Deliverable 9 Interim Report

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Water Research Commission
Prepared By:
Project team ledby Mahlathini Development Foundation.
Project Number: K5/2719/4
Project Title: Collaborative knowledge creation and mediation strategies for the dissemination of
Waterand Soil Conservation practices and Climate Smart Agriculture in smallholder farming
systems.
Deliverable No.9:InterimReport. Results of pilots Season 2
Date: January 2020
Deliverable
9
WRC K4/2719Deliverable 9: Progress report
Mahlathini Development Foundation January 2020
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Submitted to:
Executive Manager: Water Utilisation in Agriculture
Water Research Commission
Pretoria
Project team:
Mahlathini Development Foundation
Erna Kruger
Mazwi Dlamini
Temakholo Mathebula
Nontokozo Mdletshe
Phumzile Ngcobo
Betty Maimela
Matthew Evans
Institute of Natural ResourcesNPC
Brigid Letty
Rural Integrated Engineering(Pty) Ltd
Christiaan Stimie
Rhodes University Environmental Learning Research Centre
Lawrence Sisitka
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CONTENTS
FIGURES 4!
TABLES 8!
1!OVERVIEW OF PROJECT AND DELIVERABLE 10!
Contract Summary10!
Project objectives10!
Deliverables10!
Overview of Deliverable 911!
2!COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE AND DEMONSTRATION SITES 15!
!Tunnel experimentation progress16!
!Bergville17!
!Southern KZN tunnels and garden experimentation22!
!Eastern Cape26!
!Limpopo (Sedawa, Mametja and Turkey)28!
!Conservation Agriculture30!
!Eastern Cape30!
!Southern KZN- Ozwathini CA open day: Focusing on mechanisation and cover crops31!
!Southern KZN Madzikane Stakeholder Forum CA open day.33!
!Limpopo35!
!Bergville Fodder supplementation progress and strip cropping introduction41!
!Agenda41!
!Review of winter fodder supplementation experimentation41!
!Results43!
!Strip cropping with fodder crops45!
!Water committees48!
!Ezibomvini Spring Protection process48!
!Limpopo Water Committees56!
!Individual boreholes63!
!Natural Pest and disease control learning sessions67!
!Natural Pest and Disease Control input67!
!Example of workshop discussions: Qhuzini (EC) Pest and Disease workshop: 10 October 201969!
3!Participatory Impact assessments71!
!The Gobizembe PIA72!
!Climate Change impacts; summary72!
!Adaptive strategies73!
!Adaptations and suggestions73!
!Indicators74!
!Impact matrix74!
!New ideas75!
!Sedawa and Mametja PIA (Limpopo76!
!Climate Change impacts76!
!Adaptive strategies/practices to Climate Change impacts77!
!Practices: Five finger principles and practices under each category78!
!Comments regarding future implementation and uptake of practices79!
!Benefits and changes of CRA80!
!Expanding on CRA practices81!
!Evaluation of the workshop82!
!Turkey PIA (Limpopo)82!
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!Climate Change impacts82!
!Adaptive measures to CC84!
!Changes and benefits from CRA practices85!
Comments86!
!Expanding on CRA practices87!
!Conclusion88!
4!DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEM 88!
!Inclusion of 1- page descriptions88!
5!Capacity building and publications90!
!Post graduate students90!
!Networking and presentations90!
!Presentations90!
!Collaboration91!
!Publications101!
FIGURES
Figure 1: Seedlings of vegetables and herbs being sold to participants in the learning group from the
farmer centre in Ezibomvini; spinach, beetroot, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, onions, and herbs.......18!
Figure 2: Seeds that have been saved by group members and that are shared among the learning group
members; including coriander, parsley, rape, mustard spinach and kale...........................................18!
Figure 3: Left; Phumelele Hlongwane’s tunnel beds showing chinese cabbage, spinach, onions, parsley
and cabbage and Right; Ntombakhe Zikode’s tunnel with Chinese cabbage beetroot and cabbage
visible...................................................................................................................................................19!
Figure 4: Left: Nombono Dladla’s garden beds outside her tunnel, featuring a bucket drip kit, spinach,
onions Chinese cabbage and parsley and Right; Phumelele’s much extended vegetable garden newly
planted in November 2019..................................................................................................................19!
Figure 5: The chameleon sensor data for Phumelele Hlongwane’s trench bed outside her tunnel for
June 2018-September 2019. The grey colouring indicates either a lack of water in the soil - so little
water that a readingis not possible, or the sensor not working well due to the decay of the gypsum
covering. Because the sensors were grey at times and then went back to red, it was assumed for some
time that the soil was just very dry......................................................................................................20!
Figure 6: The chameleon sensor data for Phumelele Hlongwane’s trench bed outside her tunnel after
the sensor array was replaced towards the end of September. After the new sensors were installed,
readings appeared to be more firmly in the red meaningthat the soil at all three depths remained
very dry for the whole of October. Watering in November improved the soil water down to around
20cm depth, but not the deeper layers- indicating the shallow water both from the drip irrigationkits
and hand watering, due to limited water supply.................................................................................20!
Figure 7: The chameleon sensor data for Phumelele Hlongwane’s trench bed inside her tunnel after
the sensor array was replaced in the middle of September. In this case, she has manged to keep her
top layer (around 20cm depth of soil) well wetted between September and November and also
provided enough water to allow for an increase in moisture in the deeper layers of the soil from the
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beginning of November. The pink readings indicate interference by humic acids in the soil, due to
application of manure and compost for her new planting cycle in early November..........................21!
Figure 8: The chameleon sensor data for Ntombakhe Zikode’s trench bed inside her tunnel between
February 2019 and December 2019. It can be seen that she irrigated little between September 2018
and February 2019, starting irrigation again in the drier winter months of March- June 2019. She ran
out of water almost completely between July-October 2019 and the latest good soil moisture readings
(November-December 2019) are more likely due to rain than an improved ability to irrigate..........21!
Figure 9: Above Left; One of Phumelele’s tower garden sin the winter season (May 2019), showing
kale, rape and mustard spinach growing well. Centre; Her tower gardens in September 2019, now
planted to onions and spinach and Right: An eco-circle in her garden, with the central bottle drip
system, a practise that she has extended into a number of her trench beds as well..........................22!
Figure 10:Above left; thyme and parsley growing well in an eco-circle and Right: MaZondi’s normal
raised beds in the foreground, and shallow trench beds with spinach in the background. Growth in the
mixed crop shallow trenches is substantially improved over that in the raised beds.........................23!
Figure 11:Right; MaZondi’s sacks being prepared for planting potatoes and Far-right: potatoes
growing well in these sacks.................................................................................................................23!
Figure 12 Above: Mrs Mcnayana’s beds in her tunnel. Left- raised bed, Middle- shallow trench beds
and Right-deep trench beds. The raised bed was unaffected by snails and aphids, but the shallow and
deep trenched beds were heavily predated. Note: It is the impression of the facilitator that the damage
caused was not by snails, but by grasshoppers and/or beetles. Snails do not eat large holes in the
leaves, which were in evidence and generally require a much moisture environment than was present
in Mrs Mcnayana’s garden...................................................................................................................24!
Figure 13: Right; Mrs Mcnayana’s shallow and deep trenched beds outside the tunnel. Here she used
some mulching and stones on the edges of her beds to avoid soil erosion during watering and rain.24!
Figure 14: Chameleon sensor readings between June and September 2019 for Mrs Mcnayana’s trench
bed inside the tunnel. The soil dried out during July and remained extremely dry until September.25!
Figure 15: Chameleon sensor readings between June and September 2019 for Mrs Mcnayana’s trench
bed outside the tunnel. Here the soil was only marginally less dry after July, when compared to the
tunnel. Mrs Mcnayana’s difficulties in productivity and high levels of predation by grasshoppers and
aphids is considered to be mostly an outcome of extremely water stressed plants...........................25!
Figure 16: Above Left to Right: Mrs Zondi’s trench bed outsideher tunnel, Phumzile assisting her with
taking the chameleon reading and water stressed turnips, beetroot and spinach inside her tunnel. 25!
Figure 17: Chameleon soil moisture readings for Mrs Zondi’s trench bed outside her tunnel. It is clear
that the soil remained dry throughout after the initial watering when the chameleons were installed
in June 2019. Mrs Zondi indicated that she has to get up at 5am in the mornings to walk the long
distance to the closest river where she can get water........................................................................26!
Figure 18: Tema facilitating the CC impacts and adaptive measures discussion in Xhukwane...........27!
Figure 19: Above Left; learning group members constructing the tunnel, Centre; the final product and
Right; construction of the deep trench beds with installation of the drip irrigation kit at Xhukwane28!
Figure 20: Above left; spinach and leeks inside the tunnel, in the bed Makibeng used for her record
keeping. In the foreground are peas and parsley. Above Right; A trench bed outside the tunnel with
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beetroot and spinach planted slightly later in the season, planted in an area with shade and
surrounded by shade cloth, to emulate the effects of the tunnel.......................................................30!
Figure 21: Right and Far right; preparing planting basins and furrows for the planting of maize and
legumes, with the Fort Cox students...................................................................................................31!
Figure 22: Above Left; Deep ripping of the field, Centre; preparation of the Haraka planter with
different sized seed plates and Right; addition of manure mixed with lime and planting of maize, beans
and summer cover crops.....................................................................................................................31!
Figure 23: Cover crop poster and handouts provided at the Ozwathini farmers’ day (in isiZulu).......32!
Figure 24: Right; The two-row planter with different seed types (maize, sugar beans) in the seed
hopers and Far right: a view of the planter being demonstratedin the field.....................................32!
Figure 25: Right: Mr Hodges doing his power point presentation at the open day and Far right;
examples of cover crops millet and mung beans..............................................................................33!
Figure 26: Sibusiso Madiba from FSR, explaining his trial with the farmers........................................34!
Figure 27: Mr Xaba addressing farmers on his trials and the importance of spacing and intercropping
.............................................................................................................................................................34!
Figure 29: Introduction of concepts in CA and cover crops using printed slides................................. 36!
Figure 30: Magdalene Malepe’s planted field.....................................................................................38!
Figure 31:Above left one of the stone lines in Magdalene’s field. Chillies have been planted along the
stone line and maize has been planted above and below this line. Above right: Mulching a small portion
of Magdalene’s maize to test soil moisture conservation...................................................................38!
Figure 32: Right: Knotted rope for spacing of maize planting basins..................................................39!
Figure 33:Above left; Mpelesi Sekgobela planting maize during the demonstration, Centre; Group busy
planting, and Right; Mulching a section of the plot after planting,.....................................................39!
Figure 34: The fodder supplementation experiment outlines.............................................................42!
Figure 35: Experimental outlines for 7 of the 15 participants who recorded their process and results
between August and October 2019.....................................................................................................43!
Figure 36: Results for supplementation experiment for Ntombakhe Zikode, who fed one cow and calf.
.............................................................................................................................................................43!
Figure 37: Fodder supplementation results for Dlezakhe Hlongwane from Stulwane, who fed 4 cows,
which were in a very poor condition at the start of the feeding process............................................44!
Figure 38: Above left; strip cropping maize and Paspalum (Mbili grass) and Above right: Strip cropping
with Digiteria/ Catstail grass................................................................................................................46!
Figure 39: Above left; Vetch and black oats strip crops with maize and Above right; A plot showing
Maize following awinter planting of vetch (left) without fertilizer, compared with maize planted
without fertilizer and without the cover crop (right)..........................................................................47!
Figure 40: An example of Lespediza (Poor man’s Lucerne), brought as a sample to the workshop...47!
Figure41: Right; the spring’s catchment pond with evidence of use by cattle and people and Far right:
The catchment pond dug out to make a bigger pond and small dam wall..........................................50!
Figure 42: Left; The capped end of the 1m length (50mm dimeter) slotted pipe that provides for the
below ground offtake of water from the spring and Right; the fittings linking this slotted pipe to the
main pipe (5omm HDPE) (from Chris Stimie- RIEng)...........................................................................50!
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Figure 43:From Left to right; Starting on the trench for the slotted pipe, below the spring and pond,
deepening and widening this trench to 50cm x50cm x 1,2m), the trench with slotted pipe installed in
a bed of gravel, covered by shade cloth and rocks with a small furrow leading water from the spring
to this trench and the trench damaged by livestock before it could be properly covered and closed.
.............................................................................................................................................................51!
Figure 44: Left; Measuring the gradient for the main pipeline using a dumpy level. And Right; adjusting
the line for the pipe to avoid some of the larger dongas and rough terrain, while keeping it on an even
gradient................................................................................................................................................51!
Figure 45: Left to Right; Digging the ditch from the spring to the header tank, the header tank at
Phumelele Hlongwane’s homestead which was not installed on a level platform and has
subsequently been corrected and an initial rough layout drawing of the flow of the water to
participants’ homesteads....................................................................................................................52!
Figure 46: An initial correction has been made to the google earth map created for the group from
GPS coordinates taken using cell phones this as not very accurate. The blue line indicates the main
feeder pipe to participants’ homestead running along the small road going up to Phumelele
Hlongwane’s homestead.....................................................................................................................54!
Figure 47: The plinth constructed for the 2200l header tank..............................................................54!
Figure 48: Above Left to Right: Laying the piping along the edges of the fields, with branches towards
the different homestead; fitting the inlet pipes to the 200l drums and installation of a float valve in
each drum............................................................................................................................................55!
Figure 49: The main valve in the pipe-line shutting of water from the header tank...........................55!
Figure 50: Map of boreholes in the Lower Olifants region (supplied by Derick du Toit AWARD).....57!
Figure 51: The municipal pump station, not in use, but which participants thought provided an
example of the kind of “protection”they would like for their borehole. It was explained by the
facilitation team that such a structure is costly and was not budgeted for........................................59!
Figure 52: Christina and Magdalena form the water committee, study the google earth map with
proposed participants and pipe layouts to clarify potential options...................................................60!
Figure 53: The Sedawa learning group discusses options with support from the MDF field team and an
agricultural engineer, Mr Chris Stimie................................................................................................. 61!
Figure 54: Google earth mapping of participants (with distances indicated.......................................63!
Figure 55: Google earth map of participants for borehole 2 in Sedawa..............................................64!
Figure 56: Two potential sites for the borehole in Turkey 1 and Turkey 2. In both cases participants
have chosen options right next to existing boreholes.- which could be problematic. The issues will be
decided once the surveyor has been to the area................................................................................65!
Figure 57: The record keeping sheet for participants’’ payments in Turkey 1....................................67!
Figure 58: Corianderflowers attract wasps.........................................................................................68!
Figure 59: Right: A visual aid used to identify a number of pest predators including; lizards,
chameleons,preying mantids, ladybirds, centipedes, frogs and lacewings. Far right: A bee pollinating
onion flowers.......................................................................................................................................68!
Figure 60: The demonstration table; indicating the making of thechilli, garlic and soap brew and some
of the multipurpose plants discussed..................................................................................................69!
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Figure 61: A view of Phindiwe’s tower garden with cabbage, beetroot and spinach growing well....70!
Figure 62:Right; Tema Mathebula facilitating the matrix exercise; here discussing the scores to be used
for each indicator.................................................................................................................................74!
Figure 63: Right; One of the small groups at the Gozembe review perusing the CSA practise one pagers
and being assisted with explanations by Zoli Gwala from MDF..........................................................75!
Figure 64: The Sedawa and Mametja PIA held under the trees at Christina’s homestead.................76!
Figure 65: The mind map of practices implemented as recorded during the workshop.....................78!
Figure 66:Right; Magdalena made liquid manure using chickenmanure in a meshsack/bag and soaked
in water using a bath tab.....................................................................................................................80!
Figure 67: Adaptive practices used in turkey according to the 5 fingers principles............................84!
Figure 68: Mapanekeng workshop participants, Day 1.......................................................................94!
Figure 69: Left: Well grassed area, with green strip indicating a still functional wetland. Centre: Wattle”
forest” on the slope with cut branches on the side and Right: Donga; reasonably stable with some
vegetation in and around the gulley....................................................................................................94!
Figure 70: Mr Duma’s tap in his homestead yard................................................................................97!
Figure 71: Left: The large donga separating the two sides of the village. Centre: Erosion due to cattle
movement and overgrazing.Right: burning of the mountain for earlyspring grazing, also leading to
erosion.................................................................................................................................................98!
Figure 72: Left: Mr Duma’s vegetable garden with peach trees and Centre his fenced field. Right: Mr
Khumalo’s housing arrangement for his pigs......................................................................................99!
Figure 73:Left- two households with decaying or absent fences and little farming activity and Right: 2
households with dongas encroaching on their fence lines. (Mvula Khumalo and Mkhulu Zuma.).....99!
TABLES
Table 1: Deliverables for the research period; completed..................................................................10!
Table 2: CoPs’ established in three provinces (September 2019-October 2020)................................15!
Table 3: Summary of background information for Xhukwane.............................................................26!
Table 4: Adaptative practices within the 5 fingers (soil ,water, crops, livestock and natural resources)
.............................................................................................................................................................27!
Table 5: Makbeng Moradiye’s irrigation and harvesting record keeping sheet (June-September 2019)
.............................................................................................................................................................29!
Table 6: Water productivity calculation (simple method) for Makibeng Moradiye (June-September
2019)....................................................................................................................................................30!
Table 7:Sub-groups for planting demonstrations................................................................................37!
Table 8: Impact matrix for the Gobizembe learning group; first round of CRA implmenetation........74!
Table 9: CC impacts in Sedawa nad Mametja, summarised during the Seasonal PIA.........................76!
Table 10: Adaptive strategies/practices to Climate Change impacts...................................................77!
Table 11: Practices implemented according to the 5 finger principles................................................78!
Table 12: Matrix ranking of CA practices.............................................................................................81!
Table 13: Climate change impatcs related to livelihood categories....................................................83!
Table 14: Future activities proposed by the Turkey learning group members....................................87!
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Table 15: Facilitation outline for Community level workshops...........................................................92!
Table 16: Basic socio-economic and livelihoods information for Emapanekeni participants............100!
ABBREVIATIONS
AEZAgroecological Zones
CAConservation Agriculture
CCAClimate change adaptation
CRAClimate Resilient Agriculture
CSAClimate Smart Agriculture
CSAGClimate Systems Action Group
DAEDepartment of Environmental Affairs
DSSDecision Support System
MDFMahlathini Development Foundation
QCTOQuality Council for Trade and Occupations
RIEngRural Integrated Engineering
SWCSoil and water conservation
UJUniversity of Johannesburg
UKZNUniversity of KwaZulu Natal
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Interim Report: Resultsofpilots,season2
1OVERVIEWOFPROJECTANDDELIVERABLE
Contract Summary
Project objectives
1.To evaluate and identify best practice options for CSA and Soil and Water Conservation
(SWC) in smallholder farming systems, in two bioclimatic regions in South Africa. (Output 1)
2.To amplify collaborative knowledge creation of CSA practices with smallholder farmers in
South Africa (Output 2)
3.To test and adapt existing CSA decision support systems (DSS) for the South Africansmallholder
context (Outputs 2,3)
4.To evaluate the impact of CSA interventions identified through the DSS by pilotinginterventions
in smallholder farmer systems, considering water productivity, social acceptability andfarm-scale
resilience (Outputs 3,4)
5.Visual and proxy indicators appropriate for a Payment for Ecosystems based model aretested at
community level for local assessment of progress and tested against field and laboratoryanalysis
of soil physical and chemical properties, and water productivity (Output 5)
Deliverables
Table 1: Deliverables for the research period; completed
No
Deliverable
Description
FINANCIAL YEAR 2017/2018
1
Report: Desktop review of
CSA and WSC
Desktop review of current science, indigenous and traditional
knowledge, and best practice in relation to CSA and WSC in the
South African context
2
Report on stakeholder
engagement and case
study development and
site identification
Identifying and engaging with projects and stakeholders
implementing CSA and WSC processes and capturing case studies
applicable to prioritized bioclimatic regions
Identification of pilot research sites
3
Decision support system
for CSA in smallholder
farming developed
(Report)
Decision support system for prioritization of best bet CSA options in
a particular locality; initial database and models. Review existing
models, in conjunction with stakeholder discussions for initial
criteria
FINANCIAL YEAR: 2018/2019
4
CoPs and demonstration
sites established (report)
Establish communities of practice (CoP)s including stakeholders and
smallholder farmers in each bioclimatic region.5. With each CoP,
identify and select demonstration sites in each bioclimatic region
and pilot chosen collaborative strategies for introduction of a range
of CSA and WSC strategies in homestead farming systems (gardens
and fields)
5
Interim report: Refined
decision support system
for CSA in smallholder
farming (report)
Refinement of criteria and practices, introduction of new ideas and
innovations, updating of decision support system
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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.
FINANCIAL YEAR 2019/2020
7
Interim report:
Development of indicators,
proxies and benchmarks
and knowledge mediation
processes
Document and record appropriate visual indicators and proxies for
community level assessment, work with CoPs to implement and
refine indicators.
Analysis of contemporary approaches to collaborative knowledge
creation within the agricultural sector. Develop appropriate
knowledge mediation processes for each CoP. Develop CoP decision
support systems
8
Report: Appropriate
quantitative measurement
procedures for verification
of the visual indicators.
Set up farmer and researcher level experimentation. Link proxies
and benchmarks to quantitative research to verify and formalise.
Explore potential incentive schemes and financing mechanisms
Conduct survey of present knowledge mediation processes in
community and smallholder settings
9
Interim report: results of
pilots, season 2
Pilot chosen collaborative strategies for introduction of a range of
CSA and WSC strategies, working with the CoPs in each site and the
decisions support system. Create knowledge mediation productions,
manuals, handouts and other resources necessary for learning and
implementation.
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
decisionssupport system. Create knowledge mediation productions,
manuals, handouts and other resources necessary for learning and
implementation.
11
Final Report: Consolidation
and finalisation of decision
support system
Finalisation of criteria and practices, introduction of new ideas and
innovations, updating of decision supportsystem
12
Final report - Summarise
and disseminate
recommendations for best
practice options.
Summarise and disseminate recommendations for best practice
options for knowledge mediation and CSA and SWC techniques for
prioritized bioclimatic regions
Overview of Deliverable 9
This report focuses on piloting the decision support process in new contexts, consolidation ofthe
practises database and inclusion of more practices and reviews of implementation to date; piloting
the new participatory resilience assessment framework. Farmer level experimentation with practices
anddevelopment of the internet-based platform and the manuals and handouts are ongoing and
progress is reported on.
The design of the decision support system(DSS) is seen as an ongoing process divided into three
distinct parts:
ØPractices:Collation, review, testing, and finalisation of those CSA practices to be included.
This allows for new ideas and local practices to be included over time. This also includes
linkages and reference toexternal sources of technical information around climate change,
soils, water management etc and how this will be done, as well as modelling of the DSS;
ØProcess:Through which climate smart agricultural practices are implemented at smallholder
farmer level. This also includes the facilitation component, communities of practice(CoPs),
communication strategies and capacity building and
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ØMonitoring and evaluation:local and visual assessment protocols for assessing
implementation and impact of practices as well as processes used. This also includes site
selection and quantitative measurements undertaken to support the visual assessment
protocols and development of visual and proxy indicators for future use in incentive- based
support schemes for smallholder farmers.
Activities in this five-month period have included:
ØPractices activities: Inclusion of learning processes, experimentation and learning materials
towards compiling practice summaries for small dam construction and livestock fodder
production and supplementation and design of a web-based survey/platform for the decision
support system.
ØProcess activities: Continuation of farmer level experimentation inthe EC (3 villages),KZN (3
villages)and in Limpopo (2 villages). CoP engagement has consisted of presentation of a
model for vulnerability assessments at the NRVF workshop hosted by DARDLEA, co-hosting a
farmers day in Sedawa (Limpopo) with Agroecology network members on processing and
value addition in smallholder farming, a National workshop hosted by AWARDon sharing
climate change adaptation experiences, collaboration with the INR in an Umgeni Water pilot
project; the uMkhomzai Restoration Project, collaboration with a GEF5 funded programme at
Rhodes University, assisting with development of a framework for vulnerability assessments
and a joint presentation with KZNDARD on climate change adaptation success stories for the
Okahlambaland and agriculture summit.
ØMonitoring and evaluation: Further testing of the participatory impactassessment
frameworkin Limpopo.
A chronology of activities undertaken is presented in the table below.
Date
Activity
Description
Team
2019/08/02
Agroecology network
Farmers day and workshop on value
adding and processing for
participant learning groups
Erna, Betty
2019/08/06
National Risk and
Vulnerability
Framework (NRVF)
workshop DARDLEA
Presentation of MDF’s model for
vulnerability assessments at the
workshop in JHB.
Erna
2019/08/12
AWARD; Sharing CCA
experiences
National workshop in JHB including
members of the Adaptation
Network in intensive sharing of
experiences
Erna
2019/08/12,22
1.Fourth
Ukulinga Howard
Davis Memorial
Symposium
Developing resilience through
partnerships and collaboration.
Hosted by UKZN. Presentation on
climate smart agriculture
Erna, Mazwi, Phumzile,
Tema
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2019/09/10,12
Participatory impact
assessments
For KZN (Gobizembe) and Limpopo
(Turkey)
Erna, Tema Nontokozo,
Betty
2019/09/29,30
Learning sessions
Natural pest and disease control
workshops for KZN learning groups
Bergville, Gobizembe
Erna, Tema, Nontokozo,
Phumzile
2019/10/07-11
Rhodes -GEF
workshop; EC pilots
Vulnerability assessment workshop
at Rhodes University. Learning and
monitoring for 3 learning groups in
Eastern Cape; including CA ripping
and planting, Natural pest and
Disease Control and shade net
tunnel construction
Erna, Tema, Mazwi,
Lawrence
2019/10/14,15
and 28,29
uMkomazi
Restoration Project
Climate change impacts and
adaptation scenario development
workshops in 2 villages in Impendle
Erna, Tema.
2019 -Oct-Nov
Ezibomvini (Bergville)
Spring Protection
Water committee process for
implementation of spring protection
and reticulation to learning group
members’ households
Erna, Phumzile, Chris
2019/11/25
Okahlamba land and
Agric summit
Presentation of a position paper for
CCA in KZN and success stories
Erna, Tema
2019/11/28,and
2019/12/11
Fodder
supplementation and
production learning
workshop
In collaboration with CEDARA Argic
College- Review of supplementation
experimentation and introduction of
stripcropping in Stulwane
(Bergville,KZN), Madzikane
(Madzikane Forum Open day in
association with KZNDARD and
LandCAre)and Ozwathini
Erna, Phumzile, Tema,
Mazwi, Alan Manson and
Charmaine Mchunu
2019 Nov-Dec
Limpopo water
committees -
boreholes
Water committee activities in
drilling boreholes and reticulating
water to learning group members
Erna ,Betty
2020/01/09,10,16
Strip cropping field demonstrations
in Bergville (stulwane), Madzikane
(SKZN)and Ozwathini (Midlands)
Erna, Phumzile, Tema,
Mazwi, Alan Manson and
Charmaine Mchunu
2020/01/03
Uploading of DSS and e-survey onto
MDF website
Erna, Matthew Evans
Capacity building and publications:
Research presentations andchapters:
oMazwi Dlamini M Phil (PLAAS UWC-yr 2); Continuation with fieldwork
oPalesa Motaung M Soil Science (UP); Finalisation of research results and write up
of thesis in progress
Publications:
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Cross visits:Agroecology Network farmersopen day on process and value adding in Sedawa
(Limpopo)
Stakeholder engagement:
oCollaboration in uMkhomazi restoration Project – Umngeni Water and the INR
oCollaboration with GEF5 team at Rhodes University vulnerability assessments
Conference papersand presentations: -
oAdaptation Network: National workshop on Climatechange adaptation experiences.
Presentation on smallholder DSS
oNRVF workshop DEAT: Presentation on vulnerability assessment methodology
oUkulinga Howard Davis Symposium; UKZN: Presentation on climate resilient
agriculture.
oOkahlamba Land and Agriculture summit; presentation on Climate change and CCA
success story
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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 (September 2019-October 2020)
*Note: Activities in bold under Demonstration Sites, were conducted during this time frame
Province
Site/Area;
villages
Demonstration sites
CoPs
Collaborative
strategies
KZN
Ntabamhloph
e
- CCA workshop 1
- CCA workshop 2
-CCA workshop 3
-CCA workshop 4
-CCA workshop 5
- Monitoring and PIA
- Monitoring and review of CA experimentation
-CA experimentation introduction (2ndround)
-Farmers w
NGO
support
(Lima RDF)
- Tunnels and drip kits
- Individual
experimentation with
basket of options
-Conservation Agriculture
Ezibomvini/
, Eqeleni
- CCA workshop 1
- CCA workshop 2
- CCA workshop 3
- CCA workshop 4 (training)
- Water issues workshops 1,2
-Water issues follow-up
-CCA workshop 5
-Monitoringand review of CA experimentation
- Fodder and supplementation learning process
- Natural P&D control learning
-Water issues continuation (Spring protection)
-Strip croppingand CA experimentation
continuation
-CA open
days, cross
visits
(LandCare,
DARD, ARC,
GrainSA),
LM Agric
forums,
- Tunnels (Quantitative
measurements
- CA farmer
experimentation
(Quantitative
measurements) case
studies
-Individual experimentation
with basket of options;
monitoring review and re-
planning
- Livestock integration
learning group and
experimentation focus
Swayimane/
Gobizembe
- CCA workshop 1
-CCA workshops 2 and 3
-CCA workshop 4
- Monitoring, review and replanning
- Monitoring of garden, tunnel and CA
experimentation
-PIA and Nat Pest& disease control learning
session
-CA experimentation continuation
-CA open
days
-Umgungun
dlovu DM
agriculture
forum
- CA farmer
experimentation
- gardening level
experimentation; tunnel,
trench beds drip kits etc.
Madzikane
-CCA workshop 1
-CCA workshops 2-4
-Set up of gardening and tunnel
experimentation
- Madzikane Forum open daystrip cropping
and CA mechanisation.
-Strip croppingand CA experimentation
continuation
-CA open
days
- Madzikane
stakeholder
forum
-CA farmer
experimentation
- gardening level
experimentation; tunnel,
trench beds drip kits etc
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Below summary reports for progress in each area is presented.
Tunnel experimentation progress
This farmer level experiment has been continued with the three participants in Bergville (Phumelele
Hlongwane, Nombono Dladlaand Ntombakhe Zikode), one participant in Swayimane and one
participant in Madzikane as well as 12 participants in Limpopo (Sedawa, Turkey, Mametja)
The experiment is to plant a range of vegetablesin trench beds (with or without mulching),inside and
outside the tunnels and to compare productivity. Water productivity has not been calculated for this
round of experimentation; mainly due to difficulties in getting farmers to focus on accurate record
keeping.Qualitative assessmentshave however been conducted with the farmers to ascertain
progress and learning by farmers and their learning groups.
Limpopo
Mametja
(Sedawa,
Turkey)
- CCA workshop 1
- CCA workshop 2
- CCA workshop 3
- CCA workshop 4
-Water issues workshops 1-2
-Water issues follow-up
- CCA workshop 5
- Poultry production learning and mentoring
-CA learning and mentoring
-Monitoring, review and re-planning
-S&WC and small dams learning and
experimentation
-Monitoring of CA experimentation
-Open day; Value adding and processing
-PIA’s (Mametja, Sedawa, Turkey)
-Water Committees boreholes and
reticulation
- CC impact and adaptation strategies
workshop- new villages
- CA experimentation continuation
-
Agroecology
network
(AWARD/M
DF)
-Maruleng
DM
-Review of CSA
implementation and re-
planning for next season
Tunnels (Quantitative
measurements
- CA farmer
experimentation
(Quantitative
measurements) case
studies
- Individual
experimentation with
basket of options
-water committee, plan for
agric water provision
Lepelle
-Water issues workshops 1-2
-
-water committee, plan for
agric water provision
Tzaneen
(Sekororo-
Lourene)
- CCA workshop 1
- CCA workshop 2
- Assessment of farmer experimentation
Farmers
learning
group
-Tunnels and drip kits
EC
Alice/Middled
rift area
- CCA workshop 1
- CCA workshop 2
- CCA workshop 3
-CCA workshop 4 and 5
-Monitoring, review and re-planning
- Set up tunnel experimentation process
-Learning sessions in CA, NP&D control and
tunnel construction
Imvotho
Bubomi
Learning
Network
(IBLN) -
ERLC, Fort
Cox,
Farmers,
Agric
Extension
services,
NGOs
- Monitoring and 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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Although theresearch team was intent upon repeating the WP results to gain a second season’s worth
of information, the farmers felt as though they had already learnt how it worked and fine-tuned their
practice and consequently could not be persuaded to focus on the record keeping aspects in enough
detail.
In Madzikane (the 2ndSouthern KZN site), the farmer chosen for this process by the learning group,
was not up to the task. She presented many excuses and reasons, the main one being lack of water
even though upon choosing her site, she had insisted she had access to water. The tunnel will be
moved in January 2020.
In Limpopo, 12 participants were taking part in the process alongside three participants who were
meant to be keeping records and for whom chameleon readings were taken. Again, an almost blanket
lack of recording, despite numerous attempts to ensure that this was happening, took place.
Thus, a more qualitative analysis of this practice was undertaken through monitoring and
interviews.
Bergville
Ezibomvini (Phumelele Hlongwane and Nombono Dladla) and Ntombakhe Zikode
(Eqeleni)
Bergville has been in the grip of a quite severe drought, with uncharacteristically high temperatures,
even during winter. The summer rains only finally set in during the first week of December 2019.
Consequently, participants have been hard pressed to find water for their crops, carrying water from
springs and boreholes substantial distances from their homesteads.
Cropping Cycle and practices
Participants have nowincluded a mixed cropping regimeas their standard practice. This consists of
planting between 2-5 different crops per bed for each planting cycle of around 4 months and rotating
these with different crops in the following season; e.g. rotating root cropswith leaf crops, or cabbage
with spinach. They explain that the actual planting mixes are chosen depending on whether they are
heavy feeders or not and on crops belonging to different crop families. It is clear that they are now
using some of the principles of mixed cropping and crop rotationthat were introduced, in their
cropping cycles.
Spinach is cut / harvested 3-4 times before being replaced.
Crops grown between April and August2019included: Mustard spinach, kale, rape, leeks, cabbage,
Spinach, Chinese cabbage, beetrootandonions, green paperand herbs (parsley, rosemary, spring
onions, fennel ….). A new round of cropping commenced towards the end of September.
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Crops grown between October 2019 and
March2020include: Cabbage, spinach,
beetroot, onions, green pepper, Chinese
cabbage and herbs such as thyme,
coriander and parsley.
Figure 1: Seedlings of vegetables and herbs being
sold to participants in the learning group from the
farmer centre in Ezibomvini; spinach, beetroot,
cabbage, Chinese cabbage, onions, and herbs.
In addition, seed savingis being practised
and seed of a number of the crops has been
shared among participants; including
coriander, parsley, rape, kale, mustard
spinach and leeks.
Both the procurement of seedlings and saving of seed are new practices
among these gardeners and bodes well for future sustainability of their
gardening implementation.
Figure 2: Seeds that have been saved by group members and that are shared among
the learning group members; including coriander, parsley, rape, mustard spinach and
kale
Mulching is also now being used by all three participants on an ongoing
basis.
Drip irrigationis being consistently used by all three participants. They
feel that this practice assists in reducing evaporation and saves them
water. They have also undertaken to change the sandand gravel water
filters in these buckets from time to time, as they have noticed that the
application rate of water through the system slows down substantially when these “filters” become
blocked.
Observations
Below is a summary of some of the observations made by the participants:
Use of animal manure when planting successive crops in the trench beds helps to keep the
fertility levels high and has also resulted in the presence of a larger number of earthworms in
the beds.
The cool season crops such as Chinese cabbage, spinach and beetroot do a lot better inside
the tunnels than outside, as they are not stressed by the high variability in temperatures and
excessive wind inside the tunnels
Evaporation of water outside the tunnels has remained substantially higher outside the
tunnels than inside, even during the winter months. This is the biggest advantage of the
tunnels reducing water and wind stress for the crops.
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Pest incidence was not much of a problem in the winter season.
Although the mulching assists in weed control, some weeding is still required- especially in
summer and the main advantage of the mulch is to keep the soil moist and cool.
All three participants have increased the size of their vegetable gardens (outside tunnel beds)
and are growing for household consumption and sale. Sales from these small gardens have
averaged around R400-R800/ month.
Figure 3: Left; Phumelele Hlongwane’s tunnel beds showing chinese cabbage, spinach, onions, parsley and cabbage and
Right; Ntombakhe Zikode’s tunnel with Chinese cabbage beetroot and cabbage visible.
Figure 4: Left: Nombono Dladla’s garden beds outside her tunnel, featuring a bucket drip kit, spinach, onions Chinese
cabbage and parsley and Right; Phumelele’s much extended vegetable garden newly planted in November 2019
Chameleon sensors and irrigation
These sensors have been installed in the three tunnels, mainly as a way to assist the participants to
learn about different irrigation practices; working with drip irrigation, shallow watering and deep
watering.
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Given the extreme lack of water in the area, the temptation to add small amounts of water more
often, rather than deep watering was very high for participants- evidenced in the high levels of red
readings in the chameleon sensors for the driestperiod of the year; April- October 2019. They were
constrained by access and thus elected to reduce their irrigation. In addition, the humic acids released
by beds with high organic matter content (i.e. all the trench beds), slowly (or more quickly in some
cases) dissolve the gypsum covering of the underground sensors over time, leading to the sensors no
longer being accurate or active. It was very difficult to discern whether the lack of readings was due
to the soil being dry or sensors being inactive. Sensors were replaced in September 2019
Figure 5: The chameleon sensor data for Phumelele Hlongwane’s trench bed outside her tunnel for June 2018-
September 2019. The grey colouring indicates either a lack of water in the soil - so little water that a reading is not
possible, or the sensor not working well due to the decay of the gypsum covering. Because the sensors were grey at
times and then went back to red, it was assumed for some time that the soil was just very dry.
Figure 6: The chameleon sensor data for Phumelele Hlongwane’s trench bed outside her tunnel after the sensor array
was replaced towards the end of September. After the new sensors were installed, readings appeared to be more firmly
in the red meaning that the soil at allthree depths remained very dry for the whole of October. Watering in November
improved the soil water down to around 20cm depth, but not the deeper layers- indicating the shallow water both from
the drip irrigation kits and hand watering, due to limited water supply.
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Figure 7: The chameleon sensor data for Phumelele Hlongwane’s trench bed inside her tunnel after the sensor array was
replaced in the middle of September. In this case, she has manged to keep her top layer (around 20cm depth of soil) well
wetted between September and November and also provided enough water to allow for an increase in moisture in the
deeper layers of the soil from the beginning of November. The pink readings indicate interference by humic acids in the
soil, due to application of manure and compost for her new planting cycle in early November
Because Phumelele no longer kept records of actual irrigation amounts, it is very difficult to draw any
significant conclusions from the chameleon sensor results.It is however clear that the watering in the
tunnel was more effective in keepingthe soil moist for extended periods of time, than outside the
tunnel. Phumelele did indicate that she needs to supply more water outside the tunnel to keep her
crops alive than inside the tunnel.A coherent cycle of record keeping will be attempted one more
time for this participant. She will need more consistent support from field staff to manage this process.
Figure 8: The chameleon sensor data for Ntombakhe Zikode’s trench bed inside her tunnel between February 2019 and
December 2019. It can be seen that she irrigated little between September 2018 and February 2019, starting irrigation
again in the drier winter months of March- June 2019. She ran out of water almost completely between July-October
2019 and the latest good soil moisture readings (November-December 2019) are more likely due to rain than an
improved ability to irrigate.
Ntombakhe Zikode’s chameleon readings provide an indication of the lack of access to water for
irrigation, that has become more severe as the local drought dragged out after the winter season. It
is thus not really possible to use the readings from these sensors as a measure of irrigation efficiency,
as in reality they provide an indication more of periods of extreme water stress.
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Other gardening practices; tower gardens and eco-circles
These practices have been introduced and tried out by 10-12 participants across the three learning
groups involved in Bergville. For this 2ndseason of implementation only a few participants have
continued with implementation notably Phumelele Hlongwane. For her ,the ability to use greywater
and manage her irrigation using the bottle drip system in the eco-circles has become part of her overall
gardening management practice.
Below are a few indicative pictures.
Figure 9: Above Left; One of Phumelele’s tower garden sin the winter season (May 2019), showing kale, rape and
mustard spinach growing well. Centre; Her tower gardens in September 2019, now planted to onions and spinach and
Right: An eco-circle in her garden, with the central bottle drip system, a practise that she has extended into a number of
her trench beds as well.
Southern KZN tunnels and garden experimentation
In this area lack of watering has been a major detracting factor in the productivity of the gardens.
Farmers struggled with access to water. Again, records were not kept well by farmers, further reducing
the ability to quantify any trends or water productivity in these experimental plots. In addition, pest
issues featured quite strongly in this area as an issue inside the tunnels. Farmers were visited and
interviewed periodically to ascertain their observations and learning from the process.
Gobizembe
MaZondi has experimented with normal beds, shallow trenches and deep trenches in her garden. She
noted that crops grew better in the normal raised beds and shallow trenches and indicated that she
thought it was because the organic matter in the trench beds has as yet not decayed; almost 9 months
later. It is likely that the breakdown of organic matter has been severely hampered by the lack of
water. MaZondi did not change herirrigation management practices; still resorting to the small and
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shallow watering technique common for smallholders. She did not use mulching.
Figure 10:Above left; thyme and parsley growing well in an eco-circle and Right: MaZondi’s normal raised beds in the
foreground, and shallow trench beds with spinach in the background. Growth in the mixed crop shallow trenches is
substantially improved over that in the raised beds.
MaZondi also undertook an experiment of her own, of a practise that she heard of form other group
members; planting potatoes in sacks/bags.
This practice worked very
well for her and her
potatoes grew well. She did
however not have a
control,or normal practise
to compare against, which
limits the conclusionsthat
can be drawn from this
exercise
Figure 11:Right; MaZondi’s
sacks being prepared for
planting potatoes and Far-right:
potatoes growing well in these
sacks.
Mrs Mcnanyana has continued withher tunnel experiment; planting in normal raised beds, shallow
and deep trenches both inside and outside her tunnel. She did use mulching, mostly to avoid run-off
and erosion in her beds. She planted purple cabbage, beetroot, lettuce, turnips and parsley in these
beds.
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Figure 12Above: Mrs Mcnayana’s beds in her tunnel. Left- raised
bed, Middle- shallow trench beds and Right-deep trench beds. The
raised bed was unaffected by snails and aphids, but the shallow
and deep trenched beds were heavily predated. Note: It is the
impression of the facilitator that the damage caused was not by
snails, but by grasshoppers and/or beetles. Snails do not eat large
holes in the leaves, which were in evidence and generally require a
much moisture environment than was present in Mrs Mcnayana’s
garden.
Figure 13: Right; Mrs Mcnayana’s shallow and deep trenched beds
outside the tunnel. Here she used some mulching and stones on the
edges of her beds to avoid soil erosion during watering and rain.
Pest attacks wereevident both inside and outside the
tunnel, but were worse inside. The higher predation on the trench beds is not considered to be an
effect of the beddesign system, butis likely more an outcome of the environmental conditions as well
as water stress and general levels of low fertility in Mrs Mcnayana’s soils. Again, the extended dry
conditions can be considered to have slowed the decay of the organic matter in the trench beds
considerably.
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Figure 14: Chameleonsensor readings between June and September 2019 for Mrs Mcnayana’s trench bed inside the
tunnel. The soil dried out during July and remained extremely dry until September.
Figure 15: Chameleon sensor readings between June and September 2019 for Mrs Mcnayana’s trench bed outside the
tunnel. Here the soil was only marginally less dry after July, when compared to the tunnel. Mrs Mcnayana’s difficulties
in productivity and high levels of predation by grasshoppers and aphids is considered tobemostly an outcome of
extremely water stressed plants.
Madzikane
Mrs Shozi who was undertaking the tunnel experimentation in Madzikane really struggled with
understanding and internalising the concepts of this experiment. She had extremely little access to
water and somehow had an expectation of good growth despite the dry conditions and lack of fertility
in her garden. She removed most of the plants in the tunnel due to extremely poor performance and
then concentrated a little on the beds outside the tunnel which fared somewhat better. She did not
get the hang of taking the chameleon readings and also did not keep records.
Figure 16: Above Left to Right: Mrs Zondi’s trench bed outside her tunnel, Phumzile assisting her with taking the
chameleon reading and water stressed turnips, beetroot and spinach inside her tunnel
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Figure 17: Chameleon soil moisture readings for Mrs Zondi’s trench bed outside her tunnel. It is clear that the soil
remained dry throughout after the initial watering when the chameleons were installed in June 2019. Mrs Zondi
indicated that she has to get up at 5am in the mornings to walk the long distance to the closest river where she can get
water.
In conclusion, crops have been severely water stressed throughout the growing period, which has also
led to increased pest attacks on her crops. She has managed to harvest some beetroot, turnips and
spinach. She is still planning to plant again for the summer season, but the learning group has opted
to move the tunnel to a different participant’s homestead to try the experiment again, as very little
could be concluded from this attempt.
Eastern Cape
The tunnel experimentation process in Berlin has not progressed well, despite introducing a new
intern at theZIngisa Centre’s training garden to the process and working on a management and
monitoring process with her. The Imvotho Bubomi learning network discussedthis and decided to
move the tunnel to a community garden in Xhukwane. This was done in early October 2019.
Xhukwane CCA workshop and tunnel experimentation
Written by Nontokozo Mdeltshe and Temakholo Mathebula
This learning group(18 participants)was taken through the discussion process of climate change
impacts and adaptive strategies prior to introduction of the shade cloth tunnel experimentation
process.
Below is a brief summary of the community
Table 3: Summary of background information for Xhukwane
List of organizations or
cooperatives in the area
Type of livestock kept
Summary of activities
Sabela Service Center for the aged
Sheep
Gardening
CWP country program
Cattle
livestock
Msenge wasefama coop
Goats
Field crops (maize, beans)
Nonyushwana coop
Chickens
Pigs
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Climate changeimpacts
Rainfall variability has increased to a point where crops are dying,
Struggling to keep up with the changing weather patterns,
Things have changed, we have different rain patterns, extended high temperaturedurations.
We were confused yet happy to receive October rains, they no longer occur at this time of
the year,
Used to have crops in the field year-round including peas and wheat in winter,
In the last 5-6 years, things have changed for the worst,
The natural environment is taking strain, wild fruits such as prickly pear have diedand the
peach trees have decreased in numbers. In the past they
would just come up and grow on their own,
Increased vaccinationsarerequired for livestock due to poor
grazing areasand degrading rangelands,
Water sources, dams and rivers are drying out and
Water is very scarce, we struggle for drinking water, and
gardening becomes a huge task(issue)
Figure 18: Tema facilitating the CC impacts and adaptive measures discussion in
Xhukwane
Adaptivepractices/strategies
Use of compost
Organic farming
Windmills
Pasture rehabilitation
Reforestation
The participants came up with a list of practicesthey have tried and new ideas during the 5 fingers
discussion, as outlined in the table below.
Table 4: Adaptative practices within the 5 fingers (soil ,water, crops, livestock and natural resources)
Water
Soil
Crops
livestock
Natural
environment
Efficient use;
including water
saving and drip
irrigation
Organic compost
Green manurefor
soil fertility and
livestock fodder
Feed production
Windbreaks
Grey water
Reducederosion;
mulching
Biomass; grow crops
with high biomass
Manure
harvesting
Restorationof
degraded soils
Storage
Fertility; use
manure and
fertilizer as well as
legumes
Weed suppression,
using different crop
combinations
Grazing land
rehabilitation
Grazing
management
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Access:
windmills,
dams, boreholes
Soil types; plant in
deep and more
fertile soils
Meat
production
Reforestation
Topography; take
care not to plant
on steep slopes
Organic farming
Water management
Erna presented practices that farmers can tryand emphasised the importance of combining different
practices. Combining practices such as mulching, mixed cropping and use of grey water will have a
greater impact than just doing one practice, such asmulching alone for example. The following
practiceswere briefly presented (using the power point presentation of CSA practices)
ØBucket drip kits
ØShade cloth tunnels
ØFurrows and ridges
ØMulching
ØDiversion ditches
ØInfiltration pits
ØRain water harvesting storage
ØSmall dams
ØLiquid manure
ØTrenches and shallow trenches and
ØEco circle
Thereafter, the tunnel was installed in the garden. There are a few indicative pictures below.
Figure 19: Above Left; learning group members constructing the tunnel,Centre; the final product andRight;
construction of the deep trench beds with installation of the drip irrigation kit at Xhukwane
Limpopo (Sedawa, Mametjaand Turkey)
Written by betty Maimela and Erna kruger
Participants with chameleons undertook to record irrigation and harvests for a 2ndseason,(June-
September 2019),but most stopped their record keeping around June-July 2019 due to severe water
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shortages in the villages. They stopped watering their beds outside the tunnels and focused on keeping
small quantities of crops inside their tunnels alive. It was thus not possible to do a second round of
water productivity calculations.One participant however made a brave attempt and her calculations
are presented below
This season participants planted their own crop combinations and used crops for selling through the
organic marketing system set up in the area and for household consumption.
Makibeng Moradiye(Mametja)
In this villagethe gardenershave been using municipal water for irrigation, as all other surface
sources of water dried out some time ago. The pump for the villages water system broke in early
July and was not fixed. Mrs Moradyie has been buying water for household use and irrigation.
Table 5: Makbeng Moradiye’s irrigation andharvesting record keeping sheet (June-September 2019)
Date
Water applied(l)
Crop type
Yield
Inside
tunnel
(4,5m
trench bed)
Outside
tunnel
(4,5 m
trench bed)
Inside tunnel
Outside tunnel
04/06/2019
25l
25l
Spinach,
chilli and
leek
4,89kg spinach
0,1kg leeks
3,26kg spinach
09/06/2019
25l
25l
0,1kg leeks
16/06/2019
25l
4,89kg spinach
20/06/2019
25l
25l
1,63kg spinach
23/06/2019
25l
25l
0,25kg leeks
27/06/2019
25l
25l
0,1kg chilli
0,1kg leek
04/07/2019
25l
25l
4,89kg spinach
3,26 kg spinach
09/07/2019
25l
25l
Leek,
spinach
and
beetroot
0,05 kg chilli
18/07/2019
25l
25l
20/07/2019
25l
25l
0,25kg leek
1,63kg spinach
09/08/2019
25l
25l
20/08/2019
25l
25l
0,25kg leek
1,63kg spinach
28/08/2019
25l
25l
01/09/2019
25l
25l
3,26kg spinach
1,63kg beetroot
0,05kg chilli
04/09/2019
25l
25l
0,05kg chilli
11/09/2019
25l
25l
Using the simplified method of water productivity calculation; using irrigation and yield only, provides
an estimate of the WP for the two practices (trench beds inside and outside the tunnel). During this
time, there was no rain at all. Given that Makibengplanted and harvested a mixture of crops (Spinach,
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leeks, chillies and beetroot) and that the crop coefficients were not used in this calculation the results
are largely qualitative in nature.
Table 6: Water productivity calculation (simple method) for Makibeng Moradiye (June-September 2019)
Bed
Water applied
(m)
size of bed
(m2)
water use
(m3)
Total
weight (kg)
WP
(kg/m3)
Trench inside tunnel
0,375
4,5
1,6875
17,35
10,28
Trench outside tunnel
0,4
4,5
1,8
14,92
8,28
From the above table it can be seen that Makibeng’s water productivity inside her tunnel was around
24% higher than outside the tunnel. The effect on WP, of planting inside her tunnel, is much lower
than in the previous season where WP in the tunnel was close to double the WP in outside beds. This
is due, in a large part, to Makibeng’s observation that the shading has a very beneficial effect on crop
growth and that she has now moved her outside beds to be either in the shade or surrounded by
shade-cloth toreduce the effect of heat and wind.She has thus already internalised the principles
inherent in the advantages tunnels can provide and have applied these to the rest of her garden.
Figure 20: Above left; spinach and leeks inside the tunnel, in the bed Makibeng used for her record keeping. In the
foreground are peas and parsley. Above Right; A trench bed outside the tunnel with beetroot and spinach planted
slightly later in the season, planted in an area with shade and surrounded by shade cloth, to emulate the effects of the
tunnel.
Conservation Agriculture
Eastern Cape
Due to the failure of the CA experimentation process last season in Mxhumbu, caused by low rainfall
and extremely compacted soil, it was decided to include deep ripping as part of the experimentation
process this season. In addition, large quantities of manure have been added to the soil to increase
fertility and soil health and counteract the compaction.
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This process was conducted in association with the Fort Cox Agricultural Training Institute, who
donated the use of their tractor and deep ripper for the demonstration and also brought a group of
third year students to participate.
An areaof close to2500m2was ripped prior toaddition of manureand lime and planting, using a
Haraka wheel planter. Double rows of maize were intercropped with sugar beans and a summer cover
crop mix (sunflowers, Sunn
hemp and Babala/ millet).
In addition, a 10x10m plot was
hand planted using hand hoes
and MBLI planters to a tramline
intercrop of maize and beans
and maize and cowpeas.
Figure 21: Right and Far right;
preparing planting basins and furrows
for the planting of maize and
legumes, with the Fort Cox students.
Figure 22: Above Left; Deep ripping of the field, Centre; preparation of the Haraka planter with different sized seed
plates and Right; addition of manure mixed with lime and planting of maize, beans and summer cover crops.
Southern KZN- Ozwathini CA open day: Focusing on mechanisation and cover crops
An open day was hosted by the Ozwathini learninggroup on the 24thof September, focussing on
demonstration of the two-row tractor drawn planter and on cover crops. This day was held in
association with the KZNDARD, LandCare and AGT Foods, who donated a range of CC seeds and did a
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presentation on cover crops for the group. Around 120 farmers participated, including farmers from
Swayimane and Bergville
Below are pictures of the CC poster and handouts provided to all participants.
Figure 23: Cover crop poster and handouts provided at the Ozwathini farmers’ day (in isiZulu)
The mechanisation demonstrationhad the intention of showcasing the newly acquired two-row
planter for the group, but also to demonstrate contour planting for the steeper slopes typical of the
area, as well as using theplanter to inter crop maize and beans. The two separate seed hoppers,
means that they can be set for different seed types and different planting depths making
intercropping an easy and realistic option.
Figure 24: Right;
The two-row
planter with
different seed
types (maize, sugar
beans) in the seed
hopers and Far
right: a view of the
planter being
demonstrated in
the field
Mr Simon Hodges from AGT Foods, head of their cover crops division, was an important guest and
speaker at the event.Cover crops are important in CA systems for improvement of soil fertility and
soil health and also for provision of fodder for livestock
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Figure 25: Right: Mr
Hodges doing his
power point
presentation at the
open day and Far
right; examples of
cover crops millet
and mung beans.
Southern KZN Madzikane Stakeholder Forum CA open day.
Written by Mazwi Dlamini
This is an annual event held in the local hall where stakeholders meet and get to share information on
different projects as well as experiences. The farmer to farmer sharing of information is key to the
improvement and sustainability of livelihoods. This also serves as a platform for coming up with pro-
poor collaborations geared at improving and sustaining livelihoodsand dealing with issues such as
poor grazing qualityand quantity in the winter commonages in the area.The 2019/2020 season saw
attempts where fodder production options were introduced on both household and field scales where
fields are now beingfenced off; activitiesachieved only through collaboration.
At the forum presentations were given by the following stakeholders:
ØTemakholo Mathebula (MDF); Areview of CA learning and importance of stakeholder forums
for learning, sharing and social agency
ØSiyanda Memela (KZN Department of Agriculture); Programmes for smallholder farmers
supported by KZNDARD
ØCharmaine Mchunu (Soils and analytical services, Cedara); Strip-cropping with fodder species
and maize
ØNqe Dlamini (StratAct); the importance of cash flow management and savings for successful
farming enterprises
ØSibusiso Madiba (Farming Systems ResearchUnit Cedara); the spacing and maize variety trial
layout and purposeand
ØNtokozo Zulu (LandCare); introduced the LandCare programme and partnership with MDF
Visiting farmers from Ofafa, Ngongonini and Plainhillalso attended the event.
Field visits
In thefields, participants visited a number of field level demosntrtion trials;
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-One, was an experiment by FarmingSystems Research (FSR) in Cedara, trying out different
maize spacingregimesunder CA (30cm, 50cm and 75cm) using different maize varieties. Here
they wanted to see crop performance and weeds under the different spacing.
-Alongside the FSR experiment was MDF’s CA
rotationalfarmer leveltrial. The trial has ten plots;
MB-M-MC-L-MB-SCC-B-MC-SCC-M that were
rotated from the original plot of M-SCC-MC-B-SCC-
MB-L-MC-M-MB from the previous season.Soil
samples were taken from this trial to assess the
effect of multi cropping and crop rotation on soil
fertility and soil healthparameters.The inclusion of
cover crops was explained as very beneficial for the
soil as they provide nitrogen; reducing need for
chemical fertilizers; as well as providing the much
needed organic content and soil cover. These cover
crops may be cut and stored for livestock feed in the
harsh winters, especially given our degrading
rangelands.
-A few metres from there was Mr Xaba’s plot that
he planted using the two-rowno tillplanter from
Edenequip. Mr Xaba spoke authoritatively on the
use and calibration of this planter, indicating his experience with the planter.
During these demonstrations there was a lively discussionregarding CA and its reality in rural systems.
The importance of retaining crop residue on the groundwas discussed, as well as the importance of
retaining living roots in the soil. These play an important role in giving back some of the nutrients used
when maize crops were growing. Maize stalks also serve as a source of organic matter in the soil,
improving fertility and soil structure for better water holding capacity. There was then a question of
trade-offs between cover retention and livestock feed; typical of rural areas, maize stover is grazed by
cattle in the fields but this causes traffic and soil compaction which is precisely what were are working
Figure 27: Mr Xaba addressing farmers on his trials and the importance of spacing and intercropping
Figure 26: Sibusiso Madiba from FSR, explaining
his trial with the farmers
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against. One of the visiting farmers from Ngongonini then suggested stover be carried and grazed in
the kraals, this than gave MDF a chance totalk about the production of fodder as its quite clear that
crop production and livestock cannot be separated. Options for production of feed through; relay
cropping, dedicated fodder production blocksandstrip cropping with fodder species were then
discussed as potential options. Some of the farmers were reluctant to consider grasses for strip
cropping that they generally consider as weeds in their fields, despite the advantages of having fodder
available for grazing in winter. It was decided to try out the strip cropping in a fenced field dedicated
to this option to understand how this could work.
The participants also visited MrXaba’s homestead, to view the CA equipment in use by this learning
group; including MBLI, Haraka and tractor drawn two- row planters, as well as the boom sprayer and
a local thresher and mill. Regarding the latter, the importance of local savings groups was emphasised
as a mechanism to finance such equipment.
Limpopo
Written by Betty Maimela
The Conservation Agriculture process was re-introduced in Sedawa and Turkeyvillages in Lmpopo.
Due to the difficult planting conditions, participants still did not have a strong grasp of the theoretical
aspects, given that the practical demonstrations and farmer level trails have failed in thepast seasons.
Below is an outline of a workshop and demonstration process conducted in early December in Sedawa
as an example.
Introdution
Of the 24 participantswho attended the workshop 7were male and 17 were female. This learning
group was established towards the end of 2016 under the AgriSI project (in association with AWARD)
and most if not all members practice homestead gardening and field cropping. CA has been
introduced for three consecutive seasons. For the 1st2 seasons, complete crop failure was
experienced, due to the drought in the area. In the 2018-2019 season, summer rainfalls started very
late, but there was enough rain to have some growth and yields. Group participants feltthat they
knew how to work with the CA principles, but it has become clear that for most of these participants,
their understanding of the process has been very superficial and that a more concerted and in- depth
effort is required.
Current status of field cropping in the area
We started the workshop by findingoutwhat participants knowabout CA (or rather still remembered)
and what their observations have been from their CA trails in 2018-2019. Participants said the
following:
Lack of rainfall has beena major challenge with regard to both field cropping and homestead
gardening,
Pest outbreaks which are associated with extreme heat has been worse, especially on maize,
Those with supplementary irrigation were able to get some harvest from field cropping
systems. For example, Mr Maphori got 160kg of sugar beans (grain) from a 0,75 ha field,
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planted to a monocrop (~0,2t/ha which is around 10% of the yield potential of beans) while
Mpelesi Sekgobela also realised a good harvest of maize and cowpeas (not quantified),
Magdeline Malepe who has struggledwith poor soiland soil erosion, has installed stone bunds
in her field and planted in between them and has planted millet which has helped her to
increase her soil cover. She believes this is already contributing to improving her soil,
Farmers have observed that soil in the CA plots hold moisture longer than their traditionally
planted plots and
Farmers have also observed less competition between the crops in their CA plots compared
to their traditional planting method, despite the close spacing used.
Options for dealing with some of the problems:
Famers would like to try bird resistant sorghum and
Would like more detailed and site -specificplanting calendars, although in this regard it was
explained that planting calendars cannot accommodate for rainfall variability as there is no
predictable pattern.
From this discussion, it became apparent that the 3 pillars of CA which are (Minimum soil disturbance,
Soil cover and mixed copping) were not fully understood amongst the participants.
Methodology used in conducting the workshop
We ran the workshop over 2 3 days: One day for theory and the 2ndand 3rddays for practical
demonstrations and planting workshops.
For the theoreticalpart, we used a power point presentation on CA and cover crops, which was printed
out and pasted on a wall, for participants to peruse, as each slide was discussed. Topics covered in the
presentation include: Principles of CA, different planting options and planters, farmer level
experimentation and layoutof
CA trials, intercropping
examples, reduction in runoff,
cover crop options (summer and
winter combinations and a
Bergville case study (Phumelele
Hlongwane)
Figure 28: Introduction of concepts in
CA and cover crops using printed slides
Comments from the group included:
-“One thing that is clear is that we have not left asmuch soil cover as we see in the pictures
(this could be because in winter we clear and turn the field cropping fields into a garden). This
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also means that we till the soil, so we haven’t minimised the tilling. This has led to a lot of run-
off in the plots and in summer the rain washes away the seed and causes erosion”
-“Seeing examples of places where CA has worked, gives us courage to keep trying, one day we
might realise the same benefits. Even will high level of uncertainty it is worth trying.”
-“Though it seems in the examples shown on the slides, the people have access to water or it
rains a lot in their area “
Practical component (CA demonstration)
We first asked what participants would like to try in theirfields. The majority wanted to tryout
sunflowers andalso asked for options related to value addition of this crop.
The learning group was divided into 3 sub-groups:
1.Those who had already planted their fields at the time of the workshop
2.Those who have planted only portions of their fields at the time of the workshop
3.Those who had not yet planted and
For sub-group 1, the idea was to incorporate cover crops into what they have already planted. Most
of them had planted maize only.We chose Magdalene Malepe’s homestead to do the demonstration.
For sub-group 2, the demonstration was done at Meisy Mokwena’shomestead. with group 2 we
aimed at trying different combinations (maize plus beans, cover crops and lab lab) depending on how
much space was available.. For sub-group 3, Nomsa from Santeng (just before Willows) requested that
we do a demonstration in hervillage and she organised a group of participants (about 23 members)
Table 7:Sub-groups for planting demonstrations
Sub-Group 1
Sub- Group 2
Sub-Group 3
Christina Thobejane
Meisy Mokwena
Nomsa
Ema Malepe
Lourance
+ 22 participants from Santeng
Magdeline Malepe
Joyce Mahlako
Lina Malepe
Makgale Malepe
Mapekere
Eric Malepe
France Malatji
Thamara Malepe
Ngobe Manana
Nora Malepe
Elizabath Matsete
Koko Maphori
Esina Malepe
Mr Maphori
Joyce Seotlo
Alex Mogopa
Prisc Sekgobela
Makobila Malepe
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Sub- Group 1 (CA demonstration)
ForMagdeline’s field; some parts of the field the maize was
about 20 cm high while in other parts the maize was only
starting to germinate. The inter and intra row spacing
between the maize varied (from 25 cm to 40 cm) and the
rows were not straight. We planted Sunnhemp in between
the maize in areas where the spacing between the maize
was around 40cm. A few maize plants were removed to
accommodate for intercropping using beans and cowpeas as
well.
Figure 29: Magdalene Malepe’s planted field
Magdalene has made stone lines across her field to slow
down and spread the water flow. This gave as an
opportunity to talk about different ways to controlwater
movement in the yard, field or garden. We also
experimented with mulch. A bale of grass was used as mulch
in a small portion of the field, to test whether this conserves soil moisture and improves the growth
ofthe maize.
Figure 30:Above left one of the stone lines in Magdalene’s field. Chillies have been planted along the stone line and
maize has been planted above and below this line. Above right: Mulching a small portion of Magdalene’s maize to test
soil moisture conservation.
Sub Group 2 (CA demonstration)
Having learned from Magdalene’s plot that the spacing between the maize varied, we introduced a
rope with knots made 50 cm apart to help participates keep the spacing constant. The rope is
stretched between two droppers and is 10m long.
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For maize the rope needed to be offset by 25cm in the 2nd
line to accommodate for the zig-zig pattern of making the
planting basins. Another rope with the knots at 25cm was
made for the legumes.
Figure 31: Right: Knotted rope for spacing of maize planting basins.
Due to low and unpredictable rainfallin the area, we
recommended that participants should incorporate the
cover crops into their maize field once the maize has reached
knee height, to avoid competition.
With sub-group 2, we demonstrated planting (maize with
summer cover crops mix), (maize with sugar beans/ cowpea)
as well as (sunflower and maize). The maize and beans/
cowpea intercrop is something participants are familiar with.
Participants wanted to plant the Dolichos (Lab-Lab) in the way they are familiar with, namely along
the fence line, so that it can climb. It was suggested that they plant a few rows inside their fields as an
experiment- so that the soil improvement effect on neighbouring crops can be tested.
There was a good positive energy amongst participants and everyone took part during planting,
Figure 32:Above left; Mpelesi Sekgobela planting maize during the demonstration, Centre; Group busy planting, and
Right; Mulching a section of the plot after planting,
WEEDING: This is an issue in organic CA systems, hence the use of mulch to suppress weeds. One plot
was mulched, and one was left without mulch as a comparison. Participants were worried that the
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mulch would blow away and pegs were used to keep the mulch in place.Meisy Mokwena was also
asked to weed these CA plots, without disturbing the soil too much and ensuring that she leaves the
weeds on the soil surface to act as a mulch.
Review of the learning demonstration:
-We appreciated that you are patient with us, it helps us when our memories are being
refreshed (even though we should be knowing this very well by now)
-You always try new methodsto help us understand the subject matter
-Please provide use with some sort of a template on how to plant different combinations
under CA, (something that will look like a calendar that I can paste on a wall)
-We are going to plant, let’s hope and pray that it rains (we really want to see the full
potential of CA
-We don’t collect wood anymore as such and ropes are not really available in the households,
but we will share the existing rope templates and try our best”.
Sub-Group 3 (Santeng village/ Sedawa extension)
With this group, we wentstraight into the CA planting demonstration, without the day workshop on
the theoretical aspects. These aspects were however explained and discussed during the planting
process. Luckily some of the participants have worked for commercial maize farmers in the past and
were already familiar with some of the CA principles. We demonstrated how to plant maize and beans
/ cowpeasand talked about cover crops and their importance with the group. The group asked for a
full workshop where we would cover a wide range of topics, from soil fertility, to pest controlto seed
saving.
Conclusion
For participants who have been introduced to CA before, had a reasonable grasp of the land
preparation and planting process, but were lacking somewhat in the theoretical aspects. Ways need
to be explored to introduce the CA concepts in an even more simplified format, to ensure that
participants remember and use the principles. With regard to cover crops, as is the case the most
smallholders, their reason for planting these crops is for food either for themselves or their livestock
and the soil improvement aspects are considered and added bonus. Lab-Lab for example is popular as
people can eat both the leaves as greens and cook the beans.
Under the present difficult climatic conditions, it is likely that the field crops willonly do well if
supplementary irrigation can be provided.
Actionsfor MDF
-To make templates for planting CA plots (something that one can put on a wall). Weare
already playing with options
-Find bird resistant sorghum seed
-Design a workshop on pest control specifically for field crops (maize in particular)
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-Think through weeding options; there was a hand “weeder” that was used in Bergville at some
point that could be useful to try out.
Bergville Fodder supplementation progress and strip
cropping introduction
Bergville CA livestock integration workshop: Fodder supplementation
and strip cropping 28 November 2019
DATE: 28 November 10 am
Venue: Nothile Zondi in Stulwane (Bergville)
Attendance: 29 Participants (Emabunzini, Stulwane, Ezibomvini and Vimbukhalo)
Agenda
Time
Activity
Person
10:00-11:00am
Review of winter fodder supplementation
experimentation process
Erna Kruger, Thabani Madondo,
Phumzile Ngcobo- MDF
11:00am-
12:00pm
Input on CA strip croppingoptions with
perennial grazing options (grasses and
legumes
Alan Manson - KZNDARD
12:00-1:00pm
Discussion of options for experimentation
among learning group members and
finalisation of experimentation protocols
and participants
MDF and KZNDARD
1:30pm
onwards
Field level layout and demonstration of
planting grasses and legumes in strips
Postponed due to drought and
heat, for 1stor 2ndweek of January
2020
Review of winter fodder supplementation experimentation
A process was undertaken to cut and bale grass and also some of the cover crop residues participants
had planted namely cowpea, lab-lab, Teff and maize. In addition, supplements were introduced that
could be included in these “rations” for winter feeding. These included LS 33 and Premix 450. Seven
participants undertook this experimentation process and recorded their feeding as well as the results
using the livestock condition scoring sheet. The experiments are outlined in the two slides below.
Table 1: Bergville Participants who undertook experimentation
Village
Name of Participant
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Ezibomvini
Phumelele Hlongwane
Ntombenhle Hlongwane
Stulwane
Mtholeni Dlamini
Dlezakhe Hlongwane
Khulekani Dladla
Eqeleni
Ntombakhe Zikode
For participants who did not want to undertake such a focussed experiment, the idea of licks was
introduced to supplement the grazing from the veld during winter.
Figure 33: The fodder supplementation experiment outlines
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Figure 34: Experimental outlines for 7 of the 15 participants who recorded their process and results between August and
October 2019
Results
Participants undertook the fodder and supplementation for between 2-4 cattle from their herd; either
cows with calves who struggle in winter or cows in poor condition. They were fed with a mixture of
the supplements and baled grass or crushed maize, either every 2ndday or twice a week between mid-
August and mid-October.
In general, this process managed to either maintain or improve the livestock’s’ condition for all 7
participants. At the end of the experimental process livestock were all scored at ratings 3 (ribs well
covered and body outline smooth) or 4 (ribs not visible and body outline rounded), according to the
condition scoring sheet shown above.Below, are a fewexamples.
Figure 35: Results for supplementation experiment for Ntombakhe Zikode, who fed one cow and calf.
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Figure 36: Fodder supplementation results for Dlezakhe Hlongwane from Stulwane, who fed 4 cows, which were in a
very poor condition at the start of the feeding process.
Participants are very satisfied with the outcomes of these experiments and feelthatthey can continue
with supplementationin future. The supplements are not that expensive and now that they have some
experience with cutting and baling grass, they also feel this is manageable and a good idea.
Participants mentioned that once they started feeding their cows the supplement, the animals were
reluctant to eat the “dry grass” after that. This is common and thus most farmers (commercial) only
introduce the supplements once the cows are obviously quite hungry.
Participants also commented that they did not need to herd the animalsthat were being fed as they
all now come home to the kraal in the evenings for their “meals”. This is in fact a major advantage.
Participants alsoagreed that the cattle prefer the LS33 over the premix 450. The LS 33 however, is a
bit more expensive (R180/20l vs R230/50kg).
16 Participants volunteered to try out the supplementation experimentation process in the coming
season, of whom around 50% are women.
Comments from the farmers
Dlezakhe Hlongwane- Stulwane
Cattle did not like grass, used yellow maize mixed with lab-lab bales and premix. One of the two cattle
that were part of the experiment was with calf and the other not. At the start of the experiment the
cattle’s condition was poor and after the inclusion of the yellow maize the condition improved.
Khulekani Dladla- Stulwane
Bales help, I started experimentation late and the condition score 2 for my cattle now the condition
score has improved to condition score 4”
Mtholeni Dlamini- Stulwane
Experiment included bales + LS 33. Condition score of herd at the beginning of experiment was
condition score 3 at the Mid of August. The 4 cattle that were part of the experiment have kept their
condition throughout the winter months”
Phumelele Hlongwane- Ezibomvini
Experimentationisgoing well, condition score of my cattle is 4.5 going onto condition score 5. I
supplement the feeding with waste from my vegetable garden, spinach leaves & umbido. Premix 450
mixed with grain and bales mixed with LS 33.
Recommendations by farmers who undertook experimentation:
Dlezakhe Hlongwane- Stulwane
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Yellow maize is very important to have especially when the cattle do not like grass. Use of grain,
cowpea bales, drybean residue mixed with LS 33 are good and addition of Premix 450”
Khulekani Dladla- Stulwane
My cattle did not like Voermoel Premix 450 and preferred MolatekLS 33supplementation
Strip cropping with fodder crops
Mr Manson presented slides to cover the concepts of strip cropping on steep slopes for soil and water
conservation. He showed how this practice promotes the slow formation of bench terraces for the
maize strips between the grass and also indicated that the grass can be cut and used for fodder.
He introduced a few strip cropping options:
1.Strip cropping with annual fodder crops such as velvet bean, oats, vetch and ryegrass, as
well as kale and Japanese radish. Some of the benefits of kale include drought tolerance and
dual-purpose use (animal and human consumption). Japanese radish is highly drought
tolerant although it requires a lot of water at planting and is also a good cropfor animal
feeding.
2.Strip cropping with perennial grass species
a.Selected by using a broad leaf herbicide and repeated mowing which selects for
perennial grasses such as Digiteria /Catstail grass- dubbed “msila wekathi” in the
workshop
b.Planting specificspecies such as Paspalum/ Bahia grass- dubbed “Mbili grass” in the
workshop
c.Lespediza / poor man’s Lucerne, which is a hardier legume than Lucerne without the
high liming requirement, that can also be interplanted with grass. There are low
tannin varieties now available, which removes the need for carefully managed
intake by livestock and
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d.Tall fescue; which is a grass planted in either spring/autumn , that remains green
throughout winter.
e.Napier grass- grows considerably slower than the other perennials but lasts longer,
grown extensively in other African countries such as Kenya where it is cut and fed
and to cattle.
Perennial grasses are planted once and require no repurchasing of seed and acts as a goodcover for
the soil all year round.
Carefulconsideration needs to be taken to make sure that grassesgrowing in field are not left to grow
vigorously. At planting, the grassesand perennials are mowed to decrease competition with the
established crop. During the first season of establishment mowing takes place at least 4 times and
decreases to about twice per season during the third and fourth seasons of establishment.
A comment arose from the farmers considering the extent of stray livestock invasion into fields. It was
discussed that perennial grasses are highly adaptive to grazing and regrows after grazing. However, it
is important to protect the grasses from damage at establishment. Options discussed were cut and
carry and leave of grass as foggage for cattle to graze.
3.Strip cropping with the summer cover crop mix (Sunnhemp, babala and sunflower) and
cutting this during the season to dry and bale rather than growing out these cover crops to
seed.
Below are some indicative images
Figure 37: Above left; strip cropping maize and Paspalum (Mbili grass) and Above right: Strip cropping with Digiteria/
Catstail grass
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Figure 38: Above left; Vetch and black oats strip crops with maize and Above right; A plot showing Maize following a
winter planting of vetch (left) without fertilizer, compared with maize planted without fertilizer and without the cover
crop (right)
Figure 39: An example of Lespediza (Poor man’s Lucerne), brought as a sample to
the workshop.
A discussion followed. Some participants were worried about the grass
attracting livestock during the growing season. It was pointed out that
the grass could and potentially should be cut at least cone during the
season, to dry as hay and that inwinter it would be grazable along with
the maize stover. The grass is now treated as a “cropping field” and
livestock are excluded, as they would be for maize only fields.
An experimental layout plan was considered as follows:
Strip: 2,5m x 10 m. Seedingrate 20kg/ha thus 50g per strip for
perennials
Trial size thus 20mx10m
Paspalum
Maize
Lespediza
Maize
Digiteria
Maize
Lespediza +Paspalum/Digiteria
Maize
Tall fescue (optional to be planted later in the season)
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Thereafter a list of participants who wanted to undertake the experiments was compiled.
Village
Name and surname
Strip cropping with SCC
(and cutting for hay)
Strip cropping with
perennial grasses and
legumes
Ezibomvini
Phumelele Hlongwane
Y
Y
Ntombenhle Hlongwane
Y
Y
Vimbukhalo
Sibongile Mpulo
Y
Emabunzini
Valindaba Khumalo
Y
Y
Stulwane
Nelisiwe Msele
Y
Khethabahle Miya
Y
Y
Cuphile Buthelezi
Y
Y
Nothile Zondi
Y
Fikile Hlatshwayo
Y
Y
Phasazile Sithebe
Y
Y
Khulekani Dladla
Y
Y
Dlezakhe Hlongwane
Y
Thulani Dlamini
Y
Y
Mtholeni Dlamini
Y
Y
Matolozana Gumbi
Y
Dombi Dlamini
Y
Y
Dombolo Dlamini
Y
Y
Water committees
In this period progress was made with the matching grant funding and implementation processes
planned by the water committees in Ezibomvini (Bergville) and Sedawa and Turkey (Limpopo).
This has meant in both cases that the participantshave had to learn to plan and budget together as
well as clearly define their rules of operation. This has been an invaluable experience.The most
important learning in terms of process and social agency has been that participants only really start
thinking properly about particular aspects when they start to do them. It was not really possible to
put the budgeting and implementation plans in place prior to the activities taking place. It means that
a step by step facilitation process is required.
Ezibomvini Spring Protection process
Background
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This process was initiated in August 2018 and was suggested by the Ezibomvini learning group as a
way to provide household and agricultural water for the homestead gardens.
A survey of the local springs and potential options was conducted with assistance from Chris Stimie
(RIEng) and a process was initiated for the group to come together and collect monies, which would
be matched by MDF, to provide for a small fund to protect and reticulate one of the springs, with a
simple gravity fedsystem to participants’ homesteads.
The participants undertook to provide R1000 per household. This process took some time and by
September 2019 an amount of R8000 had been put together. MDF then decided to continue with the
process. Phumelele Hlongwane,the local facilitator for the area and the main driver for this process,
promoted this initiative tirelessly throughout this period. She initially put down R7000 and also offered
her 2200l JoJo tank as the header tank for the group. She has subsequently been paid back most of
this money.
Participants who have paid and are now part of the water committee: Lungile Sithole, Cabangani
Hlongwane, Phumelele Hlongwane, Phumelele Gumede,Goodman Dlamini, Landiwe Dlamini,
Hlengiwe Nkabinde, Mantombi Mabizela and Devu Dlmaini/Velephi Zimba 9 in total.
Progress in July 2019
Even though very little had happened by then, there was already some conflict within the group that
needed to be smoothed out. In one homestead there were two participants and an agreement was
reached that both needed to pay. Those who had paid and wanted to withdraw had their monies
returned to them. Another participant, Landiwe Dlamini, requested that water be provided at her new
homestead site (across the road and much further downhill than the rest of the group). It was re-
iterated that there is not a lot of water and that it is for homesteads and gardens only. For a time,
people believed that after elections, the Municipality would in fact deliver the promised water
provision to the area. This did not materialise. There were also some petty jealousies and fears related
to how people who are not part of this group would respond, to some participants refusing to have
pipes laid across their land and others feeling that people could not be trusted not to steal water, even
within the group.
Phase 1: Protection of the spring and laying of the main pipe to the header tank
(i)Design considerations
The spring is typical of the area, in that the eye is situated in a bank quite close to the streambed.
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Local participants have dug out a small catchment dam for the spring, fromwhich people collect water
and cattle also drink.
Figure 40: Right; the spring’s catchment
pond with evidence of use by cattle and
people and Far right: The catchment pond
dug out to make a bigger pond and small
dam wall
It is thus important that this part of
the spring can still be shared in the
community, as there is no direct
’ownership’ of this spring by the
group.
Consequently, the design includes an
offtake from the spring consisting of a slotted pipe buried in a trench filled with gravel and stones,
below the main catchment dam for the spring. This trench can be completely closed up and covered
with soil to avoid any damage and tampering.
Figure 41: Left; The capped end of the 1m length (50mm dimeter) slotted pipe that provides for the below ground
offtake of water from the spring and Right; the fittings linking this slotted pipe to the main pipe (5omm HDPE)(from
Chris Stimie- RIEng)
The spring is situated in the veld above the village and thus allows for a gravity fed system.
Because this is a low-pressure system and the main pipe to the header tanks is around 350m long, it
is important that the ditch for this pipe be place on an even slope. Following the contours of the
land, with the pipe going up and down accordingly could lead to air bubbles that stop the flow of
the water. These airlocks are extremely difficult to remove without having release valves at the
correct points in the pipe. An even gradient for the pipe removes this problem
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.
Figure 42:From Left to right; Starting on the trench for the slotted pipe, below the spring and pond, deepening and
widening this trench to 50cm x50cm x 1,2m), the trench with slotted pipe installed in a bed of gravel, covered by shade
cloth and rocks with a small furrow leading water from the spring to this trench and the trench damaged by livestock
before it could be properly covered and closed.
Figure 43: Left; Measuring the gradient for the main pipeline using a dumpy level. And Right; adjusting the line for the
pipe to avoid some of the larger dongas and rough terrain, while keeping it on an even gradient.
The ditches are dug to be around 30cm wide and 40cm deep evenly throughout the length of the
pipe. These ditches are dug by the learning group participants as their contribution in kind to the
process.
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A header tank with a ball vale (in this case a2200l tank with a drinking trough ball valve) is placed,
ideally at the highest homestead in the group. In this case it was placed at Phumelele Hlongwane’s
homestead as she is the leader of the group and also prepared to do the daily opening and closing of
taps to provide water to the rest of the learning group members.
Figure 44: Left to Right; Digging the ditch from the spring to the header tank, the header tank at Phumelele Hlongwane’s
homestead which was not installed on a level platform and has subsequently been corrected and an initial rough
layout drawing of the flow of the water to participants’ homesteads.
Once it was ascertainedthat the water actually flows into the header tank, the time taken to fill up
this tank was carefully recorded over a few days. In this way the water flow and capacity of this process
was determined. This is then used to work out the water allocation for each of the 9 participants on a
daily basis. Presently, due to the dry conditions in the area and low flow of the spring 2200lin 7 hours,
thus ~300l/hr), participants have been allocated 200l drums with ball valves. These can be filled up
twice a day- once in the morning and once in the late afternoon.
Progress meeting 5 November 2019
Attendance:12 Participants
Summary of observations thus far:
ØWater is being decanted from the 2200l header tank straight into 200l drums of the
participants, without waiting for the tank to fill up
ØThe water is a little muddy due to the damage caused in the offtake trench by cattle
ØThe water is running very slowly, this is disappointing for the participants who were hoping
for more water.
ØParticipants suggested making the small pond/dam bigger it was explained that this would
not increase the flowrate of the spring
ØOne participant also suggested closing up the whole spring to be able to get more water; it
was stressed that this spring is communal and that removing access entirely is likely to cause
conflict in the community. The participants also mentioned that there is an old belief in the
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community that when you completely close up a spring, then the “water owner/ spirit” will
move it to another place and it will dry up.
Social process
Erna stressed that this is an experiment in working together and taking responsibility for management
of a local resource. There is no precedent. It means that we will need very clear agreements between
participants and that we will need to trust each other to stick to the rules we make. If only one person
reneges, or tries to take more water than their allocation, or leaves their tap open, it means that none
of the other participants will get water. This can quickly escalate into major conflict among the
participants. Thus it is important to commit entirely to the process at the beginning.
(i)How this will work
1.The header tank needs to be left to fill up. Then the tap will be opened and the 200l drums
for each household will fill up
2.Once the top household’s 200l drum is full the tap for the header tank is again closed- so
that it can fill up again.
3.No-one can use water while their drum or tank is filling up. You need to wait until it is full
and the main tap is closed.
4.Each person can receive 2 x 200l in one day- so for example at 8am in the morning and again
8 hrs later at 4pm.
5.The header tank will then be left to fill up and remain full overnight, so as not to draw too
much water from the spring.
6.Phumelele Hlongwane will have access to 3x200l drums, meaning that she will get more
water than the other participants; an agreement made because she will be responsible for
checking the header tank and opening and closing the main tap twice on each day. She has
also provided a greater initial financial contribution.
These rules need to be strictly adhered to.
Thereafter a discussion was held about where the ditches would go for the pipes to peoples’
households. It was agreed that the main feeder pipe would be dug along the small road that comes
up to Phumelele’s house from the main road at the bottom and that people would take their pipes off
this line. It was also agreed that the pipes would go through a few of the participants’ fields to get to
the homesteads.
It was agreed that Landiwe’s 2ndhomestead site across the road could not be included in this process,
but her main homestead above the road would. It was also agreed that no more participants be
included and those that have not yet paid are now removed from the list (Ntombenhle Hlongwane,
Malusi Zondi and Zodwa Zikode). Participants requested lids for the 200l drums. It was suggested that
they arrange for this themselves.
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Figure 45: An initial correction has been made to the google earth map created for the group from GPS coordinates
taken using cell phones this as not very accurate. The blue line indicates the main feeder pipe to participants’
homestead running along the small road going up to Phumelele Hlongwane’s homestead
.
The header tank and reticulation to the households
A level plinth was constructed by the learning group for the header
tank, after it collapsed in a storm, due to the initial, less secure
arrangement of cement bricks and a pallet. This was an important
lesson for the group where an attempt to save money and effort led
to this unfortunate event. The group shouldered this set back well and
worked together to construct the more secure plinth.
Figure 46: The plinth constructed for the 2200l header tank
They then dug the ditches for the pipes leading to their households,
according to the discussion and map provided for them and also with
assistance from MDF field staff. Each household procured the 200l
drum required. This was done within a week, after which RIEng assisted in laying the procured piping
and installing the necessary connections and float valves in the drums.
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Below are a series of indicative pictures
Figure 47: Above Left to Right: Laying the piping along the edges of the fields, with branches towards the different
homestead; fitting the inlet pipes to the 200l drums and installation of a float valve in each drum.
It was also agreed by the group, not to have taps installed in the drums, but totake water from the
top of the drums. Thesystem is now operation, after a few false starts where participants tried to take
water before the drums were full and the tap at the header tank shut off.
It took a few attempts before participants fully understood that none
of their drums would fill up unless everyone waits until they are full
and the main tap is closed. This is a requirement due to the low flow
of the spring and also due to the gravity fed nature of this system.
Figure 48: The main valve in the pipe-line shutting of water from the header tank
In conclusion
This has been an extremely valuable process for building of social
agency in the learning group and also for systemic and systematic
learning by all the group members. They had to grapple with both the
understanding of the technical aspects of this process, as well as a
social process that they could put in place and adhere to.
The whole group was involved throughout and learning took place through discussions, provision of
information, working with the mapping and layout aspects and practical work. A lot of the learning
happened through trial and error, as participants started changing their perceptions and
understanding.
Some of thetechnical aspects that participants needed to experience before fully appreciating them
were;
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ØThat increasing the size of the small dam for the spring, does not increase the amount of
available water which has to do primarily with the strength of the spring
ØThat the underground water flow into the slotted pipe is just as strong or stronger than
water flowing in a ditch above the ground
ØThat the main pipe taking water from the spring to the header tank needs to be at an even
gradient, regardless of the fact that the header tank is situated well below the level of the
spring. The initial ditch that was dug by participants did not adhere to this and water did not
reach the header tank. This has to do with the broken nature of the terrain, the forming of
air bubbles in the pipes and the low flow of the spring itself
ØThat households above the header tank are unable to receive water from this gravity fed
system and that estimating the level of the household compared to the tank doesn’t work
well this is something that needs to be measured and was done working with GPS
coordinates and Google Earth maps in a participatory fashion
ØThat the header tank has to be on a secure and level plinth due to the weight of the water in
the tank
ØThat a gravity fed system fills up the drums from the bottom of the slope first and moving
upwards from there and
ØThat filling up of the household drums is reliant on all adhering to the need to not use water
until all the drums re full and the main tap at the header tank is closed.
In terms of the social aspects, participants initially believed it would be easy for them to manage the
water use, but very quickly realised that it is very important to have up front and strict rules to ensure
that everyone receives the same allocation of water. This has been a deeply empowering process for
these learning group participants.
Limpopo Water Committees
For Sedawa and Turkey a small grant was secured from the US Embassy Community Development
Fund. This has enabled the implementation of the plans to drill 4 boreholes and reticulate water to 50
participants’ homesteads.
Equitable access to the water from the boreholes still has to be re-negotiated, as the borehole strength
could only be determined after drilling. In addition, a few of the participants live too far away from
the boreholes to be accommodated through this process. A few more live across tarred and paved
roads, which will complicate implementation considerably as permission has to be obtained from the
Road Service Authority to lay these pipes. Alternative solutions will be discussed in the interim.
Community members have been suffering under the yoke of an extreme drought for almost 5 years
and combined with a lack of action on the side of government to provide adequate water supply in
these villages, people felt the need to act and come up with solutions for and by themselves. It is
within this context that the learning groups came together to explore options for agricultural water
provision.
There are springs and small streams stillflowing in the higher reaches of the villages (along the
mountainous ridges). Here it has worked mostly on a first come first serve basis and there are
individuals and small groups who have protected and reticulated springs for household and farming
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use. Further access to such sources is thus now very limited. In addition, there are many boreholes
in these communities, some managed by the Municipality, some by institutions such as schools and
cooperatives and some by individual households.
The map below indicates the boreholes in the region and the area in the circle is the Mametja area.
Figure 49: Map of boreholes in the Lower Olifants region (supplied by Derick du Toit AWARD)
Although drilling of further boreholes is questionable in terms of overall water management for the
catchment, it is also the only option presently available. That is also why working with groups of people
to share this limited resource and to put viable and sustainable water management plans and practices
in place is so important.
Sedawa
The learning group has divided itself into two for two different areas to have access to borehole
water. There is a final list of 19 participants for borehole 1 and 5participants for borehole 2. They
have collected a total of R17500 as their initial contribution (around R600/participant); a few
households have more than one participant residing there and for one household (Mr Mtshana)
payment was doubled for access to water both at his household and at hisfield.
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There are still contributions from a few participants who are now no longer on the list as they are
further away and will not be able to join given the chosen borehole sites. These contributions will be
returned to them and some has already beenreturned.
From the hydrological survey that was conducted by Mr Raymond Vonk, three potential sites were
identified. Mr Vonk surveyed the areas aroundpotential borehole sites suggested by the learning
group participants, to find the most suitable locations close to where participants wanted the
boreholes.
The learning group prioritised 2 of these; firstly, using the criterion of participants who have little to
no access to other water for household and farming use and secondly on being able to provide water
to the largest number of participants. Thus borehole 1 was prioritised and borehole 2 was prioritized
for the people on the other side of river in Sedawa. The third borehole site was too far away to be
practical.
Summary of discussions from earlier meetings:
1.Participants need to be clustered around potential borehole sites in a way that makes sense.
Those that are too far away will need to be reimbursed A limited amount of funding has
been secured and this will not be able to accommodate complicated works or very long
distances. The idea is to keep it simple and work with a gravity fed system to reduce the
need for pumping.
2.Pumping would be limited to pumping from the borehole to a heard tank that can feed the
household tanks through a gravity fed process.
3.From an exploration of the participants’ water requirements, each household needs around
600l of water per day for household needs and another 715l for gardening; THUS 1500l-
2200l/ day per household.
4.It was thus agreed that each household would need a 2200l JoJo tank and that a float valve
would be installed to ensure that each household receives one tank of water per day or
per cycle. It was discussed that participants may need to be allocated days on which they
would receive water to ensure thateveryone receives their allocation as the borehole may
not be strong enough to provide that amount of water to all the participants, every day.
5.Medium to strong boreholes in the area, supply around 60000l/day with 24hours of
pumping. Considering pumping for 10 hrs per day (to accommodate for a solar pump),
would mean provision of around 20000-25000/day. This means that only 9-11 participants
can receive an allocation of 2200l on any one day.
6.The issue of pumping continuously was discussed and participants conceded that boreholes
could be pumped dry quite easily and that when this happens the boreholes often do not
function properly thereafter. Thus, a period of recharge is important and pumping for only
8-10hours per day is preferable.
7.Community members got 2 quotes from drilling companies that operate in their area and
who they consider cheap and reliable; Alexander drilling and Savuki drilling.
8.Alan Malepe, the Maruleng Ward 5 chairperson of SANCO has attended these meetings. The
agreement is that they will liaise with the councillor and the LM to get support from the
Municipality.
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9.It was agreed that participants needed to add another R200, to the R400 they initially
collected, as a more suitable contribution. There is a group account that has been opened at
the Post Office and Magdalena Malepe has the account statements.
(i)Borehole sites
Upon inspection, both sites are close to small streams/ riverbeds and both are in areas with alot of
public traffic/access. Borehole 1 is right next to a school andis in the middle of a track/small road for
vehicle access. Potential for damage/vandalization is reasonably high, especially for borehole 1.For
this borehole around 12 of the participants are situated comfortably below the borehole for a gravity
fed system. It is possible to pump to a header tank (at Joyce Seotlo’s homestead), which wouldprovide
access for 18 of the 19 participants. A late entrant, Joyce Mahlaku is situated much higher up the ridge
and quite far away (1600m), with added challenges of needing
to traverse a large donga and streambed.
Borehole 2 is close to a municipal pump-station which is not in
use. The difficulty here is that the borehole is situated on the
opposite side of a deep streambed and much lower down than
the 5 households that need to be serviced. In addition, these
households are all far away between 1100 and 1900m. It was
considered worth exploring an alternative borehole site as
the engineering and pumping for the present option would be
prohibitive in terms of cost.
Figure 50: The municipal pump station, not in use, but which participants
thought provided an example of the kind of “protection” they would like
for their borehole. It was explained by the facilitation team that such a
structure is costly and was not budgeted for.
(ii)Sedawa borehole 1
A meeting was held with the water committee andthe Sedawa learning group to finalise contributions
and participants and also to start discussion on some of details of the proposed implementation.
Participants and permissions
The group reiterated that they have permission from the Traditional Authority and that members of
the council are also on the water committee. As such they do not foresee problems in the community.
The Sedawa 1 borehole was drilled and provides around 14000l of water per hour.
Permission has been obtained form the school adjacent to the borehole site to situate
the solar panels and pump within the school grounds
The Sedawa borehole 2 site- produced no water. An alternative arrangement for these
5 participants of 2200l Jo-Jo tanks has been negotiated with the group
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They volunteered to take their proposal also to the Local Municipality, both to inform them of this
activity and also to provide a letter to request a donation fromthe Municipality.
One participant, brought on board a lot more recently, Joyce Mahlaku lives quite a distance away
from the proposed borehole site (~1,6km). Her homestead is also at a higher elevation than the site
chosen for the header tank and the pipe to her homestead would need to cover rugged terrain
(dongas, and eroded streambeds), necessitating metal pipes and construction of a pipe line. This can
not be covered within the confines of the present funding. Joyce Mahlaku will be asked to withdraw
and or the surveyor will be asked to site a second borehole from which water can be gravity fed, as
a possible solution
An issue that emerged upon visiting participants, is that the pipes will need to cross both localroads
and also properties of participants who are not involved in this process, to get to participants’
homesteads. These issues will need to be very carefully considered on a case by case basis and local
arrangements will need to be put in place. In
addition, the pipes that will be buried alongside the
road, will need to be done in such a way as to not
interfere with the road reserves, as specific
permissions will need to be obtained, which could
hamper and delay implementation of this process.
Other permissions that will be required will be from
the local Roads Agency, to be able to lay some of
the pipes underneath and across the roads.
Wayleave applications will needto be submitted
and approved, before work can begin and will be
inspected by the Agency upon completion.
Figure 51: Christina and Magdalena form the water
committee, study the google earth map with proposed
participants and pipe layouts to clarify potential options.
In addition, the plans for these boreholes will be
lodged with the local Water Service Authority (with
assistance from AWARD -the Association for Water
and Rural Development), who works closely with this authority (Maruleng Local Municipality). This is
mostly a formality, but also the avenue todiscuss whether water users’ licences will be required for
these boreholes. It is presently assumed that the water use will fall under Schedule 1, for which no
permissions are required.
As part of the new allocation system incorporated into the National Water Act, a land owner, or legal
occupier of the land, has a right to reasonable use of water taken from an aquifer on that property.
This ‘reasonable use’ is defined in Schedule 1 to NWA as:
‘reasonable domestic use in that person's household’;
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‘small gardening not for commercial purposes’;
‘the watering of animals (excluding feedlots) which graze on that land within the grazing
capacity of that land’.
Schedule 1 water uses do not require any permission or registration.
Although an upper limit for Schedule 1-uses has not been set in the NWA, a catchment management
agency may in terms of item 2(e) of Schedule 3 limit the taking of water under Schedule 1. For the
purpose of applying these provisions, it is assumed that if a person uses more than 10 kilolitres of
groundwater per day (10 000 litres/day) for a ‘non-commercial small garden’, then they are exceeding
the limits of Schedule 1, and the water use should be registeredfrom https://bwa.co.za/the-borehole-
water-journal/2016/7/3/to-register-or-not-to-register-permitted-water-use-explained-in-terms-of-
the-national-water-act(accessed on 20191107)
Protection of borehole
PARTICIPANTS: Suggested building of a sturdy blockhouse (see Figure 2) to protect the borehole and
also suggested collecting rocks to build such a structure.
FACILITATION TEAM: Proposed an alternative solution of creating a small subterranean chamber for
the pump and wiring, but to locate the electricity supplyat one of the participants’ homesteads. This
was agreed to. The electrical supply would be situated at Magdalina Malepe’s homestead (around
400m away)
Pump
PARTICIPNTS: Suggested an electrical pump and that participants would pay monthly for pumping
FACILITATION TEAM: Proposed that a solar pump be used
and that the panels be paced on a house roof, welded into
a permanent frame to reduce the risk of theft. This was
agreed to.
The limitation ofa solar pump, is that pumping can only
happen during the day and is also limited in overcast
conditions. Participants were initially not very keen on
this option. They mostly feared that the solar panels
would be stolen., but agreed it is a better option, given
that there are no ongoing costs for pumping. The group
also suggested that if savings could be made, then
perhaps 2 deep cycle batteries could be procured to
ensure some pumping in overcast and rainy conditions.
This option will be budgeted in.
Figure 52: The Sedawa learning group discusses options with
support from the MDF field team and an agricultural engineer, Mr
Chris Stimie
Fields
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In the October meeting, participants started talking about taking the borehole water to their fields.
This was not initially discussed- as we agreed on households and gardens. Tour participants; Norah
Malepe, Esinah Malepe, Paul Maphori and Frans Malatji were insistent, even though not all
participants in the meeting agreed with this. Some participants felt that they should receive the JO-Jo
tank like everyone else and pump to their fields themselves if that is what they want to do. The
participants who want water at their fields volunteered to shoulder the cost of extra piping that would
be required and that they would manage the water according to the group requirements. It was
agreed to include these fields in the initial survey of distances, but thata final decision would still
need to be made.
Upon inspection the following was found:
For Norah and Esinah their fields are a considerable distance from the homesteads (`2km),
crossing rugged terrain, that includes dongas and streambeds. In addition, neither has
cultivated there for some time. In addition, neither of these ladies is presently fully utilising
their homestead lots and thus the facilitation team will not recommend taking water to their
fields
Paul and Koko Maphori’s fields already has a borehole, which is presently running dry. It is
the opinion of the facilitation team that this is because the borehole has been over- used.
Again, the team will not recommend taking the group water to these fields, as the allocation
is very small compared to the size of the fields under irrigation and as the boreholes present
in these fields are not being well managed.
Fields for Taola Maphuri and Refilwe Mogofe are > 500m away and across rugged ground.
This will require metal piping and engineering processes that were not part of the initial
understanding of the process.
Digging of trenches/ ditches for laying pipes.
The group agreed to work together on all ditches as a group. Some of the older ladies felt that they
would need some assistance with digging(Koko Maphori, Joyce Seotlo, Tamara Malepe, Mpelesi
Sekgobelo and Tryphina Malepe) and requested that funding be provided for this. Upon further
discussion within the group it was agreed that those who need help will need to find someone to
help them and that this cannot be paid through the funding provided.
JoJo tanks
The group members felt that they could not afford to buy JoJo tanks on top of the contributions they
have given, even though in previous meetings it was agreed that the payment towards water, would
need to be seen as an initial payment and that people would probably need to contribute more.
It was agreed that the facilitation team would price a bulk order of JoJo tanks and that the R17500
already collected by the group would be used towards this cost.
.
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Individual boreholes
During the discussions, it became much clearer that a number of the participants in this learning group
already have their own, individual boreholes, either in their fields or at their homesteads. A number
of these participants have withdrawn from this process, as they in fact already have water. A few
however are determined that they should also benefit from this process and voiced that this water
would be a back-up for them if their own water runs out and also, that given that they have paid their
contributions, they have a right to be part of this process. The facilitation team was not in agreement
with this and feel quite strongly that this water should favour those who do not have and those who
are too poor to provide water for themselves. In addition, those individuals who do have boreholes
are presently “selling” water to their neighbours and the community, providing a further reason why
they should not need to be included. This point needs to be discussed further as there was no
agreement in the group during the meeting.
Those with individual boreholes include: Christina Thobejane, Mpelesi Sekgobela, Paul Maphoriand
Mpelesi Sekghobela,will be asked to withdraw from this process by the facilitation team.
Figure 53: Google earth mapping of participants (with distances indicated.
(i)Sedawa Borehole 2
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For this borehole there are presently only five participants, scattered over a wide area, of whom at
least two already have their own household boreholes. The surveyor has been requested to resurvey
the area to ascertain whether a more appropriate and more easily accessible borehole site could be
found as a first step. In addition, those with boreholes need to withdraw and the question as to
whether the funding should rather be spent on the bigger group only needs tobe considered.
This was done (7 November) and the borehole site was moved across the stream bed. This makes it
easier for 4 of the 5 participants as they are all on that side of the river bed. The distances to their
houses are however are all close to 1kmand at a higher elevation than the borehole. In addition, the
landscape is rugged and eroded, making this process unlikely within the present budget constraints.
Given also, that 2 of the 5 participants already have their own household boreholes, alternative
options need to be sought here
Figure 54: Google earth map of participants for borehole 2 in Sedawa
Turkey
The follow-up meeting was held on 24 October at thePhediseng Centre in Turkey 2
Attendance: 19 participants (Turkey 1 and Turkey 2)
This group started slightly later than the group in Sedawa, but have been somewhat more coherent in
their thinking.
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Summary of thinking thus far
TURKEY 1: 14 participants. They have chosen a site in the mountains, as the municipality and others
who have gone there have found water. Some participants in this group feel that this site is too far
away and have selected a 2ndpotential site close to the households and the river. They feel there are
security issues with a borehole far away and also that digging the ditches and laying pipes for such a
distance would be too expensive.
-TURKEY2: 13 participants.They have chosen where they think they want the borehole. They
considered existing boreholes, whether the site has a high enough elevation for gravity feeding water
and whether there are electrical poles close by, in their choice
Figure 55: Two
potential sites
for the
borehole in
Turkey 1 and
Turkey 2. In
both cases
participants
have chosen
options right
next to
existing
boreholes.-
which could
be
problematic.
The issues will
be decided
once the
surveyor has
been to the
area.
The facilitation team re-explained the thinking behind this process for those new participants who
have not been involved to date. This came about from community members choosing a water
committee to try and solve some of the water issues and collecting of monies, which MDF was going
to match in terms of funding. The idea was to drill boreholes and reticulate these to peoples’
homesteads for water for household use and gardening. The work would need to be done by the
community themselves. Now we have secured a small self- help fund from the US Embassy; around
R51000 for each borehole This coversdrilling, header tanks, pumps and mainlines (~1000m and
branching lines also around 1000m)
Mr Malatji, the chair of the learning group, who proposed the potential site in the mountains,
maintained that the surveyor would make the final decision about the borehole sites. He understands
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also that if the borehole is in the mountain then using a solar pump would not be possible, as it is far
from any of the participants’ homesteads.
The participants have an agreement to come together once the boreholes have been dug, to buy JoJo
tanks andthenevaluate how much water can be obtained from this borehole in a day to be able to
rotate the use between the participants, to ensure everyone gets equal amounts without over using
the borehole.
The group has informed the traditional Authority and have lodged the lists of participants with them.
They felt that getting permissions from the Municipality would not be aproblem as the Traditional
Authority would negotiate on their behalf. He also stressed that the group would close up and fix and
ditches they have made and ensure that the roads are left in a good condition. AN advantage here is
that there are no paved roads all the roads in turkey are basically dirt tracks, where digging and re-
surfacing will not pose a problem.
Ditches
The group members will do the digging. All agreed to assist, without any exceptions.
Pump
People are expecting an electrical pump and all will contribute every month towards costs. The idea
of a solar pump, at someone’s household and secured against theft was introduced here as well.
Participants agreed readily and also felt that it is a good idea to only pump for 8-9hrs per day, as they
can fill their JoJo tanks and then use the water from there. They also understood that there would be
little to no pumping when it is raining.Participants also felt that having two x 5000l header tanks would
work a lot better than just having one .
Community contributions
The issue was raised that there are quite a few community members who have adopted a wait and
see attitude and have not paid their contributions. It was decided that the two groups of paid up
participants would remain as they are and any further participants who would want to be involved
would need to form another group
Each participant was meant to pay R500. Some have paid towards their R500, but have not paid the
full amount as yet. The treasurer (Mabiletse Mogofe) has been keeping the money. It should go into
The Turkey 1 borehole only provides around 200l of water per hour. It is thus questionable
that reticulation can be managed.
The Turkey 2 borehole provides around 500l/ hour of water. This is still quite low, but a
reticulation process can still be considered here, as long as participants are aware that their
daily allocation of water will be low ~200l/ day
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the bank, but they have still not done that. Finalising contributions and opening of a bank account is
now a priority.
The secretary has recorded R10500 that has been paid. According to her record sheet alongside she
recorded around R7900. She will also prioritize updating her contributions list, as some people paid
on the morning of the meeting.
What will their contribution pay for?
It was suggested that participants procure their own
JoJo tanks. However, those participants who already
have JoJo tanks (9 of the 27 participants) felt that they
would not pay for others to get JoJo tanks if they did
not also benefit.
After some discussion and also incorporating that the
group accepts that they want to help the poorer
members in the group first, it was agreed that the
contribution would go towards piping leading from the
mina pipes to their homesteads and that the remainder
would be used to buy JoJotanks for everyone. If the
monies are not enough for that, all participants would
provide a further contribution. 2200l JoJo tanks will be
bought in bulk to ensure the cheapest possible price.
Figure 56: The record keeping sheet for participants’’ payments
in Turkey 1
Natural Pest and disease control learning sessions
These were conducted for learning groups in SKZN (Gobizembe),Bergville andEC (Xhukwane and
Quzini). The learning workshop agendas for these groups consisted of initially summarising again the
impacts of climate change and adaptive measures being implemented by group members, to provide
a context for the learning process.
Natural Pest and Disease Control input
This was provided through a combination of a power point presentation visual aids, demonstrations
and provision of plan material (including garlic chives, comfrey, lemon grass and rosemary). Three
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main strategies for natural pest and disease control were presented; two of which revolve around
organic garden management options.
Use of plants and garden management
Pests can multiply and develop high populations (pest explosions) in situations where natural
vegetation is cleared and monocrops are planted. This is exacerbated by use of pesticides that kill all
insect life, such as the extensive usage of pesticides such as blue death and ‘Bulala Zonke”, which is
common practice.
Gardens should be managed to have a much diversity as possible by leaving natural corridors, using
mixed cropping and using multipurpose crops and
plants; including those with pest repellent properties
and those that attract insect predators.
Examples used and show in this workshop were: lemon
grass, rosemary, thyme, coriander, parsley and
bulbinella.
Figure 57: Coriander flowers attract wasps
Promote natural predators
Here a visual aid was used where participants identified a number of pest predators, followed by a
discussion and use of photographs to illustrate that many insects and life forms in gardens are not
pests and that participants should more carefully monitor what insects are doing, before assuming
they are pests. The role of bees as a pollinator of crops was discussed and it was emphasised that most
pesticides also kill bees, thus creating a further imbalance in their gardens.
Figure 58: Right: A visual
aid used to identify a
number of pest predators
including; lizards,
chameleons, preying
mantids,ladybirds,
centipedes, frogs and
lacewings. Far right: A bee
pollinating onion flowers
Make home- made pest control brews
Handouts were provided outlining a number of different remedies (in isiZuluand siPedi)
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Two brews were demonstrated
ØChillies, garlic and green bar soap; This is for soft bodied insects such a aphids and
worms and is an anti-feedant; discouraging the pests
rather than killing them
ØOnions in paraffin; this is for more persistent and hard
bodies insects such as beetles and caterpillars and will kill
the insects, mostly through interfering with their
breathing.
Figure 59: The demonstration table; indicating the making of the chilli, garlic and
soap brew and some of the multipurpose plants discussed
Home- made remedies are generally contact poisons (and are assisted
to adhere to plants by the soap and or oil (paraffin) base. When it rains,
these are washed off and will need to be re-applied.
Example of workshop discussions: Qhuzini (EC) Pest and Disease workshop: 10 October 2019
28 participants
Climate change Impact
Listed below are the impacts of climate change that the participants have noticed over time.
The sun is very hot, as a result plants get burnt and water resources such as dams and rivers
dry out,
This has been happening for the last 5-6 years,
Late rains,
Animal deaths,
Snow falls in summer (it used to snow in winter),
Summer used to be a long season and now winter is dominating,
Cold days have extended (gets cold up to November),
Crops (spinach) do not grow well; leaves are burnt and the surviving plants become stunted,
Increase in stalk borer in maize,
More pests and diseasesin vegetable crops,
Increase in aphidson cabbages,
Cabbages arethe most affected by pests and diseasesand
Fruit trees have pests like yellow locusts
Adaptive strategies used by the group
One of the learning group members outlined her construction and use of tower gardens which uses
grey water and mixed cropping. Phindiwe explained that it only takes effort to build up the tower,
which is very fertile. Planting is easy; with leafy crops being planted into the sides of the bag and root
and fruit crops planted in the top. Shem mentioned that the crops in the tower garden have grown
very well with few to no pest and disease problems.
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Figure 60: A view of Phindiwe’s tower gardenwith cabbage, beetroot
and spinach growing well
To control the aphids someparticipants have used blue death
and other commercial pesticides. A few have tried sunlight
liquid mixed with water and some have used woodash. Mr
Pambela uses liquid manure and grey water to chase away
insects. The grey water is stored for 7 days before use.
Other practices include mixing salt, garlic, onion, chilies, aloe,
and sunlight, add water and soak for 3 days, and they use this
mix to chase snails. Use pig dung to chase the moles.
For cut worms they use coarse salt and blue death. The participants said that all of the above practices
are based on indigenous knowledge. To chase locusts from the fruit trees they boil the cow skin and
spray. Burn cow dung mixed with marigold to chase the insects (if they inhale the smoke they go
away).
After the presentation and demonstrations a few further topics were discussed.
Negative effects of pesticide use
Erna took farmers through the effects that chemicals have in the environment; the main problem
being that the pesticides are non-selective and also kill bees and other pollinators. This reduces fruit
and seed set in a number of important crops such as sunflowers, pumpkin, sour melon, chillies and
green peppers, citrus fruit and many others. She also mentioned that using salt can have negative
impacts on the soil and plants.
Liquidmanures
Liquid manures assist both in improving fertility and plant nutrition and in reducing pests and
diseases on crops. A fertility brew was introduced to participants, consisting of the following
ingredients:
Ø20l (container) + 2kg manure
ØAdd lime + bone meal
ØSugar
ØMilk
ØBlackjackand other dark green leafy material
The mixture is covered and left to ferment for 7 days prior to use. It is diluted in a ratio of 1part
liquid plus 4 parts water before spraying onto plants.
Companion planting
The facilitators discussed with the participants the type of crops that can be planted together, the
main principle being that plantsin different families with different growth patterns and nutritional
requirements are grouped together. As an example, crops such as chillies, green peppers, tomatoes,
potatoes and brinjals all belong to the same family and should not be planted together. Some
combinations such as carrot, onions and tomatoes also assist in reducing pest attacks from common
pests such as carrot and onion fly.
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In conclusions the farmers were very happy about the workshop and wished it lasted for a week, they
said that they learnt a lot and would love to learn more.The group was given handouts that have
information on pests and diseases, liquid manure, mixed cropping, diversified production and crop
rotation.They were urged to try out some of these ideas and to share their experiences on their local
Imvotho Bubomi whatsapp group.
3PARTICIPATORYIMPACTASSESSMENTS
The methodology designed for conducting the PIAs with the learning groups who have implemented
climate resilient agriculture was fine-tuned and used to conduct assessments for three learning groups
(Gobizembe SKZN and Sedawaand Mametja Limpopo)
Below is an outline for the PIA workshop agenda.
1. RECAP CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS
ØExplore 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
ØWhat have people been doing to adapt to this, fix the problems, make things better?
ØWhat can be done? (first look at hat has been done and then any further ideas of what can be done)
ØElucidate 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
the impact, indicate with a * which of these have been 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
ØRe-introduce the 5 fingers concept and include a further category of the whole handwhich is the
social and personal
ØWhich 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
ØAdd these practices to the five fingers diagram
Make an A1 diagram of the five finger and then add practices on cards
ØGo through practices recommended through the DSS
Use cards with ranked practices from the DSS- describe and show the ones that people arenot familiar
with.
ØRank practices for next round of implementation
Rank the list of practices by a show of hands.
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4. WHAT HAVE BEEN THE CHANGES OR BENEFITS FROM EACH PRACTICE
ØWhat changes have there been?
Brainstorming changes an interrogate to get to the more
ØHow 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 important is 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
The Gobizembe PIA
Written by Temakholo Mathebula and Nontokozo Mdletshe
Participants: 12
This learning group has been active in intensive gardening practices (tower gardens, trench beds,
tunnels, mixed cropping, eco-circles, infiltration ditchesand Conservation Agriculture). A review and
re-planning session (for their 2ndseason of implementation) was held on the 12thof September 2019.
Climate Changeimpacts; summary
ØHotter, drier weather
ØIt doesn’t rain in June anymore (winter rains)
ØThis year it rained in August, accompanied with very cold conditions, which is unusual. There
was even frost
ØDry soils lead to more erosion
ØA lot of wind and wind erosion
ØHeavy rains now cause more erosion than before
ØIncrease in pests
ØFrogs (Amasele isinana rain frogs), used to be found in moist soils when raining. They have
now disappeared. The same for earthworms
ØThere used to be a lot of roots in the soil when cultivating. Now with less and less vegetation
there are fewer roots
ØNow when you put out buckets of catching rainwater this water is dirty, full of soil. Used to
be clean due to more dust and wind.
ØPermanent springs are still working but temporal ones have been drying out
ØNow seeing new insects along the streams; leeches, could be due to cattle sharing the water
and increased bilharzia in the water
ØIncreased soil borne pests and diseases in field crops
ØMeant to be planting amadumbe and beans now; but it is still too dry
ØEffect on crop germination e.g traditional maize, it now takes almost two weeks rather
than7 days. Stunted growth
ØImifino; imbuia, uxadolo now a lot less prevalent(traditional leafy greens)
ØHigher yield losses over time (amadumbe and other crops)
ØDifficult now to do winter crops of potatoes
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ØPeaches now more rotten, chillies as well and the guavas as well… the fruit is now small
ØDrying out of bananas…reduction in avocado yield, a lot of the fruit drops early
ØLivestock ownership now a lot less due to theft and decreased vegetation in the veld
ØNot enough grass and water for livestock (goats- reduction in numbers)
ØNow more problems with mole rats; although it’s always there, especially when you plant
sweet potatoes, amadumbe, amazambane.
ØNot enough drinking water
Although this listis quite extensive, participants did note that the effect is not that drastic or severe
and that their emphasis remains on trying to improve their yields and production.
Adaptive strategies
These were discussed by the group and are summarised below:
Soil
Water
Crops
livestock
Natural resources
Infiltration
ditches (for
leading grey
water to crops)
Use of
greywater on
cabbages
Pre-germination of seed
in containers before
planting out
Participants
do not own
livestock,
outside of a
few goats
and are not
focussed on
this
No ideas were
mentioned
related to natural
resource
management;
given the focus of
these women on
productivity
Manure
mulching
CA- planting in basins
Trench beds
very nice crops
from that
Maize residues
Mixed cropping
Eco-circle
Tower gardens-
it is easy for
older people,
good crops
Herbs, marigolds, new
crops (Chinese cabbage,
mustard spinach, kale,
spring onions
Adaptations and suggestions
I have now planted three tower gardens, so that I have spinach all the time
Planted Chinese cabbage- but this attracted too many snails
We would like crops which we can harvest multiple times in our vegetable gardens.
Since the goats started eating the cover crops, they have now given birth to twins. Two previous
birthings have always been single kids. So, the cover crops help a lot.
Thelearning group members want to try the same practices again; tower gardens, trench beds,
mulchingandCA.
Regarding CA the group suggested separating themaize and beans, as they believe the beans will
produce a better harvest when not inter=cropped. They also suggested increasing the spacing, as an
alternative, to reduce the competition between the crops.This was discussed and MDF suggested an
alternative strategy, noting that going back to an earlier practise and ignoring the potential benefits
of close spacing and inter-cropping did not make much sense. It was proposed that a lot of the water
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competition was in fact an effect of tree roots at the top end of the fields in question. Thus, it was
suggested that these participants diga ditch (cut off drain) below the avocado trees, just above where
they wouldstart planting to cut some of the roots.
The group then discussed the potential benefits of close spacing and intercropping and came up with
the following points:
To improve fertility, some return nutrients
To cover the soil, keep it wet and reduce erosion
To protect the soil from direct sunlight
Participants’ suggestions for alternatives:
Plant beans a few weeks before the maize,
Plant climbing beans so they can get to thesun
Pumpkins can be planted as an intercrop, but they have battled with germination in field
situations. It was suggested by MDF that seeds need to be treated with water to allow them
to germinate and need a lot of organic matter to germinate and grow well.
Indicators
Here participants discussed nad decided on the most useful impact
indicators for the practices they have implemented.
-Improved yields
-Income
-Harvest multiple times
-Pests and diseases
-Soil fertility
-Water availability, water use, saving water
-
Figure 61:Right; Tema Mathebula facilitating the matrix exercise; here discussing
the scores to be used for each indicator.
Impact matrix
Soya beans were brought as counters, but the ladies did not want to use them on the matrix, choosing
to take them home for plating. A rating of 1-3 was used where 1 is little/low, 2 is medium or average
and 3 is good/a lot
Table 8: Impact matrix for the Gobizembe learning group; first round of CRA implmenetation
Practice
Soil
fertility
Water saving/
availability
Yield/
food
Pests and
diseases
Income
TOTALS
CA
15
27
16
0
4
62
Mulching
15
15
18
0
0
48
Trench beds (6)
27
27
27
0
18
119
Tower gardens
36
36
36
0
33
171
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Use of grey water
33
33
30
0
33
129
Infiltration
ditches
10
36
27
0
27
110
Eco-circle
36
36
36
0
36
144
Tunnel (Incl
trench beds)
33
36
36
12
24
141
From this table the practices with the greatest impact for participants were tower gardens, eco-circles,
tunnels. Participants however insisted that tower gardens were much better than eco-circles, followed
by use of grey water and trench beds.
Some comments related to the matrix:
ØAlthough Conservation Agriculture did not rate that high, the group had the following
comments: CA helps a lot with water retention and also with reducing run-off. Ploughing is
expensive, so money is saved by doing the CA. Ploughed crops do not necessarily do better
and there is a lot of erosion. Reducing this erosion already increases yields a lot. Pest issues
were a lot this year. They weren’t sure that all the problems in the CA plots weredue to
weather issues and thus rated it lower.
ØNone of the practices helps much with pest and disease control although some have indirect
advantages- but not muchwas observed in terms of differences. Participants did not find
much difference in pest incidence inside the tunnel when compared to outside.
ØInfiltration ditches do help over time to improve the condition of the soil; as organic matter
collects in these ditches and use of greywater in these ditches improves yields substantially.
Participants were adamant that greywater has significant fertility benefits.
New ideas
Of the twelve participants in this workshop, around 8 have not tried many or any ofthe practices
mentioned.
They have now undertaken to start some of the practices
-Tower garden; 10
-Eco circles; 5
-Tunnel; 1
-CA; 65 (Zandile Zondi, Lamina Mbatha, Miriam Ngubane,
Thokozile Mabaso, Nelisiwe Ngcobo and Delisile Ngobese)
-
Figure 62: Right; One of the small groups at the Gozembe review perusing the CSA
practise one pagers and being assisted with explanations by Zoli Gwala from MDF.
Participants were given time to explore the CSA practice 1 pagers and
selected a number of practices from there to try out in the next round
of learning, demonstrations and experimentation. The intention was to
go through the online DSS for the area, jointly with the group but this was not possible due to a lack
of cell phone reception at the venue.
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Practices
Comments
Keyhole beds
Furrows and ridges
For field crops such as potatoes and amadumbe
Herbs; garlic and onion for pest
control
Participants requested seed form MDF (thiswill be linked to
a seedling production process
Seedling production
The have damping off problems and have only done this in
seed trays before- asked for advice and a better system
Seed saving
Natural pest and disease control
A mini workshop was held after the review session;
Fruit Production
Cover crops
6-9 participants to attend the Cover Crops open day in
Ozwathini on 27thSeptember
Poultry Production
Poultry production workshop to be runby Mazwi October
2019
Sedawa and Mametja PIA (Limpopo
Written byBetty Maimela
Number of participants: 24
Figure 63: The Sedawa and Mametja PIA held
under the trees at Christina’s homestead.
Climate Changeimpacts
Here participants looked into the changes
that they have observed caused by climate
change under the following 5 livelihood categories(5 fingers)Natural (Environment and farming),
Physical (infrastructure, environment), Economic, Human and social (skills, knowledge).
Table 9: CC impacts in Sedawa nad Mametja, summarised during the Seasonal PIA.
Natural (environment
and farming)
Physical
(infrastructure,
environment)
Economic
Human and social
(organisation)
Food Insecurity
Reduction in the
number of tree through
cutting for wood to cook
Poverty
Fight in the community
due to hunger
Crops not growing well
Soil erosion, dongas and
less growing grass
Indigenous seeds are lost
No sharing and working
together in the community
Disease
Seasons have changed
Lost indigenous fruits and
vegetables like Magaba
that assisted with high
blood, Dithokolo
We don’t trust each other,
as there are many fraud
cases
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Less rain
Butterflies are no longer
been seen
More diseases that affect
their health and crops
through extreme heat
Life is too short
Dry environment
Less rain for their cover
crops
Their farming activities
have decreased
Loss of traditional
medicine
Fighting with neighbours
Hunger
Hunger
Livestock
Lost their old ways of living
Death due to different
kinds of disease
Water shortage
Adaptive strategies/practices to Climate Change impacts
Table 2 below summarizes the practices and strategies participantshave implemented. They stated
that when the weatherstarted to change, they didn’t understand why things were changing, and the
only answer they had was that, things werechanging because they werenot following the rules and
laws that their fore-fathers have used to survive. They met AWARD and Mahlathini Development
Foundation and they started learning about climate change and it was then that they understood why
they were experiencing all the changes and that they only needed NGOs like AWARD and Mahlathini
Development Foundation to educate them. Mahlathini worked with participants, facilitating learning
workshops in the community aroundpractices they can use to adapt to Climate Changand provided
practical and mentoring support during the implementation of these practices.
Table 10: Adaptive strategies/practices to Climate Change impacts
Natural
Physical
Economic
Human and social
Saving water by using
grey water
Trench beds
We do back yard gardens
Sharing of seeds
amongst farmers
Tunnels and shade
netting
Legumes and sweet-
potatoes
Our crops give us life
Sharing of experiences
Trench beds
Use of chicken/goat and
cow manure
Income from selling
crops
Teaching other
communities and
community members
about the importance of
farming and practices
that they can use, to
reduce hunger and
poverty
Planting of trees and
indigenous
Use liquid manure
(banana stems, black
jack)
Rain water harvesting
Crop rotation
Less expenditure
Mulching
Stone lines
Tower gardens
Cover soil - mulching
Don’t use tractors;
minimum tillage
No burning
Stone lines
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Participantswant other community members to understand the importance of the situation they are
facing instead of relying on the Government. They also touched on the issues of water, that they want
to be assisted with having access to water for irrigation so they can have consistency in their gardens
to supply big markets.
Practices: Five finger principles and practices under each category
Under the practices implemented by farmers in their gardens and cropping, each farmer outlined the
practices she/he used under eachof thefive finger principles. Through thisexercise it was clear that
participants generallyimplemented a range of5 to 8 practices in their gardens.Reasons provided were
thatthey have seen the difference in their own or other participants’ gardens) and have listened to
other participantsexperiences during learning workshops and subsequently tried it out themselves.
What was noticed was that farmers use criteria like yields, income, pestcontrol and water usage to
measure the impacts of each practice they implement.
Figure 64: The mind map of practices implemented as recorded during the workshop
Table 11: Practices implemented according to the 5 finger principles
Good water
management
Decrease in soil
erosion
Crop
management
Soil
health/fertility
Looking after
indigenous crops
Line levels
Contours/
diversion ditches
Mulchingusing
organic material
Mulchingusing
organic materials
They stopped
cutting treesin the
environment for
firewood
Furrows
Allowing grass to
grow to hold water
so it can infiltrate
into the soil
Making and Adding
compost
Trench beds
They plant more
trees, including
medicinaland
indigenous trees
Mulching
Stone lines
Planting of
Marigoldsfor pest
control
Shallow trench
beds
Prune their trees
Stone lines
Planting of sweet-
potatoes in furrows
Using liquid
manure made from
black jack, aloe,
banana stems and
chilli
Not using tractors
Add compost and
irrigate their trees
using grey water
Banana basins
Minimum tillage
Minimum tillage/
CA
Trench beds
Tunnel
Using chicken, cow
and goat manure
Underground rain
water harvest tank
Intercroppingand
mixed cropping
Tower garden
Crop rotation
Using drip kits for
irrigation
Using greywater
and bucket filters
Tunnel
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Participants explained that they used to use blue death a lot in their gardens until they tried other
practices they heard from other farmers during workshops and they started to use liquid manure
especially using chicken and cow manure soakedinwater as it was the easiest practice they
understood and it also assists with soil fertility. They also shared thiswith other farmers in their
communities who are using pesticides, such asPaul Maphori who used to use pesticides a lot. He is
now in transition from conventional to organicproduction, even though he explained that it is a bit
difficult as he is running a commercial farm and depends on the farm for an income and taking care of
his household.
Practices
No. of participants who
implementedthe practice
No. of participants still to try
implementing the practice
Tower garden
3
10
Mulching
24
Tunnel
7
17
Stone lines
15
5
Trench beds
22
2
Drip kits
8
10
Liquid manure
20
4
Underground harvest tanks
2
22
CA
19
5
Compost
10
14
Line level
24
Banana basin
2
Furrows
24
Contours/diversion ditches
8
11
Multipurpose(medicinal,
windbreakers, flowers)
24
Mixed cropping
24
Crop rotation
24
Commentsregarding future implementation and uptake of practices
1.Participants explained their reasons for not implementing tower gardens. As simple as it looks
to do a tower garden, for them it was too much. Although trench beds are even more work,
they found the results a lot more impressive in terms of improved yields and water usage and
thus prefer these beds.
2.Farmers are still interested in having tunnels. To them it will assist in protecting their crops
from extreme heat, pests and wind.
3.Trench beds were implemented byalmost all theparticipants, even though it requires hard
labour. They paid people tohelp dig the bedsfor them as they love the results. In each house
hold farmers have from 2 to 15 trench beds in their garden.
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4.A learning workshop on how to make your own drip kits was held and farmers went home to
implement the practice in their gardens. From this they worked out that one can use any old
container and pipes and make up your own system.
5.Liquid manure using the following systems;
Soaking cow/chicken manure inwater and diluting with water, thispractice assists
with soil fertility and pest control
Choppingaloe and soaking it in water
Soaking yarrow, a practice they have learnt
duringa farmer’s exchange visitto Sekhukhune
Using black jack
Using chilli and sunlight liquid
Figure 65: Right; Magdalena madeliquid manure using chicken manure in a
meshsack/bagand soaked in water using a bath tab
6.Participants were introduced to CA and they observed
results and now they use CA principle sin their fields.
7.Participants have learnt about how to make compost
and they make their own compost to add to their crops
and fruit trees, they also stated that they also saw that
even commercial farmers are using compost and they
make their own compost collecting all organic materials
in the farm.
8.Participants explained that growing banana trees is
difficult because they need water and they don’t have
water, other participants explained that theirbanana
trees died, which is why so few participants tried out
the banana basins as a practice.
Benefits and changes of CRA
In thisexercise we started by discussing the changes and benefits, where each farmer takes a turnto
state the changes in their garden and livelihood and the benefits of Climate Resilient Agriculture.
The following are the benefits and changes from participants;
ØThey knew nothing aboutClimate Change and they felt defeated. They stoppedwith their
farming activities. They met Mahlathini and AWARD they were taught about CC and practices
to adapt to CC, now they are no longer sitting doing nothing and saying that they don’t have
food. They have gardens in their households for consumption and they are making a small
income.
ØThe project changed their lives in different ways, they now pick vegetables in their own
gardens, which has decreased household expenditure.
ØThey are intelligent now and they can teach other farmers. They know and practice Agro-
Ecology.
ØThey have learnt about integration of livestock and farming and they have seen the results,
now they have their own livestock to avoid buying manure to use for soil fertility.
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ØThey have learnt about crops they have not seen beforeand never thought they wouldgrow
such asherbs(coriander, parsley, rosemary, thyme lemon grass), brinjals, peas, kale and
mustard spinach.
ØThey now use CA in their cropping instead of using their old system, and the results are good.
ØThey are learning new thingsevery day.
ØThey know how to process their crops to add value and generate more income.
ØThey know the importance of saving water and protecting the soil and the environment.
ØThey don’t burn organic material, instead they add organic material to their soil through
mulching and making compost.
ØThey are making anincome from their household gardens even though when they started it
seemed impossible.
ØTheyhave learnt about poultry and howto treat chicken diseases and how to take care of
livestock
ØThey know how to build a tunnelandhow to construct a dam using bentonite
ØHunger hasdecreased
ØThey no longer sit around gossiping
ØThey work together, they also share seeds.
This exercise was followed by a matrix scoring exercise where participants chose theimpact indicators
to assess the practices against.
Table 12: Matrix ranking of CA practices
Indigenous
crops and
trees
Soil
health
Income
Productivity
Water use
and
management
Knowledge
sharing with
other
farmers
Total
Conservation
Agriculture
21
25
19
25
23
25
138
Livestock integration
10
19
20
15
15
23
102
Market
10
0
19
19
20
19
87
Tunnel
15
23
20
25
25
25
133
Trench beds
24
25
23
25
25
25
147
Drip kits
10
15
18
23
25
25
116
Mulching
23
25
22
23
23
25
141
Expanding on CRA practices
Participants have clearly pointed out the importance of CRA practices and how they will continue with
thesepractices in their gardens and their fields. In their expansion theywill work and invite other local
farmers in their villages and share their experiences and practices with them. Theywillalso continue
to recommend practises to other community members and other neighbouring villages, with an
understanding that there are small holder farmers and their work will change the livelihoods of their
communities.Participants have also indicatedthat CRA practices have made their lives easier as they
are able tofeed their own families from their gardens.Sharing of experiences and knowledge has
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helped someparticipants who only tired out a few practices to make the decision to include further
activities and practices in their gardens.
Village
New practices
Comments
Sedawa
Tunnels
Rain water harvesting
tanks
Bucket filters/drip kits
Tower gardens
Nurseries
Fodder production
Jo-Jo tanks
Participants have a lot ofinterest in having
tunnels for shade to protect their crops
from extremeheat. They also have
interest in having either Jo-Jo tanks or
underground rain water harvestingtanks.
Participants who are interested infodder
production are participants with livestock
and they are looking at making business es
in their community.
Most participants have never tried an eco-
circle and would like to try the practice. As
they have water shortages,small eco-
circles would make a difference and they
don’t require a lot of labour like a trench
bed.
Mametja
Tunnels
Tower gardens
Seedlings
Compost
Drip kits
Jo-Jo tanks
Eco-circles
Evaluation of the workshop
Comments from participants;
ØWe have learnt a lot, you taught us and now we qualify to be teachers in agro-ecology, as we
have experience of what we have learnt and we use those practices and principles you taught
us.
ØThrough working with you we have learnt to work together as a community to better our
livelihood through farming and small business.
ØWe havelearnt about different kinds of seeds and the importance of seeds saving especially
our indigenous seeds.
ØMahlathini has opened our eyes and our thought, for that we are very grateful and thankful
for what youhave done for us.
Turkey PIA (Limpopo)
Community impact indicators measure the changes that occur in peoples lives and look at the end
result of project activities. They measure the fundamental assets, resources and feelings of people
affected by the project. Community impact indicators may be quantative, such as income earned from
crops sales, or qualitative such as improved skills, knowledge or social status.
Climate Changeimpacts
Participants understand a lot about climate change because they have witnessedchanges in the
environment without understanding why are things changing. Much has changed in their community,
for example, they are having less rain, it is extremely hot and soil erosion and dongas are continually
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increasing, without any control. There are more livestock and crop diseases associated with new pests.
Participants mentioned a decrease in ground water levels, which is proven by metres when drilling
boreholes in their homesteads
Table 13: Climate change impatcs related to livelihood categories
Natural
(environment
and farming)
Physical
(environment
and farming)
Economic
Human (skills
and knowledge)
Social
(organisations)
Trees are dying
Soil erosion and
more dongas
Less income from
farming
Loss of old
people’s farming
knowledge to
share with youth
Decrease in
stokvels
No grass for
livestock to graze
Soil structure has
changed
We buy water for
both consumption
and irrigation
Farming activities
have decreased
Working with only
one NGO to assist
with farming
activities
More diseases and
pests associated
with extreme heat
Livestock disease is
increasing
We buy seedlings
and seeds yet they
die with no single
harvest
Shortage of food
Fighting over water
sources in the
mountains
Less rain
No water for
livestock
Shortage of water
Very dry
Crops not surviving
the heat
Indigenous fruit
trees are dying
No rain
Growing seasons
have changed
Ground water level
dropping
Too hot
Buying livestock
food
Rivers are all dry
Springs and wells
are drying up
In summary farmers mentioned that farming has declined rapidly due to climate change; reduced and
erratic rainfall and increased heat. Some people in the community are also of the impression that the
little water there is, should be used for household consumption and not farming, which has caused
some conflict. Another NGO, Wold Vision assisted the community in the past with water issues. Water
was collected from a spring behind the mountain and small dams were built for storage. Small water
harvesting dams were also constructed in the water drainage lines for collection of run-off water. All
these structures are now dry and falling into disrepair.There are conflicts about the few remaining
water sources in the mountains. It is very difficult to try and farm under these circumstances.
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Adaptive measures to CC
ØParticipants also discussed their adaptive methods to climate change, example they use tunnels
and they buy more nets to add to the tunnels they were awarded, because the results are good.
The tunnel protects crops from extreme heat and from pests like chickens and birds that eat crops.
ØThe community relies on wood for cooking not electricity, 90% of households in Turkey the use
wood for cooking, which means 90% of tree are cut down, which leads to more dongas and soil
erosion in the community. What they do now isto teach others that are not part of the learning
theimportance of trees and why it is important to plant trees. They are planting more indigenous
trees
ØThey are also implementing soil and water conservation practices in their homestead and gardens.
ØThey started using self-made drip irrigation system. Theyalso learned about crops and how much
water a crop needs perday.
ØThey no longer burn organic matter, but use the organic matter to fertilise the soil and reduce
the rate of water evaporation by mulching.
ØThey use liquid manure for pest and disease control on their crop, using plants like; aloe, chilli,
garlic and black jack.
All the CRA practices were then outlined using
the 5 fingers principles
Figure 66: Adaptive practices used in turkey according to
the 5 fingers principles
Participants started by mentioning all practices
that they have implemented from those they
were taught under each finger principle and
adding them to the five fingers diagram. Below is
a five fingers diagram with implemented
practices by participants in Turkey.
Water
management
Controlling of
soil
movement
Crop
management
Soil
fertility
Livestock
People
Natural
resources
Mulching
Contours and
line levels
Mixed
cropping
Trench beds
Planting
Lucerne
Market access
for herbs and
vegetables.
No cutting of
trees
Making compost
and adding to
trees and soil
Stone lines
Liquid manure
for pests and
disease
control
Legumes
Planting
of
Sunhemp
Learning
group
Planting of trees
Using tunnels
CA
Adding
composts
Adding
compost
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Using drip kits
for irrigation
Planting of trees
Eco-circles
Adding
organic
matter
Grey water
furrows
Tunnels
Crop
rotation
Jo-Jo tanks and
small dams for
RWH
Minimum tillage
Trench beds
and raised
beds
Rain water
storage
Flowers and
medicinal
trees like aloe
and moringa
Diversified
crops
Crop rotation
Participants mentioned thatthe livestock integration aspects are reasonably new, but that they are
now having to start to plant fodder for their livestock- as there is no more grazing. They have found
implementation of most of these practices easy, as they were first shown this implementation in other
villages such as Sedawa and thus were readily convinced that they work under these hot and dry
conditions.Participants arealsointerested in trying the following practices where they have seen good
results from other participantsin Turkey village:
ØEco-circles
ØTunnels
ØConservation Agriculture
ØCompost
ØShallow trench beds
ØLiquid manure using comfrey
Changes and benefits from CRA practices
Changes due to implementationof the CRA practices have been monitored throughout the project
andparticipants are now comfortable with the concept of experimentation and having to quantify or
explain the changes that they are noticing.Some observations include:
ØFrom using a trench beds alone, they get good yields and beautiful fresh produce.
ØThe knowledge has changed everything; without this knowledge farmingwould have died and
they would be buying vegetables for household consumption, but because of the knowledge
gained they don’t by vegetables, which means money for buying vegetables will be used for
something else in the house.
ØSoil fertility is improved through adding compost that they make using organic matter
collected in their household.
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ØThey know how to control pests and diseases in their gardens without having to buy pesticides
that are expensive.And poisonous
ØGood water management. They are very happy to have the knowledgethat they can have a
garden by only using grey-water for irrigation.
ØThe biggest change has been in their farming system and seasons. An example is the crop
diversification that was introduced through learning workshops.
Practices were then ranked according to impact indicators chosen and outlined by the learning group
members. For the matrix ranking below the following scores were used:
Participants used a scale from 10 50.
10< There is no change after implementation
20< There is change but not that convincing to implement the practice again
30<The practice is working as there are some signs of changes
40< The practice is working it can be recommended to other farmers
50<The practice is workingwelland gives good results
Harvest/
Yield
Water
management
Soil
fertility
Pest
control
Labour
Total
Tunnel
50
40
20
50
40
200
Drip kits
30
50
10
20
30
140
Mulching
30
30
40
40
50
190
Compost
40
20
50
30
40
180
Conservation Agriculture
30
40
30
20
50
170
Furrows
10
10
10
10
10
50
Liquid manure
40
10
40
50
50
190
Trench beds
50
50
50
30
50
230
Eco-circle
40
50
50
50
50
240
Planting of trees
30
30
20
20
20
120
Adding of organic matter
40
20
50
40
40
190
Grey water
30
50
10
10
50
150
Crop rotation
40
40
40
40
40
200
Comments
ØFarmers are happy about all the CRA practices as they have made their farming activities
easier; they now pick vegetables from their gardens and are selling in the community. It is also
good to be farming all year round.
ØThey have learned how to fertilise their soil using organic matter that they used to burn before.
They also reflected that some of the practices introduced, were in fact things that their
grandparents used to do, but that they lost over time
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Expanding on CRA practices
Participants have clearly pointed out the importance of CRA practices and how they will continue with
the practices in their gardens and their fields. They also continue to recommend practise to other
community members and other neighbouring villages. Participants have also pointed out that CRA
practices have made their lives easier as they are able to feed their own families with what they make
from their gardens and with crops from the gardens.
The table below outlines their planning for future activities.
Table 14: Future activities proposed by the Turkey learning group members
New practices
New workshops
New farming categories
Liquid manure using comfrey-
participants have learnt how
comfrey fertilizes the soilandalso
assists with pest control and with
bone problems.
Crop processing workshop to add
value and increase crop shelflife;
e.g.how to make pesto and sauces
with crops from their garden.
Poultry Participants have seen
the importance of integrating
their crop farming with livestock
farming after famers network,
where farmers exchange
experiences and success through
integrating the two farming
categories. Example having
poultry makes it easier for them to
use the saw-dust to fertilizethe
soil.
Eco-circle eco-circles were
introduced to participantsand
only 4 participants have
implemented the practice in their
gardens and they have observed
the following results; the practice
uses less water, assists with pest
control andproducesgood yields
and beautiful fresh produce.
Workshopon how they can use
new introduced crops, to make it
easier for them toexplain to their
customers in the village, which will
make it easier for costumers not to
fear buying a crop they don’t
know.
Tower gardens- participants never
implemented the practice simply
because the practices demands of
materials needed and they saw a
trench bed as a practice that only
demanded labour and yet with
good results.
Seed saving workshop- as much as
they had seed saving workshops
through the project and they
would love tohave a review
workshop on seed saving, because
they are still experiencing
problems regarding seed saving
the seeds end up being powder
and not usable.
Tunnels- Participants stillwant
tunnels in their gardens. Tunnels
not only protect their crops from
extreme heat, but combined with
trench beds and mixed cropping
there is good yield and water
management,notforgetting
beautiful fresh produce.
Workshopin business
management.They believe as they
are farmers having an idea of how
to runthe business will add value
to their farming activity as they
will have more understanding on
how to run a business selling their
crops from their gardens.
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Conclusion
Participants reflected on the project and the assessment and this are their thoughts;
ØParticipants appreciated the knowledge gained from working with Mahlathini Development
Foundation through this project. They gave up on farming becauseof the loss they made
through environmental and climate change with no knowledge of how to adapt to the
changing environment and climate.
ØThe also appreciatedthe knowledge gained incrop diversityand new crops; for example,
herbs were introduced in their community; they knew nothing about herbs nor how they are
consumed or how herbs help in terms of pest control in their gardens.
ØOne other thing pointed out was that the project not only taught them. The project gave
them an opportunity to meet with other farmers with either similar challenges or different
challenges and share experiences and challenges and how to deal with challenges;
networking gave them more courage to continue with their farming activities.
4DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEM
Written By Erna Kruger and Matthew Evans1
1Final year computer programming student at University of Pretoria.
With the completion of the refinement step of the DSS computer modelling process, Matthew Evans
was brought on board to assist in designing an online survey process that could integrate the various
components and steps of the modelling process.
This online survey has now been tested in a number of different workshops and refined and has been
uploaded to the MDF website for easy public access.
Inclusion of 1- page descriptions
This has been undertaken for a furthereight of the practicesin the database, based at least in part on
work undertaken and piloted through the CoPs in this programme.These include; strip cropping,
Creep feeding and supplementation, stall feeding and hay making, improved organic matter, Planting
legumes and green manures, crop rotation, grassed waterways and Zai pits.
In addition, the slide on small dam construction has been updated, following the experimentation
process in Limpopo.
Below are a few examples
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5CAPACITY BUILDING AND PUBLICATIONS
Capacity building has been undertaken on three levels:
Community level learning
Organisational capacity building
Post graduate students
Community level and organisationalcapacity building have continued within this reporting periodand
have been reported upon in detail in the above sections.
Post graduate students
Progress with ongoing studies:
oPalesa Motaung: (M Soil Science- UP) has successfully conducted her fieldwork and is
in the process of finalising her results and her write-up.
oMazwi Dlamini: MPhil - UWC_PLAAS. He has conducted his first round of focus
groups and interviews, has written these up and is in the process of conceptualising
his second round of interviews. His progress has been slow, but heis also employed
full-time as a fieldworker and has another year to complete this part-time study at
UWC
Networking and presentations
Presentations
1.Fourth Ukulinga Howard Davis Memorial Symposium 20-21 August 2019. Developing
resilience through partnerships and collaboration. Hosted by UKZN
Attended by around 200 participants from KZN includingacademics, government officials,
students and development stakeholders. Presentation title:” Asmallholder level decision
support system improves resilience to Climate Change”.
2.National workshop (DARDLEA, CSAG)6 August 2019. The development of a national
risk and vulnerability framework: Learning from practice. Attended by a broad range on
national stakeholders (around 60 participants) including Municipal and government officials,
NGOs, Universities, consultants in the field. Presentation title: “Risk and vulnerability
assessments for community level climate change adaptation”.
3.National workshop (AWARD). Building adaptation capacity, literacy and justice on
climate change in the communities of South Africa 22-23 August 2019. The workshopwas to
share lessons learnt and provide a space for implementing organisations to network. Around
40 participants from Civil society, government and Universities. Presentation title: “Climate
change adaptation decision support system for smallholders”
4.Rhodes University, learning and sharing workshop 7 October 2019. GEF5 Sustainable
Land Management Project: Securing multiple ecosystems benefits through SLM in the
productive but degraded landscapes of South Africa. Facilitation of a process for project team
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members to explore methodologies for vulnerability and impact assessments using the WRC
smallholder decision support process in CCA as a basis.
5.Okahlamba Land andAgriculture Summit27 October 2019. MDF worked
collaboratively with the KZNDARD(Mr Harland Wood)to present a paper called: “Climate
change, adaptive strategies and a success story in the Okahlamba municipality Climate
Resilient Agriculture implementation by smallholder farmers”.
Collaboration
A collaborative process was put in place with the Institute of Natural Resourcesto use the workshop
methodology for exploration of climate change impacts and adaptive strategies as a way to discuss
potential natural resources rehabilitation strategies to support the Umkomazi Restoration Project
(Umngeni Water) pilotphase.
This process worked well to outline thecommunity situation, issues and motivation for action and was
used in two villages in the Impendle district of KZN.
Preamble
There are considerable issues related to land and water management practices in the communal
tenure areas around Impendle, with resultant high levels of soil erosion, over grazing and wattle
infestation and encroachment, as the three main issues for siltation of streams and rivers in the area.
The Community Work Programme and the Working for Waterprocess under the Extended Public
Works Programme have both been active in this area. This has led to a high expectation for payment
to do any work not specifically within the confines of peoples’ homesteads and fields. This attitude is
unfortunately confounded by the way communal tenure arrangements have developed over time.
The TraditionalAuthorities (TA) oversee land administration and land use regulations. The latter
consists mainly of arrangements around summer and winter grazing of livestock (usually livestock are
allowed into the built up areas and fields in winter and sent to the hills/ mountains for grazing in
summer), allocation of fields and water access to individuals and groups in the community and use of
wattle and natural resources for firewood and other purposes. The emphasis is on use, as opposed to
management and conservation of resources.
This process is focused on finding opportunities for resource management options that community
members are prepared to undertake and developing reciprocal arrangements for such activities. As
such the facilitation approach has focussed on availability of resources, issues and changes within
these and peoples’ agricultural activities, to tease out some options for individual and joint activities
that could lead to improved soil and water management and potential incentives to motivate such
activities.
Two pilot sites, with different community -based management regimes have been identified:
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1.Nxamalala in Impendle; A typical communal tenure village, where the TA is respected and
active and also where the village is in an upper catchment (to allow for the greatest
potential impact in restoration work) and is contained (a limited and defined number of
households in thevillage to allow for community coherence) and
2.Ntwasahlobo in Stoffelton; A historical ‘black spot’ with private landowners and tenants;
where the land use and management aremore directly dictated by the landowners, in
conjunction with the TA in the area. Again, a contained village in the upper catchment of this
area was selected.
Methodology and process
Community level entry was negotiated through the traditional authorities. A two-day community level
process was then undertaken, following the facilitation process outline below.
Table 15: Facilitation outline for Community level workshops
DAY 1
PURPOSE
PROCESS
REQUIREMENTS
INTRODUCTION
Community and team
introductions
- Outline of Umkhomazi
restoration project
-Introduction of team
-Community introductions
(incl farming activities)
- Use Info sheet produced by the
INR and topographical maps awa
-photographs and visual aids of
typical erosion and climate
change issues in this area
Attendance register-
with columns for
farming enterprises (so
that each participant
can tick what they do) -
in English and Zulu
Name tags; stickers,
kokis
Purpose of the day
Introduction of the
organisation/s and purpose
of this workshop- link to
already ongoing activities if
possible and introduce
visitors and other
stakeholders involved
talk to CC necessitating
adaptation from us - we may need
to change how we do things and
what we do to - This w/s is to help
us explore options for such
changes
Flip stand, newsprint,
kokis,data projector,
screen, extension
cords, plugs - double
adaptors, cameras
PRESENT SITUATION
Present livelihoods and
farming situation -
discuss impacts related
to CC
Use a seriesof impact
pictures- from the local
situation. Include the 5
categories (and describe
them to the group) - water
management (increased
efficiency and access), soil
management (erosion
control, fertility, health),
crops, livestock and natural
resources
Impact pictures- either ppt or
printed on A4 to facilitate
dialogue (or both) Record
community comments
Power point
presentation pictures
PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE
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Discuss farming
activities as they have
changed, what they
are now and what may
happen in the future if
the present trends
continue
SMALL GROUPS (5-
10people): facilitated
discussion on farming
activities (include the 5
categories) - prompt for all
five and keep conversation
focussed OR Facilitatea
shorter plenary discussion on
how things are changing (if
time is pressing)
Important to note and record any
discussions around changes and
adaptations- so things people are
already doing to accommodate
forchanges - also where they are
not sure what to do
Small groups; each
needs a facilitator and
recorder
TEA
Fruit (apples, oranges, biscuits, juice and water, paper cups (lots) and plates…
REALITY/IMPACT MAPS
Summarise impacts and local
activities POSSIBLE
SOLUTIONS: things that
people know, have changed,
have tried and or are trying to
deal with the changes
Prompt for social, economic,
environmental impacts as well if
these don't come up in the group
Also make a separate list on
newsprint of names of people
trying things (this is to facilitate
h/h visits on day 2)
Small groups; each
needs a facilitator and
recorder
CLOSURE
REPORT BACKS - of possible
solutions PLANNING FOR
DAY 2 - choose 3-4
participants for household
visits and ask for a small
group of other interested
individuals to join. Decide on
venue and time (12 noon) for
continuing with practices
Households to be within walking
distance hopefully. Otherwise
drive these 3-4 participants
around and meet for focusgroup
thereafter
Rapporteurs need to be
chosen from the group
to summarise the
solutions in the report
backs [5min/group]
LUNCH
DAY 2: HOUSEHOLD VISITSAND FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSION
Household visits
To look at local adaptations
and innovations; To assess
the household and general
resource situations; To start
to elucidate criteria people
use to make choices and
decisions
Use questionnaireand fillin
through semi structured interview
and observations
Implementation
options focus group
discussion
To summarise and discuss
ideas suggested in Day 1 and
on household visit walks
To introduce some ideas also
from the facilitation team
To agree on potential options
and follow-up
List and summarise different
actions and potential interest
groups for the different activities
Finalise process and dates for
follow-up activities
Presentation of a range
of practices using a
power point
presentation or visual
aids of beast practice
options.
LUNCH AND CLOSURE
Nxamalala (Emapanekeni) process and outcomes
DATE:15,16 October 2019
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VENUE: Mr Duma:Member of TA, linked closely to induna Mr Khumalo, under Nkosi Zuma
(Mapanekeng village 14 households in total Some
people were removed
ATTENDANCE: 12 participants (4 men, 9 women)
FACILITATION TEAM:INR; Zanele, MDF; Erna, Tema,
Nonto, Lima; Nosiphephelo
Figure 67: Mapanekeng workshopparticipants, Day 1.
Upon entry, it was evident that the resource management
processes for this village different somewhat from other
villages inthe vicinity; there was a lot more grass in the
grazing areas, little to no burning, evidence of green
patches where wetlands were still functioning and
containment of the wattle “forests” along the ridges. There
was also evidence of managed cutting of wattle. There was
some evidence of erosion (dongasand gulleys), although at
first glance most of these appeared to be stable withsome
vegetation within and around the gulleys. This was
discussed with the group as a way of introducing the process.
(i)Day 1: Community workshop on farming and resource management
(i).1General discussion on resource management in the village
Figure 68: Left: Well grassed area, with green strip indicating a still functional wetland. Centre: Wattle” forest” on the
slope with cut branches on the side and Right: Donga; reasonably stable with some vegetation in and around the gulley.
Comments from community members included the following:
There is a highly functional dipping committee.
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There is an agreement not to burn in the area, to provide for more grazing for livestock.
Fires that do happen are accidental or flow over from the commercial farm above.
Some burning is done in the mountains in early spring for grazing for livestock. They are
moved there in summer.
Most of the men in the village own reasonably large numbers of livestock; including cattle,
sheep, goats, horses, pigs and poultry.
Water is obtained from the mountain through a protected spring, which is reticulated to a
header tank and pipes with taps to each homestead. There is no lack of water here, but little
municipal support
Many people would like towant to relocate to the area, but cannot due to local conditions. There is
no real road access to the village just a track that has to cross stream beds, which become flooder
in summer, making getting in and out of the village difficult. It also means that at times children do
not go to school, for this reason. The main requests for support from this community was support for
building roads and bridges and also fencing of fields. On the walk it became clear that most ofthe
households and homestead fields are well fenced 9around 4 were not), but that the request relates
to wanting to expand cropping into the more communal unfenced areas surrounding the village.
People mentioned that they work together, that there is a local tractor for use in ploughing, but that
people would still need more support in mechanisation and that the women need assistance with
fencing of gardens and fields.
Most of the households have smallvegetable gardens and dryland fields in the homesteads, but not
all are actively using them, as cattle invasion and access to enough water can be an issue.
(i).2How have things changed over time?
Dongas have increased over time (Mr Duma)
When it rains there are big storms and erosion
because of that… and also roads and paths are
washed away and then cars cannot enter here
(MamGwala)
Crops get washed away due to heavy rains
In the past people used to do field cropping
with oxen a lot. Now there is not much… There
is a need for fencing to control livestock
Forests are now a lot less than before, but there
is an increase of predators such as jackals in the
wattle copses.
The Wattle is taking over- issues with
uncontrolled grazing there. Community wants
them thinned out but not completely removed as trees for firewood are scarce.
(i).3Present situation
MAIN REQUESTs FROM THE
COMMUNITY
-Assistance with roads and bridges
-Assistance with fencing
-Assistance with control ofWattle;
not removal as people use them,
but thinning in a controlled manner
-Assistance in control of dongas
encroaching on homesteads
-Contours need to be rehabilitated
to control run-off
-Conservation Agriculture in fields;
for soil fertility and soil health
improvement and to reduce
erosion
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-We have not really seen a difference in the amount of rain, just bigger storms and an issue
with maintenance of soil and soil erosion control structures
-A TLB costs R600/hr. The municipality doesn’t maintain the road here. The CWP also doesn’t
do anything here
-The Municipality doesn’t assist here; Not much communication between community leaders
and members here… Councillor doesn’t help no electricity here
-We grow small amounts in the gardens, maize, beans, potatoes, some cabbage and spinach.
-There is some erosion encroaching on the fields and homesteads….
-Sometimes livestock die in the dongas,
-We now keep them enclosed in kraals at night as they are vulnerable to predation
otherwise…
-We also buy injections when they are sick, Lost 30 sheep to a disease Scab on their skins…
-The problem is that the Wattle forests have become very thick. They are owned by Induna
and Nkosi but the community has permission to use it, for firewood and poles. There are
no limitations placed on use … CWP were meant to clear they just cut and leave the rubble
and when it rains there are even bigger problems. No consultation with the community
about how to do this and then this causes more problems.
-Some of the plantation belongs to MamZuma’s family but it belongs to the Nkosi originally.
-CWP brought muthi to kill the bigger trees, but now they have re-germinated. Chemicals did
not work.
-When the women cut the trees, there are always new shoots growing
-Now no longer using the big fields further away because of cattle, only working in our
homesteads. We use a tractor in our homestead plots. We pay for a tractor for household
food (maize, beans, potatoes, cabbages, tomatoes)
-The Extension officerfrom KZNDARD assists with sweet potatoes and cabbage…
-There is a group of women (isibonelo), registered as a cooperative. Not working together
much. They are tired. Then there are problems with pests in the soil that eat potatoes
(termites) and also pests for cabbages… Fencing was also stolen… The soils in the bigger
fields are more damaged than the plots at peoples’ homesteads… Some of the ladies are
now old
-Some people still want to continue with planting…
-There are no markets for their products, (also led to collapse of their communal garden)
-Climate change has affected our yields
-There is no fertilizer to put in the fields.
-Lack of knowledge regarding recommended fertilizers
-Herbicides are used to control weeds
(i).4Past situation
-They used to have oxen and planters- now do not have any
-The area that is covered by wattle now used to be houses. With the new government people
were asked to move to be closer together to allow for service provision. Not everyone
agreed to move.
-Children used to be available to do herding and help, now they are in school. Now struggling
more to look after the environment.
-Fields were fenced by the Department of Agriculture, prior to 1994. This was stolen a long
time ago. Now fields are allocated by the Nkosi, for which payment is required and if they
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are not used,they revert back to the Nkosi. It is around 30 years since the large fields were
last ploughed.
(i).5Ideas for future
* Fencing for homestead plots
* Broilers and layersfor selling (they will be less work than cropping)
* Thinning of wattle copses
* Contours need to be rehabilitated, to control runoff…
* Correct use of fertilizers and herbicides
(ii)Day 2: Household visits and focus group discussion on options
Eight homesteads were visited; to check activities, donga encroachment and access to resources and
a walk was takento one of the wattle copses on the hillside. A summary of the bassline household
information is provided in the attachment
Around 7 of the households are on one side of a large donga and stream and the rest are on the
opposite side. On that side there isalso access to taps with water from a spring in the mountain, but
the water is not clean and not as reliable as on the near side. The municipality originally assisted with
the spring protection and putting in the header tanks. There are also a few communal standpipes in
the village- which are not really used, as people have water in their households
Figure 69: Mr Duma’s tap in his homestead yard.
The mountain above the homestead provides grazing for livestock
of thewhole are insummer (October to March)), not just this
village, which makes control of movement of livestock and
management of the grazing there difficult. There is clear evidence
of erosion due to cattle movement, over grazing and injudicious
burning.
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Figure70: Left: The large donga separating the two sides of the village. Centre: Erosion due to cattle movement and
overgrazing. Right: burning of the mountain for early spring grazing, also leading to erosion.
Most of the homesteads are well fenced, with a small garden and field, as well as kraals and housing
for pigs and chickens.
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Figure 71: Left: Mr Duma’s vegetable garden with peach trees and Centre his fenced field. Right: Mr Khumalo’s housing
arrangement for his pigs.
Figure 72:Left- two households with decaying or absent fences and little farming activity and Right: 2 households with
dongas encroaching on their fence lines. (Mvula Khumalo and Mkhulu Zuma.)
With regard to the wattle copses, the health of the stream flowing through the higher reaches of these
copses was in a surprisingly good condition, with some native vegetation also evident and some grass
between the trees. (Left picture)/ Further down the valley howeverthese was evidence of soil erosion
cause by the wattle thickets 9Rgiht picture). All major branches of the trees have been cut out, leaving
them to become bushy, leading to a lack of grass cover and increased erosion.
(iii)Baseline information
Individuals from eight of the fourteen households were interviewed to get a snapshot of the general
socio-economic and livelihoods conditions in the area. The two small tables below provide a summary
of this information
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Table 16: Basic socio-economic and livelihoods information for Emapanekeni participants
From this summary it can be seen that none of the participants come from households where
members are employed, all rely on social grants and around 38% of the household heads are female.
The education levels are low, with around 68% of respondents only having a primary school level
education. All households have access to electricity and water and around 86% have well fenced
homesteads and household fields. Farming (cropping, gardening and livestock rearing) is for food
production only and there is no access to markets. 86% of households own livestock (cattle, goats,
horses and pigs). This is a substantial resource, made possible for this village by itsrelative seclusion
and also access to a substantial area for grazing.
Ave age
51,5
Ave no of household members
4,6
Dependency ratio; average
1,17
Income (in Rands)- unemployed
R 1 457,14
The average household income for these participants is in the region of R1500/month, shard by
between 4-5 household members. The dependency ratio of 1.17 children to each adultis however
quite low, when compared to other rural villages in the region. In summary, these households are all
extremely poor and vulnerable economically, but are well resourced in terms of water and access to
natural resources.
(iv)Focus group discussion
A discussion was held around the need for work in the wattle copses and on the dongas threatening
homesteads and fields. Thus far the only efforts in this regard have bene through the Community Work
Programme (CWP), although not much has been done. It is possible to speak to the councillor Mrs
Shangase, to ask for the CWP teams to work in the dongas although participants did not agree on
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this approach, as some felt that the councillor wold not support them and others thought that then
workers from other villages would be brought in and it would not benefit householders in this village.
Also, workers brought in from elsewhere would not be committed to doing a good job.
A discussion around work for incentives rather than payment was held. Ideas included:
-Work in wattle copses and clearing of wattle form stream beds in exchange for poles and
fencing materials
-Reducing the encroachment of wattle copses and removing wattle in streams (a more
limited option) OR work in dongas threatening homesteads, in exchange for support on
Conservation Agriculture (Inputs and training) OR fencing OR supplementation support for
livestock
Regarding the Wattle copses and erosion on the mountain, it was noted that the broader community
and the traditional Authority would need to be involved. In addition, some of the participants clearly
favoured the need to be paid and felt they would want to decide for themselves how to use the monies
earned, rather than being given specific materials
It was agreed that Mr Duma would discuss these options with the Induna (Mr Khumalo), to get a final
answer. The answer from the TA, was that people should be paid. Sadly also, Mr Khumalo passed away
a week later, removing a central person in the local decisions making process.
Regarding Conservation Agriculture, it was agreed that all 14 households want to be part of this
process and that their contribution would be to plant an equivalent area tothe CA trial plots by
themselves as their contribution.
Publications
No articles or papers have been publishedduring this period. An agreement is in place with CABIto
produce a chapter entitled “CA Innovation Systems build climate resilience for smallholder farmers in
South Africa”, in a book entitledConservation Agriculture in Africa: Climate Smart Agricultural
Development, by mid -February 2020