This project addresses two challenges of increasing child malnutrition and decreasing agricultural output in Zimbabwe. In Harare up to 30% of children suffer stunted growth, because of chronic malnutrition. Undernourished children are more susceptible to disease and have poorer results at school (Unicef, 2010). Concurrently a reduction in grain production from 1.5 to 0.5 tonnes per hectare between 1961 and 2005 has been caused by inappropriate farming techniques to the African climate.
ZET's partner Foundations for Farming trains primary teachers in conservation agriculture, including use of mulch cover, zero-tillage and no burning, which reduces soil erosion and effectively captures rainfall to the plants. School lessons include practical maintenance of herb/vegetable gardens and a maize plot on school grounds. Food cultivated is used in free school meals, improving nutrition. Children take these farming techniques both to grow food at home and some find agriculture jobs.
St Michael's and St John's Primary Schools in Mbare, Harare benefit with a total of 1,500 children. Children learn core farming principles of : on time, at a high standard, without wastage, and with joy. Children are taught how to increase nutrition in their diet. Foundations for Farming trains 2 teachers per school. The whole school is engaged in learning these agricultural techniques and tending to the nutritional gardens.
This project has provided additional documentation in a Microsoft Word file (projdoc.doc).