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Train Primary Teachers in Conservation Agriculture

by Zimbabwe Educational Trust (ZET)
Train Primary Teachers in Conservation Agriculture
Train Primary Teachers in Conservation Agriculture
Train Primary Teachers in Conservation Agriculture
Train Primary Teachers in Conservation Agriculture
Inyaguwe support visit team assistance
Inyaguwe support visit team assistance

This has been a particularly exciting quarter and we’re happy to present some of the evaluation findings from our work with Inyagwe Primary School. For a long time now (Covid presented some delays) we’ve been working together to teach conservation agriculture, helping to tackle food insecurity and build resilience against the growing effects of climate change.

 

“This project allows everyone in the community to earn money and have enough food.”

Mr N. Majogo, School Development Committee, Chairperson

 

Crop production over the course of the project has gone through the roof, here’s some highlights comparing 2020-2021.

Onions – up from 600 to 1,300, that’s 217% growth

Tomatoes up from 120kg to 400kg a growth of 333%

Sugar Beans – up from 10kgs to 60kgs a whopping 600%.

Maize – up from 150kgs to 1,750kg, a staggering 1,167%

To date, approximately 40 meals have been provided for each of the 398 students attending the school. Totalling 15,920 meals this is a great and substantial achievement but still falls a long way short of what is truly required. With the school aiming to give one meal per student, per day this requires 1,990 meals per week and we can see that approximately eight full weeks of food have been provided thus far. The great leap forward in capacity and relative to what they were able to produce/provide before is a true measure of the success of the project. This is further supported by feedback received from the Headmaster stating, “Yes, benefits were observed. It increased the school enrolment and minimized absenteeism.” A teacher goes on to note “Pupil’s participation in classwork has highly increased”.

 

There have been other benefits too but we’ll save some of that for next time…

 

Thanks to all our donors and supporters. Please help us spread the word, and raise more funds so we can keep up this life changing work.

School garden feeding bodies and minds
School garden feeding bodies and minds

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Mulch training
Mulch training

What have we done recently? The answer is - quite a lot! We’ve been delivering training to schools and communities on nutritional gardens with a particular focus on cash-crops. Using our climate smart methods this work supports livelihoods by producing chia, mucuna bean and sunflower. There is of course the added bonus that people have their own sustainable source of sunflower oil for the home.

We’ve also been working with our key school Inyaguwe to ensure that they are preparing the land for the next planting season. This is a great time of year to be making mulch which, using the by-products of the season just gone has be ability to put fresh nutrition back into the ground making it strong and fertile for the coming crops.

We’re also excited to be working on a new proposal for an enhanced methodology – if you’d like to find out more get in touch with our Operations Manager, Andrew Jackson at andrew@zimbabweeducaitonaltrust.org.uk Building on the way we’ve always done things we plan to make things more sustainable and wide reaching in the long-term.

Thanks as always to all our supporters.

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Headmaster and  pupils with tools, seeds and more
Headmaster and pupils with tools, seeds and more

We were back at the school this quarter and delivering more tools along with seeds and other materials required to maintain their Pfumvudza crop plots. The headmaster, staff and students have been diligently taking care of the space and (as you can see in the photo) the crops are really flourishing. The drip equipment is being maintained and there are plans to expand its use which would be a big boon to what could be produced.

On top of this we’re pleased that with a little help the school has constructed their layer chicken house. The pupils were very excited to receive the chickens and jumped right in to taking charge of looking after them. In the 5 weeks since they arrived the chickens have laid 241 eggs and now average one egg per chicken per day.

This is a very exciting moment for the school as, along with the crops which are growing, they now have eggs to sell with the funds able to help support the maintenance and expansion of the project as well as the school’s budget going forwards.

Thanks again to our donors and supporters. Did you know that GlobalGiving are match funding the first donation of any new monthly donors? Please consider helping to spread the word. Thank you.

Pfumvudza plot doing great
Pfumvudza plot doing great
Children and chickens - chickens and children!
Children and chickens - chickens and children!

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Drip irrigation equipment delivered to the school
Drip irrigation equipment delivered to the school

This quarter saw us continue our delivery of the school’s project with the key step of installing a drip irrigation system. Students and teachers we’re excited to see the equipment arrive and with the help of staff and irrigation technicians it was installed on site. Students then got to see how it worked and the instant results visible as little pools of wet soil became visible all along the planting beds.

 

Discussion was held with those who had previously received training to ensure that theory is put into practice around mulching, crop management, tillage and of course irrigation. With the seasonal rains now on their way preparation is underway to ensure that the land is ready so that crop yields can be maximised and vulnerable students can be fed. Materials are now being purchased for the establishment of a layer chicken house. Utilising by-products from the farming activities to supplement the chicken’s diet this will provide a cost effective supply of eggs going forwards. With an open day on the horizon to show prove our methods to the community, things are shaping up nicely.

 

Thanks again to all our donors for your wonderful support – the more you give the more we can do.

Students see drip irrigation system in action
Students see drip irrigation system in action
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Maize harvest in progress
Maize harvest in progress

Ahead of implementing the vegetable crop areas and chicken layer project, coming out of Covid has meant we’ve been able to deliver a school support visit. Meeting with staff, the focus was on information and making up for some of the lost effort when crops were untended. Once the schools could reopen, the headmaster and the teachers at the school managed to weed some of the plots and harvested two cow-pea demonstration plots and two maize plots together with the pupils.

The trainers encouraged the school delegation to apply all the Conservation Agriculture principles the initial group of staff members had been taught, to achieve much more desirable results in their fields.

The school has enough land and a reliable source of water to venture into profitable farming activities.

The trainers advised the school delegates to practicing post-harvest weeding to reduce weed pressure the following season. The teachers were also advised again to gather as much mulch as they can to cover their plots.

It’s all stations go now and we’re excited for the next phase as we look to make this project more sustainable and get the community involved for that all important ripple effect.

A reliable water source is invaluable
A reliable water source is invaluable
Students irrigating crops
Students irrigating crops

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Organization Information

Zimbabwe Educational Trust (ZET)

Location: LEEDS, West Yorkshire - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @zet_uk
Project Leader:
Steve Besford
LEEDS, West Yorkshire United Kingdom
$1,635 raised of $1,500 goal
 
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