment)
Economic
Human (Skills,
knowledge,
agency)
Social
(organisation,
cohesion)
Earthworms
disappear
Water shortages;
reduced flow in
streams and springs,
boreholes dry up
Food shortages
Increase in
diseases in
humans
No progress here
Degradation of veld
and reduced grazing
Severe erosion of
roads and damage to
houses byheavy
rainfall
Water shortages
at household level
Farming is done
by older people;
the younger
people are lazy
People don’t
work together
Livestock break into
fields and eat crops
Dongas are increasing
in number and size
Farming inputs
and services are
very expensive
Water borne
diseases from
drinking dirty
water
Traditional
leadership is no
longer respected
More diseases in
cattle, requiring
purchase of
medication and
vaccines and more
deaths
Damage to wetlands
from people building
there, overgrazing
and other uses.
Other community
members steal
farmers’ produce
Contours in the fields,
that were made many
years agohave not
been maintained and
now there is erosion
in the fields
Severe erosion due to
denuding of land,
followed by heavy
rainfall
Learning groups;
some conflict in
some of the
learning groups
has reduced
participation.
More crop damage
from birds than
before
SOME GENERAL ADAPTIVE MEASURES PROPOSED
- Savings
- Rotational group saving for buying and putting up fencing
- Small businesses
- Buying fencing
-Request support for fencing and ask Government support as well although with
the latter participants are aware that Government support is unlikely.
COMMENTS ON PLANTING DATES
-People who planted in November- have struggled with lack of germination
- More germination for those who planted in December
-Spraying with Decis (pesticide against cutworms and stalk borer) helped with
germination and growth (more pests were present) and reduced eating of seed by
birds
- A few participants even planted in Januaryand this worked quite well in this last
season
- One participant in Thamela mulched her whole field and planted in November and
has had promising germination and growth from this
-Participants also noted that beans did notgrow at all, but the cowpeas have done
reasonably well, even under these difficult conditions.
It is difficult to make decisions about planting dates now thatthe climate is more
unpredictable.
The importance of crop residues to maintain soil moisture cannot be under-
estimated
Dry soil
Seeds don’t
germinate
Extreme windsthat
damage vegetation
and crops
More veld fires
More pests in crops
and new pests that
were not present in
the past
Fertilizer is
ineffective in hot, dry
conditions
Planting times for
crops are changing in
unpredictable ways
There are small water
sources in some
people’s
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homesteads, which
they refuse to share
with others
General comments about this discussion:
1. The participants’’ understanding of the
contribution of CC to the erosion issues in their
villages shows a good grasp of the process.
They have commented on the process of
denuding of the environment due to heat,
drought and grazing pressure, followed by
heavy storms and the increased damage caused
to the environment due to this. They are also
aware of the reduction in water from
boreholes, wetlands and springs and how the
climate variability, along with bad management
practices have exacerbated this process.
Right: An outline of CC impacts puttogether by the
participants
2. Participants discussed the fact that there are
only about 30% of community members in each
of the villages who are farming. The rest of the
inhabitants do not respect people’s efforts and
do not cooperate in terms of managing their livestock. They have even been known to take
their cattle to the fields to graze and to steal some of the crops. The traditional authorities
and Local Municipality are not focused on peoples’ problems and do not seem to care. They
do not assist. This has now led to an increased feeling for the need to fence their fields.
Round 23% of participants present, have already fenced their fields.
3. Fencing is expensive and people suggested joint savings and implementation options to
spread this burden. They would also like to request assistance, but know that they are
unlikely to find support in the short term. They do however believe that they can ask for
assistance form the department of Agriculture. A further suggestion is that they club
together to fence one large piece of land and then work there together as this should be
cheaper than fencing each person’s field separately.
4. There was a long discussion on the merits of soil cover from crop residues and how this can
assist with the problem of deciding on a planting date related to weather variability. One
person went a far as mulching her whole field- which has had very promising results for her-
given that her November planting of field crops was successful, whereas it was not for
others. This also links into the discussions held about production of fodder crops and fencing
of fields, as management of crop residues for soil cover will then become a possibility.
5. Participants do not believe that the lack of interest in farming is because of climate change,
but is a broader societal issue; where people and especially the youth have become lazy,
with high expectations of support and prefer not to be active at all, than to put in effort into
activities with low returns.
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CSA practices
Here participants describedpractices they are using under the five fingers (soil, water, cropping
(gardening and field cropping, livestock and natural resource management. We decided also to include
a further category - social agency, or what they described as people management
Soil
Water
Crop (garden and field)
Livestock
Natural
Resources
People
Making compost
Drip irrigation
Diversified crops in
gardens; beetroot,
Chinese cabbage, carrots,
parsley, thyme,
Vaccinations
Savings
Use of goat and
cattle manure
Mulching
Shade cloth tunnels
Dipping
Small
businesses
Canopy cover and
legumes (Lab-Lab)
Infiltration pits
Beds: raised beds, trench
beds, eco-circles
Proper feed;
including from
fodder
produced
Farmer
centres
Diversified crops
to hold soil and
prevent erosion
Gardenlayout
with shallow
furrows for
water
harvesting and
retention
Tower gardens fertility
and greywater
management
Addition of
supplements
Selling
chickens
Greywater
management
Conservation agriculture;
including management of
residues
Limiting burning
of veld
Improved
irrigation
practices
Inter cropping and crop
rotation
Planting grass;
ungwengwe
and kikuyu
Rainwater
storage in JoJo
tanks and
drums
Diversified crops in fields;
different varieties of
maize, sorghum, millet,
legumes (e.g. cowpeas,
beans, Lab-lab), cover
crops
Spring
protection
Use of Decis Forte
(Pyrethrins) for pest
control in fields
Buying JoJo
tanks and
negotiating
with water
trucks to fill
these
Liquid manure
Mixed cropping in
gardens
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From this table it can be seen that
participants have implemented a wide
range of practices in cropping and
gardening and have also started to
focus on livestock production and
management. They have given no
attention to natural resources
management, erosion control, or soil
and water conservation in grazing
management.
Right: Ananalysis of practices related
to the “five fingers’ concept
In addition, participantsspecifically
mentioned the benefits of trench beds:
These beds produce very high yields
They keep the soil fertile for a long time and
They hold a lot of water saving on irrigation needs.
In addition, although agro-ecology is promoted and organic gardening demonstrated and promoted,
the use of pesticides such as Blue Death (Carbaryl) and Bulala Zonke (Malathion) in the gardens, is
common.
In addition, in the Conservation Agriculture experimentation process participants have been using
Decis Forte (pyrethrin) to control both cut worm and stalk borer. Contrary to expectations that the
need for this pesticide would reduce over time, participants feel that itis becoming more important
with the changing weatherconditions as the stalk borer load in their fields has increased. They also
believe that spraying this pesticide reduces the incidence of birds feeding on their seed.
Changes and benefits from CSA practices
This exercise consisted of doinga matrix ranking of practices farmers have used in the past year;
incorporating gardening, field cropping, livestock management, soil and water conservation and water
issues (access, availability).
Impact indicators for this exercise were developed in 2 small groups by asking participants to outline
how they make decisions about which practices to use and what changes they would observe.
Below is a summary of the Matrix for each of the 2 small groups. A process of proportional piling was
used forthe scoring ofeach practice andindicator where 100 counters were provided for each
indicator and the small group decided how these would be placed proportionally for each practice. In
this way participants can comment on; more or less, and how much more or less. The outcome of the
exercise is quantifiable in terms of gauging percentages.
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The 3rd group conducted an exercise in comparing different water saving practices
Matrix 1
For this matrix the practices were conflated to encompass all specific practices within that category.
Conservation agriculture; minimal tillage, soil cover, crop diversification
Savings: Village saving and loan associations, rotational saving in small groups towards
specific infrastructural needs, personal savings
Livestock; fodder production, vaccinations, dipping, supplementation
Gardening; bed design (trench beds, eco-circles, raised beds, tower gardens, tunnels,
mulching, mixed cropping, crop diversification, inclusion of herbs, infiltration pits and water
conservation furrows.
Crop rotation; 3-4 crop rotations in field cropping
Intercropping: grain-legume and grain -cover crop intercropping options in field cropping
Small businesses; including agricultural and non- agricultural businesses; sale of snacks in
schools, sewing, baking, poultry production, maize milling etc.
The impact indicators developed by this group are of particular interest as they are multi-dimensional
talking at least two different aspects for each indicator Additionally, the exercise was run so that each
practice is compared with the other practices when considering one of the indicators or criteria. This
greatly increases the value and reliability of the scores provided by the group.
Comments:
The overall impact on livelihoods (which is seen as the combination of the indicators chosen
by the group) is shown under the ‘total” column. From this, the participants clearly consider
the Conservation Agriculture (CA) process as the most significant, followed by gardening,
small businesses, savings and livestock in decreasing order
Soil;
health
and
fertility
Money;
income
and
savings
Productivity;
acceptance of
practice,
saving in
farming
equipment,
labour
Knowledge;
increased
knowledge
and ability to
use
Food; how
much
produced
and how
healthy
Water;
use
and
access
Social agency;
Support,
empowerment
Total
Conservation
Agriculture
22
21
26
28
18
23
18
156
Savings
6
15
14
15
12
11
15
88
Livestock
19
11
18
7
5
12
11
83
Gardening
14
15
12
13
15
17
21
107
Crop rotation
16
12
13
12
12
15
10
90
Intercropping
12
13
15
12
11
11
9
83
Small
businesses
11
17
15
10
20
11
9
93
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The practices of crop rotation and intercropping fall under the ambit of CA.the comparison
of these two practices by community members has shown some very interesting learnings
and conceptions;
oCrop rotation is considered to be better at increasing soil health and soil fertility
than intercroppingshowing an internalisation by the group of the positive effects
of rotation of the main grain crops with legumes and cover crop combinations, as
well as an observation that this works better than intercropping by itself. This
observation is clearly supported by academic evidence.
oIncome, savings and productivity areconsidered to be somewhat higher for
intercropping; again, a very astute observation from the group. Generally,
participants prefer crop rotation over inter-cropping, but are able to appreciate the
increases in productivity and potential income due to intercropping options.
oWater use and access is considered by this group to be quite a bit better for crop
rotation, when compared to intercropping. They have noticed the potential of
intercropped grain and legume plots as well as grain and cover crop plots to show
signs of water stress and competition for water (and potentially nutrients) between
the crops. Although, academically this is not the case in well managed fields, it is
quite likely in more infertile plots.
oRegarding social agency; group participants are more easily able to relate to the
concept of crop rotation as they find crop management in the single cropped blocks
a lot easier (including weeding and harvesting) and do not have difficult decisions to
make in terms of choices of timing of harvesting and extended harvesting periods.
Matrix 2
Money
Food
Fertility
Saving water
Total
Mulching
8
13
26
23
70
CA; Maize and bean
intercrop
11
23
20
15
69
Pipes for channelling
water to households
17
24
6
12
59
Trench beds
19
7
18
19
63
Using animal traction
13
19
6
15
53
CA; crop rotation
23
11
18
9
61
Tower gardens
9
4
6
7
26
Matrix 3; water practices ranking
This group Ranked the practices,rather than the criteria and discussions revolved primarilyaround
water management in gardens.
Practice
Ranking
Criteria
JoJo tanks
5
Good healthy food, water supply, safe clean water, increased moisture
holding, reduced conflict among neighbours, and reduced costs
Grey water
1
Infiltration pits
1
Mulching
1
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Comment: The JoJo tanks assist the most, but in winter, they need to be filled from water tankerssupplied by
the Municipality, which can be expensive.
Comments:
JoJo tanks are considered a good investment for increased water security at household and
gardening level, much more so than any of the in- situ water conservation practices such as
infiltration pits and mulching.
Interestingly, participants from both Bergville and Estcourt mentioned that they have
persuaded the operators for the water tankers from the municipality to fill up their JoJo
tanks for a fee. This is a win-win situation for both the participants, who can now have
access to a lot more water than is usually supplied to them through the municipality and the
municipalities themselves, who can now offer water to selected households and feel that
they are “doing their work”.
At a systemic level however, this is an extremely alarming trend. The water tankers are meant
to be a back-up plan for municipalities where their water supply falls short in terms of servicing
people and for emergencies. It has however become the main way in which water is provided
and is unfortunately part and parcel of the broader defrauding of government coffers and
state capture. It is possibly the most expensive way to supply water that was ever conceived
and allows certain interests to benefit disproportionately-namely the companies providing
and maintaining these tankers, which predictably are linked tothe government officials
themselves. One tanker is said to cost aroundR35 000/ day to run and maintain, but only
carries around 20 000l of water- and if used to fill up JoJo tanks, can only supply around 5-10
people in a day. The fees paid to the tanker operators are also bribes, rather than an official
process, making theentire procedure extremely questionable.
Expanding on CSA practices
Participants have suggestedthat they will continue expanding the CSA practices and have outlined
strategies for each of the villages. What this shows is that there is substantialpotential for horizontal
expansion and learning within the communities themselves and that if a careful, fully participatory
process is used for introduction and support of CSA practices, that quite complex processes can be
talked. The community members whoare still engaged in farming have a “hunger’ for farming systems
that are more productive and that would better support their livelihoods and take on new ideas.
It also indicated the clearly that farmers learning from other farmers is the most successful and the
most likely to build a sustainable framework of implementation that the participants can build on.
Village
New practices
COMMENTS
Stulwane
-Fencing of fields
-Grazing management
-Making hay bales
-Fodder production
-Supplementation with protein in winter
(licks, pre-mixes and liquids)
There is a lot of interest in the tunnels
and participantshave agreed to save
towards buying shade netting and
putting up their own structures- as the
provision of further tunnel kits through
this process is not possible.
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-Saving for shade netting tunnels
Interest in fodder production, making
of hayand supplementation for
livestock is high and interestingly also
something that a number of women
have volunteered to become involved
in especially in Ezibomvini and
Eqeleni.
Emazibeni and Emabunzini are areas
where participants have come across
the work done in other villages and
have asked to be brought on board.
They are learning about CSA from
these groups and individuals.
Eqeleni
-Fodder production-Continue with
planting different fodder types
-Making of hay bales
-Supplementation
-Saving for shade netting tunnels
Ezibomvini
-Spring protection
-Making of hay bales
-Supplementation
-Saving for shade netting tunnels
Thamela
-Eco-circle
-Saving for shade netting tunnels
Emazimbeni
-Fencing of fields
- Tower gardens
- Planting pottoes in bags
-Saving for shade netting tunnels
Emabunzini
-Trench beds
-Saving for shade netting tunnels
Evaluation of the workshop
Some significant comments made in closing by participants included:
We learnt a lot by bringing people from different areas together
We have been provided with information on how to implement different practices such as
different types of beds in the garden and water management
We have also seen the proof of these practices here in Phumelele’s garden
We are grateful that Mahlathini has not forgotten the farmers
5CSA PRACTICES / DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEM
Written By Erna Kruger and Catherine van den Hoof1
1Post- doctoral fellow at the global change research and sustainability Institute, WITS.
The initial modelling process designed has now been refined and updated. A few of the input
parameters have been changed to moreclearlyreflect the local conditions in South Africa and more
baseline interviews have been conducted and compiled toruna more accurate simulation of the
model
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Baselines and DSS refined
A total of 41 baseline interviews have now been conducted across 7 villages across Limpopo, KZN and
EC.
The number have been increased to; increase the reliability of the summary information, ‘ratify” the
farmer typology suggested and provide input forthe DSS modelling process to test the design for
coherence.
From this summary table it is possible to build a ‘profile’ of the community members who have been
engaging on a voluntary basis in this climate change adaptation learning process:
Around 71% of the participants in this process are women and the average age of
participants is 51 years.
Female headed households consist of 63%, and in general 76% of participants are heads of
their household.
All participants belong to social groups linked to livelihood activities in the following order of
prevalence: learning groups, savings groups, school gardening groups and cooperatives.
Average household size is 6 people, with slightly more adults on average, than children in
each household
The dependency ratio is 1,14
Income is received from grants for 63% of households, from salaries for 46% of households
and from sale of produce for 36,5% of households
29.0
51.2
31
10
18
8
41
31
20
16
12
3.2
2.8
1.14
26
19
15
2.33
5.77
Gender (F)
Average Age
Household head
Primary school
High school
Tertiary
Social organization
Learning group
Savings group
School gardening group
Farmer 's cooperative
No, of adults in HH
No, of children
Dependency ratio
Grants
Salary
Income from veg sales
Income (in R1000)- unemployed
Income (in R1000)- employed
Baseline inofrmation: Socio-economic (n=41)
Total
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Average income for unemployed households (no-one in the household is employed) is R
2330/month and for those households where 1 or more members are employed is
R5770/month.
Severe disparity in income potential between male and female headed households, linked to
ahigher dependency ratio indicating care for more children, in female headed households
indicate the high level of vulnerability of these households. This is summarisedin the small
summary table below.
The picture for access to resources indicates that:
A large proportion of participants (73%) have access to small areas of land (0,1-1ha) for
gardening and cropping,
Around 80% of participants undertake mixed farming (gardening, cropping and livestock
husbandry), with 20% engaging in further livelihood activities,
Around 88% of participants have access to municipalwater for household use (albeit very
limited amounts. None of the participants have access to agricultural water,
73%
12%
12%
76%
73%
80%
20%
61%
22%
51%
37%
7%
49%
78%
73%
90%
12%
27%
41%
90%
0,1 - 1 ha
1-2 ha
>2ha
Gardens
Field cropping
Livestock, chickens
No,other livelihood activities
Fruit trees
Indigenous plants
Tap water
Standpipe
Borehole
RWH storage
Electricity
Fencing
Hand tools
Traction; incl animal
Market access
Local markets
Training and advice
farm
scale
operation
farming
activities
Natur
al
resou
rces HH infrastructure
Farmi
ng
infras
tructu
re
Livelihoo
ds
Baseline information: Access to resources (N=41)
%
Household head
Ave hh income
Dependency ratio
Male headed
R 6 730
0,89
Female headed
R 1 361
1,21
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Around 90% of participants have access only to handtools and around 12% areengaged in
animal traction. None of the participants own tractors and
Around 41% of participants have access to local markets and 27% have access to more
formalised markets.
From this summary information, it is clear that support CSA needs to focus in mixed farming systems,
low external input and sustainable options and livelihoods stabilisation food first, then income. A
focus on microfinance options such as savings, micro-loans and small businesses is also important.
The next section gives an indication of the proportional levels of poverty for the participant group
Typologies
Smallholder farmers fall within different categories of resource availability, capabilities and aims for
their farming. A typology(segmentation approach)for the smallholder participants was developed
earlier in this process. With the additional participant baselines and assessments, thistypology has
been ratified and an indication of the proportion of participants belonging to each category has been
gleaned. The typologies are briefly summarised below
The table below indicates the typology for each of the participants interviewed for the baseline
assessment
Table 16: Typologies for participants in baseline survey, 2019
Province
Village
Name and Surname
Typology A
Typology B
Typology C
Limpopo
Sekororo
Chenne Mailula
0
1
0
Sekororo
Lydia Sechube
1
0
0
Sekororo
Xhukwane
0
1
0
Sekororo
Masine Morerwa
0
0
1
Sekororo
Mdimi Shai
0
1
0
TYPOLOGY A: (2,5million);
Female, farm for food only,
very low incomes mostly
unemployed, access to small
plots, no hhlevel access to
water, lower education levels
and no access to formal
markets.
Belong to VSLAs, engage in
other livelihood activities
TYPOLOGY B: (250 000)
Male and female, farm for
food and sell surplus, slightly
higher incomes, some
access tohh levelwater,
somewhat higher education
levels and no access to
formal markets
Belong to VSLAs
TYPOLOGY C: (10 000);
Male, farm mainly for
income, much higher
incomes from employment
in hh, good access to water,
higher education levels and
access to formal markets.
Belong to cooperatives or
farm individually
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Sekororo
Flora Maimela
1
0
0
KZN
Swayimane
Khanyisile Xasibe
1
0
0
Swayimane
Thandazile Mathonsi
0
1
0
Swayimane
Constance Mcanyana
1
0
0
Swayimane
Busisiwe Khoza
1
0
0
Swayimane
Lindiwe Zondi
1
0
0
Swayimane
Gugu Ximba
1
0
0
Ntabamhlophe
Winnie Dlamini
0
1
0
Ntabamhlophe
Zanele Ngobese
0
0
1
Eqeleni
Ntombakhe Zikode
1
0
0
Eqeleni
Thulile Zikode
1
0
0
Eqeleni
Sibongile Zikode
1
0
0
Eqeleni
Nomalanga Khumalo
1
0
0
Eqeleni
Balungile Mkhwanazi
1
0
0
Eqeleni
Sizeni Dlamini
0
1
0
Ezibomvini
Nombono Dladla
1
0
0
Ezibomvini
Zodwa Zikode
1
0
0
Ezibomvini
Phumelele Hlongwane
0
1
0
Ezibomvini
Sdudla Sibiya
1
0
0
Ezibomvini
Fikile Zikode
1
0
0
Ezibomvini
Gcinile Zikode
1
0
0
Ezibomvini
Nonhlanhla Zikode
0
1
0
EC
Mxumbu
Pheza Makisi
0
0
1
Mxumbu
Bongiwe Mxonywa
1
0
0
Mxumbu
Xolisa Dwane
0
0
1
Mxumbu
Mncadi Mabandla
0
0
1
Mxumbu
Mandisa Mama
0
0
1
Mxumbu
Siyabulela Gungqceni
0
1
0
Mxumbu
Thangolomuzi Hogana
0
0
1
Dimbaza
Aviwe Biko
1
0
0
Nowawe
Jack Mphangeli
1
0
0
Xhukwane
Jende Monwabisi
0
1
0
Dimbaza
Tshembela Nadathini
0
0
1
Ginsberg
Parichi Edmore
0
1
0
Quzini
Msisiwe Phindiwe
0
0
1
Quzini
Nomasomi Mjacu
0
0
1
TOTAL
20
11
10
From this table,49% ofparticipantsfall under typology A, 27% under typology Band24 % under
typology C. The proportions are somewhat different to a broader assessment of typologiesfor rural
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smallholder communities; which indicate 72% in typologyA, 29% in typology Band 5% in typology C
(Cousins B, 2015)
3
.
The proportionof participants in the different segments of typologies, for this study, indicate a good
spread of people across all three typologies and indicate that the methodology and decision support
process is appropriate for all three typologies.
Refinement of the DSS Model
All information, except the physical environment; i.e. climate, soil and topography, and the resources
and management strategies, were derived through the use of a range of participatory processes. Data
on the physical environmental conditions have been taken from datasets freely available online. This
information can however be customised by the DSS user, incase more appropriate information is
available for the specific farmer concerned.
The first round of modelling consisted of using the baseline information of 26 HH across KZN, EC and
Limpopo to assess the fit of the model. The output of the model is a list/basket of practices for each
farmer based on the physical environment, farming system and farmer typology.
-Variables in the physicalenvironment include: the agroecological zone, soil texture,
percentage organic carbon, and slope
-Variables in the farming system include: gardening, field cropping livestock management and
natural resources/trees
-Within each farming system the resources to manage are assessed- as further variables using
the following criteria:
Resources and management strategies
water (quantity)
soil
(fertility)
crop/tree resistance and
efficiency
Livestock resistance and
efficiency
harvesting
retention
use efficiency
conservation
improvement
water
heat
nutrient
disease
water
heat
nutrient
disease
3
Cousins, B. (2015). Through a glass darkly: towards agrarian reform in South Africa, in: Ben Cousins and Cherryl Walker (eds), 2015. Land
Divided, Land Restored. Land Reform in South Africa for the 21st Century. Auckland Park: Jacana (250-269).
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Four types of resources have been identified: water, andin particular quantity (1), soil, in particular
fertility (2), crops (3) and livestock (4), in particular efficiency and resistance, as represented in Figure
4. Efficiency refers to the conversion of water, nutrients or land into the required output, such as
biomass per unitarea of land cultivation or seed generation of the plantitself. Resistance relates to
crops or livestock that are for example better adapted todrought or heat conditions or better
protected against diseases, etc.
-Variablesin the farmer typology include: gender of household head, dependency ratio, level
of education, employment status, income, electricity or tap water in the household, access to
markets, reason for farming and farm size (These are the independent variables extracted
from the baseline survey for each farmer).
Assumptions made
The informationprovided in this section as well as the section above has been compiled and used to
build Table 3. The justification for managing the different resources in our DSS is as follows:
Semi-arid warm: in this environment water is limited and the temperatures can be hot. Water
and heat stress are the main limiting factors. Pests and diseases inplants and animals are
present.
Sub-humid cool: in a more humid environment, weeds grow well and can create a competing
environment for nutrients. Plants and animals are also more prone to diseases.
Sandy soils: those soils have poor structures, with low water and nutrient holding capacity.
They heat up fast. Certain practices are not suitable in sandy soils and more specifically sandy
soils in semi-arid regions, where rainfed crops and trees can be difficult to establish and
maintain.
Clayey soils: high levelof clay can increase the probability of erosion due to crusting, in
particular undersemi-arid environment.Water andOC retention in claysoils are important
management principles.
OC: soils with less than 1,5% OC are considered to be of low fertility.%OC in sandy soils is
inherently lower and more difficult to build up than in high clay soils.
Slope: above 5% sloping, agricultural production becomessub-optimal due to erosion and run-
off, in both semi-arid and sub-humid regions. Slope above 15%; agricultural production is not
suitable under all conditions, due to water and nutrient run-off.
Table 9allows us to identify, for each farming HH, the resources to manage and the related strategies
within each farming system taking the environmental conditions into account. It thus combines the
proxis for the physical environment, farming systems and management strategies.
Table 17:Criteria to define the resources to manage and related strategies (version 1)
Note: * (solely in semi-arid zone)
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Practices recommended (Round 1) for 26 HH
Based on the above assumptions and proxies a list of practices were recommended for the initial 26
household baseline. These lists have been “reality tested” against the facilitation team’s general
experience in the areas. It was found that soil and waterconservation practiceswere under
represented when using this version of the model. This outcome is summarised in the slide below (as
presented at the Agroecology Networking session in December 2018)
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Refinement of the DSS model (Version 2)
Three changes have been made:
1. It has been assumed that water (harvesting, retention and use efficiency) is important for all
farmers (thus=1 for all)
2. It has been assumed that soil conservation is important for all farmers (thus=1 for all)
3. Certain restrictions for soil texture and slope have been removed. Water (harvesting,
retention and use efficiency) and soil conservation are no longer restricted to the semi-arid
zone only, as was the case in the first round.
The table 9 above has thus been changed as shown in table 10 below. Basically the *s have been
removed
Table 18: Criteria to define the resources to manage and related strategies (version 2)
Minor changes were also made to some of the excel formulae used in the model.
These changes have broadened the practices recommended for most of the participants, as shown in
the examples below; one participant each from KZN, Limpopo and Eastern Cape. The practices
highlighted in brown are new practices included in version 2 of themodel, a further 9 practices related
to soil and water conservation. This version is considered a better fit for conditions on the ground.
Table 19: Basket/list of practices recommended for version 1 and 2 of the DSS
Province
KZN
Limpopo
EC
Village
Ezibomvini
Sekororo
Mxumbu
Name and Surname
Phumelele Hlongwane
Chenne Mailula
Xolisa Dwane
DSS versions
Version 2
Version 1
Version 2
Version 1
Version 2
Version 1
Drip irrigation
0
0
0
0
0
0
Bucket drip kits
0
0
0
0
0
0
Furrows andridges/ furrow irrigation
0
0
0
0
0
0
Greywater management
1
0
1
0
0
0
Shade cloth tunnels
1
0
1
0
0
0
Mulching
1
1
1
1
0
0
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Improved organic matter (manure
and crop residues)
1
1
1
1
1
1
Diversion ditches
1
0
0
0
0
0
Grass water ways
0
0
0
0
0
0
Infiltration pits / banana circles
1
1
1
1
0
0
Zai pits
1
1
0
0
0
0
Rain water harvesting storage
1
0
1
1
1
1
Tied ridges
0
0
0
0
0
0
Half moon basins
0
0
0
0
1
1
Small dams
0
0
0
0
0
0
Contours; ploughing and planting
1
0
0
0
0
0
Gabions
0
0
0
0
1
1
Stone bunds
0
0
0
0
0
0
Check dams
0
0
0
0
1
1
Cut off drains / swales
0
0
0
0
1
1
Terraces
0
0
0
0
0
0
Stone packs
1
0
0
0
0
0
Strip cropping
1
0
0
0
0
0
Pitting
1
0
1
1
0
0
Woodlots for soil reclamation
1
1
0
0
0
0
Targeted application of small
quantities of fertilizer, lime etc
1
1
0
0
0
0
Liquid manures
1
1
1
1
0
0
Woody hedgerows for browse,
mulch, green manure, soil
conservation
1
1
0
0
0
0
Conservation Agriculture
1
1
0
0
0
0
Planting legumes, manure, green
manures
1
1
0
0
0
0
Mixed cropping
1
1
0
0
0
0
Planting herbs and multifunctional
plants
1
1
0
0
0
0
Agroforestry (trees + agriculture)
1
1
0
0
0
0
Trench beds/ eco circles
1
0
1
0
0
0
push-pull technology
1
1
0
0
0
0
Natural pest and disease control
1
1
0
0
0
0
Integrated weed management
1
1
1
1
1
1
Breeding improved varieties (early
maturing, drought tolerant,
improved nutrients),
1
1
1
1
1
1
Seed production / saving / storing
1
1
1
1
1
1
Crop rotation
1
1
1
1
1
1
Stall feeding and haymaking
0
0
0
0
0
1
Creep feeding and supplementation
1
1
0
0
0
0
Rotational grazing
1
1
0
0
1
1
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De-bushing and over sowing
1
1
0
0
1
1
Rangeland reinforcement
1
1
0
0
1
1
Bioturbation
1
1
1
1
1
1
Tower garden
1
1
1
1
0
0
Keyhole beds
1
1
1
1
0
0
No of practices recommended
35
26
16
13
14
15
For the KZN participant, this means that around 88% of the list of practices have been recommended
for her. She already had the largest numberof recommendations (in version1) beinga farmer in
Typology B (fewer restrictions) and engaging in gardening, cropping and livestock production.
Although this is quite high, it is understood that the farmer level ranking is still to take place and these
practices can then be prioritized and narrowed down further. For the Limpopo and EC participants,
around 1/3 of practices have been recommended in their basket of options.
A general analysis of practices for the 41 households shows that only 5 practices have been
recommended for all (opposed to 4 in version 1):
Improved organic matter
Integrated weed management
Breeding improved varieties
Seed production / saving / storing
Rainwater harvesting storage
And a number of practices have been recommended for none of the 41 HH:
Drip irrigation
Bucket drip kits
Furrows and ridges/ furrow irrigation
Stone bunds
Terraces
Tied ridges
Grassed waterways
Stall feeding and haymaking
These practices are constrained by land size, typology and slope of the most part, but are not
considered inherently unsuitable for smallholder farmers. They could still be presented to learning
groups in special cases, where their applicability is considered suitable.
Ranking of suggested practices based on score provided by the facilitator
Based on scores provided by the facilitator (the generic score used in the DSS) the basket of practices
can be ordered by preference. In the table below,a ranking based on facilitator’s scores, is provided
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for the farming HH ‘Phumelele Hlongwane’located in Ezibomvini, KZN.According to the facilitator,
improving organic matter, pitting, ConservationAgriculture and Agroforestry are the most appropriate
interventions (having the highest score).are the most appropriate practices suggested by the DSS for
this HH. Thisis followed by keyhole beds, tower gardens, woody hedgerows, Zai pits and infiltration
pits.
Table 20:Ranking of suggested practices by ‘the facilitator’ for Phumelele Hlongwane (DSS version 2)
Ranking of suggested practices based on score provided by the farmer
A participatory impact monitoring process for the KZN participants (Bergville and Tabamhlophe)
provided an assessment of practices actually tried out and prioritized for impact on livelihoods. This
gives us an opportunity to compare the outcomes of the computer based DSS with a real case study.
Field cropping
vegetatble
gardening
Livestock
Tree andother
nat.resources
Practices
0 0 0 0
Drip irrigation
0 0 0 0
Bucket drip kits
0 0 0 0
Furrows and ridges/ furrow irrigation
0 5 0 0
Greywater management
0 8 0 0
Shade cloth tunnels
0 9 0 0
Mulching
11 11011
Improved organic matter (manure and crop
residues)
9 9 0 9
Diversion ditches
0 0 0 0
Grass water ways
010 0 0
Infiltration pits / banana circles
10 100 0
Zai pits
9 9 9 9
Rain water harvesting storage
0 0 0 0
Tied ridges
0 0 0 0
Half moon basins
0 0 0 0
Small dams
0 0 0 0
Contours; ploughing and planting
0 0 0 0
Gabions
0 0 0 0
Stone bunds
0 0 0 0
Check dams
0000 Cut off drains / swales
0 0 0 0
Terraces
9 9 0 9
Stone packs
11 0 0 0
Strip cropping
11 011 11
Pitting
9 0 9 9
Woodlots for soil reclamation
8 0 0 0
Targeted application of small quantities of fertilizer,
lime etc
0 7 0 0
Liquid manures
10 010 10
Woody hedgerows for browse, mulch, green manure,
soil conservation
11 11 11 11
Conservation Agriculture
8 8 0 8
Planting legumes, manure, green manures
9 9 0 0
Mixed cropping
9 9 0 0
Planting herbs and multifunctional plants
11 11 11 11
Agroforestry (trees + agriculture)
0 9 0 0
Trench beds/ ecocircles
7 0 0 0
push-pull technology
7 7 0 7
Natural pest and disease control
7 7 0 7
Integrated weed management
7 7 7 7
Breeding improved varieties (early maturing,
drought tolerant, improved nutrients),
6 6 0 6
Seed production / saving / storing
9 9 0 0
Crop rotation
0 0 0 0
Stallfeeding and haymaking
0 0 7 0
Creep feeding and supplementation
0 0 9 0
Rotational grazing
0 0 9 0
Debushing and oversowing
0 0 9 0
Rangeland reinforcement
9 9 9 9
Bioturbation
010 0 0
Tower garden
010 0 0
Keyhole beds
E. Score provided by facilitator for suggested
practices that are not constrained
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The table below summarises the practices according to those recommended through the DSS, but not
yet tried, those not recommended but tried and practices tried out that are not in the DSS list of
practices.
Table 21: Analysis of CSA practices implemented in KZN (Bergville, Tabamhlophe) 2017-2019
Practices recommended not yet tried
Practices tried, not
recommended
Not in recommendations
Zai pits
Bucket drip irrigation
Making compost
Contours; ploughing and planting
Improved irrigation practices
Stone packs
Spring protection
Strip cropping
Limited burning of veld
Pitting
Vaccinations and dipping
Agroforestry
Natural pest and disease control
Breeding improved varieties
Seed saving
Integrated weed management
Rotational grazing
De-bushing and over-sowing
Rangeland reinforcement
Keyhole beds
The facilitated DSS process is designed tobe cyclical and seasonal, to allow smallholder farmers to
prioritize and experiment with a couple of prioritized practices at a time and to build on these, over
time. The results above indicate the work to date over 2 seasons. Practices blocked in green are those
that have already been planned into thecoming growing season. These include strip cropping, natural
pest and disease control, seed saving and keyhole beds.
The practices not recommended by tried out by farmers, are those that should still be included in the
DSS and will be considered in the 3rd and final version of this model
Overall there is a very good coherence in practices recommended by the computer- based model and
those recommended through the facilitated process.
6DEVELOPMENT OF MATERIALS AND MANUALS
At presentwork on the facilitation manual for theDSS in Climate Smart Agriculture is underway. It
will cover the theoretical underpinnings, methodologies used and detailed facilitation outlines for the
climate change adaptation workshop series (workshops 1-3) designed to facilitatethis process. A
linked booklet of resources is to be produced for use during the workshops.
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The first draft of the manual is presented in Attachment 2 to this report.
Farmer level learning materials have been adapted from existing learning materials:
-Kruger E. 2015.Introduction to Conservation Agriculture.Produced by the GrainSA
Conservation Farmer InnovationProgramme, with financial support provided by The Maize
Trust
-Kruger Eand Wigley J. 2011. Composting and Manure Utilization: natural methods for
improving soil fertility. Produced by the Empowerment for Food Security Programme,
KwaZulu Natal Department of Agriculture, environmental Affairs and Rural Developmentwith
financial support provided by FICA.
-Kruger E, de Lange M and Stimie CM. 2009. Agricultural Water management in Homestead
farming Systems: A resource Kit for Farmers, Farmer Trainers and Facilitators. Produced by
the Water Research Commission.
These learning materials are available in both English andisiZulu.
siPedi translations have been made for the following handouts (for use in Limpopo):
-Farmer level experimentation
- Soil
-Methods for improving soil fertility
-Bed design for soil fertility
-Bag and tower gardens
-Keyhole gardens
-Seed saving
-Natural pest and disease control
-Fruit production and natural pest control
These handouts are presented in Attachment 3 to this report.
Cropping calendars
As changes in planting times and changes in crops suitable for planting is a substantial part of the
climate change adaptation process, a participatory process was undertaken in Limpopo, in conjunction
with the AWARD agricultural Support Initiative to design cropping calendars suitable to the area under
climate change conditions. A calendar has been produced for both dry land cropping and vegetable
production. They are shown in the 2 diagrams below:
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Figure 3: Dry land cropping calendar for Lower Olifant’s in Limpopo, March 2019
Figure 4: vegetable production calendar for the Lower Olifant’s in Limpopo, March 2019
Wet yearNormal year Dry year
September to April
Rains early
Sept-Oct
Rains Oct-Nov
Rains late
Nov-Jan
>600mm/year450-600mm/year 150-400mm/year
Maize
Best Sugarcane
Possible Sorghum
Not a good ideaMillet
Other grain and fodder crops
Cowpeas
Jugo beans
Ground nuts
Sugar beans
Pumpkins, butternut
Melons, watermelons
Sweet potatoes
Potatoes
Fruit trees: mangoes, bananas,
oranges, avocadoes
What should we plant?
Dryland
Summer Cropping Season
MrchApril MayJunJulAugSeptOctNovDecJanFeb
Baby marrows
Basil
Beetroot
Brinjal
Cabbage
Carrots
Chilli
Green beans
Green pepper
Kale and other morogo e.g. amaranthus
Lettuce
Leeks, sping onions
Mustard spinach
Onions
Parsley
Peas
Tomatoes
When can I plant vegetables?
Too hot to plant!
Vegetables
need
irrigation!
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7CAPACITY BUILDING AND PUBLICATIONS
Capacity building has been undertaken on three levels:
Community level learning
Organisational capacity building
Post graduate students
Community leveland organisational capacity building have continued within this reporting period.
Post graduate students
A number of changes have occurred within the postgraduate students. Two students have withdrawn
from this process:
oSylvester Selalahas withdrawn from registration of hi PhD concept and has left the
employ of MDF. He will not pursue a doctorate at this time.
oKhethwieMthethwa has found permanent employment and is not presently
registered for her second year of an MSC. This is mostly due to the fact the UKZN only
offers 1 year of fee remission for Masters candidates and the director of MDF was not
made aware of this fact in time.
Another student has re-registered and is presently self-funded:
oPalesa Motaung has suffered in her registration process due to the ARC not paying
bursaries as awarded to postgraduate students. She has now paid some of her own
fees and commenced with her field work.
And a new PhD candidate has come on board as an intern at MDF
oSamukhelisiwe Mkhize has recently registered for a PhD in Social Sciences (Policy and
Development Studies). The topic of her concept proposal is An investigation into the
factors limiting and promoting the adoption of CSA in smallholder systems in South
Africa (See some of her notes linked to herconcept proposal in Attachment 4)
Progress: Research methodology and initial field work:
oMazwi Dlamini: MPhil - UWC_PLAAS. Factors influencing the adoption and non-
adoption of Conservation Agriculture in smallholder farming systems, and the
implications of these for livelihoods and food security in Bergville, Kwazulu-Natal.
In the last five months Mazwi has commenced with his field work and has undertaken a number of
focus group discussions and started on the individual interviews- which is the first round of the
research process. He is presently writing up the findings as a chapter of his thesis.
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Networking and presentations
Joint farmers day with KZNDARD in Bergville (12 March 2019)
The day consisted of a field visit to a liming trial that was conducted with KZNDARD on the CA plot for
one of the programme participants in Mahlathini (Stulwane), Bergville. Thereafter, all participants
joined for presentations on
-Best practice in liming (Mr MashiyaneLandcare KZNDARD),
-Cultivation and benefits of soy beans (Mr Johns, Cedara, KZNDARD) and
-Soil health benefits of Conservation Agriculture (Miss Zondi,
MDF)
Right: Mr Mashiyane
discussing the
advantagesof
incorporation of lime
in the soil vs
broadcasting and
Far Right: Miss Zondi
presenting results of
soil health analysis in
participants’ plots
Agroecology Network: Agro-ecology smallholder farmers open Day (12 March 2019)
Attendees: Smallholder Farmers, Traditional authorities, NGOs, CBOs, RBOs, Universities & Research
Institutions, Private Sector,Donor organisations, Municipalities, Government Organisations and any
other individuals or organisation with interest in working with smallholder farmers in Mopani,
Sekhukhune and Capricorn Districts
The purpose of this shared learning event was to;
oProvide opportunities for sharing of experiences and agroecological good practices and
challenges amongst smallholder farmers in Capricorn, Mopani and Sekhukhune districts, Limpopo
Province, South Africa
oEnable smallholderfarmers to showcase their achievements of practising agroecology as a
strategy for climate change and adaptation
oDemonstrate the impact that AWARD/RESILIM O’s Agriculture Support Initiative (AgriSI) is
having on the lives of smallholder farmers within the Olifantsriver sub catchment of the Limpopo
basin.
WRC K4/2719 Deliverable 7: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation May 2019
103
Participant farmers collated
posters with photographs
and comments for their CSA
practices to present on the
day.
Right: Farmers survey their
CSA practice posters.
On the day the following visits were conducted:
-Extensive clinic garden run along agroecology principles in Groblersdal
-2 Youth projects in the area
-A CSA garden in Tafelkop and
-A seed saving initiative
in Monsterlus
At this venue farmers also
presented their best practice
options and discussed their
progress.
Right: Christinah Thobejane
from Sedawa (Lower Olifants’)
presenting her CSA practices.