A successful seed bank was created with farmers committing 34kg per year .
Yield results have indicated conservations techniques have outperformed traditional techniques in both drought and non-drought years.
In March 2015, an international development body working with the government of Zimbabwe engaged Challenge Advisory to provide climate change adaptation strategies for local smallholder farmers. Global average temperatures will increase by more than 2°C by the end of the 21st century and our models predict a ‘worst case scenario’ of 3°C by 2050 and 6°C by 2100. However, the challenges are not long term, and the impact is being felt immediately.
The case district has suffered from chronic food insecurities due to the consistent climate change challenges of drought and flood. For most farmers, Maize is the main crop and tool to fight food insecurity.
- High yield years of maize failed to address current food security challenges. The average farmer plants 1 hectare and produces 0.5 metric tonnes/hectare.
- Uneven rainfall distribution (drought and flood) creates and increases vulnerability to food insecurity.
- The district has a global acute malnutrition score between 6 and 9.
- Sandy soils, lack of inputs and high poverty levels also contribute to food insecurity.
- Smallholder farmers are reliant on dry-land subsistence crop farming.
- Ensure the majority small holder farmers reduce their vulnerability and exposure to climate change and improve their food security.
- Assist vulnerable households to recover from perennial food security and develop self-sustaining capacities to provide for their food, seeds and nutrition and health needs.
- Ensure the strategy creates a multiplier effect by targeting farm community influencers.
- Implement low cost sustainable agricultural practices to increase yield, reduce chemical use, reduce capital investment requirements and outperform conventional farming methods
- Conduct a network analysis using government databases and resources to identify community influencers to maximise impact
- Build and deliver a sustainable agriculture program and deliver the initial 25 programs through demonstrations and training sessions
- Build a new and sustainable community seed bank to allow seed distribution to vulnerable farmers in the community
- Conduct a trial of 30 farmers to rotate between their primary maize crop and cowpeas
- Use industry relationships to create partnerships to import required sustainable seeds and fertiliser at significantly below market price
- A successful seed bank was created with farmers committing 34kg per year
- Yield results have indicated conservations techniques have outperformed traditional techniques in both drought and non-drought years
- Over 300 local farmers have been taught sustainable agriculture techniques leading to community ambassadors and the adoption of techniques across local communities
- The average maize harvest was 4.5 metric tonnes/hectare compared to initial 0.5 metric tonnes/hectare
- A further 2140 farmers have received deep exposure to sustainable farming techniques through the mobilisation of community ambassadors