Conservation Agriculture Programme in partnership with Foundations for Farming
Every farming season we select disadvantaged families and schools to receive training and Pfumvudza (Shona for “new beginnings”) seed pack inputs. All methods are achieved at very low cost using only natural techniques such as compost making and home remedies for pest control.
Using their training, a family of 6 can feed itself for a whole year from a very small plot of land (16mx39m) leading to communities becoming self-sufficient, eradicating hunger, having surplus yield to sell for an income whilst maintaining healthy soil to protect the environment.
Principles of Conservation Agriculture are based on maintaining and enhancing soil structure: 1) minimum soil disturbance – no ploughing, zero or minimum tillage; 2) maintain maximum soil coverage – no burning, use mulch or crop residues; 3) composting and manuring practice rotations using legumes – improve soil structure and nutrient status, breaks pest and disease cycles.
Those participants who have adhered to their training and used the principles have excelled and surpassed all expectations. It is not unusual for families to produce 9 tonnes of maize as well as excess sorghum, spinach and tomatoes even through drought conditions. By the next season our trainees have become mentors to neighbours, friends and family who witness and want to become a part of the transformation.
Kemukaka Primary School used their plot as an education tool to the older students who were able to take their knowledge home, however it was the end of year yields they sold to the Grain Marketing Board (Zimbabwe’s prime source of grain) that gave them enough profit to build their first classroom block with 3 large classes and 2 storage rooms.