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
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
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
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

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Demonstration plots in action
Demonstration plots in action

In a flurry of activity this quarter we want to focus our report on some training delivered, as we saw the Headmaster and three teachers from Inyaguwe Primary School trained in Conservation Agriculture and the Pfumvudza concept (among other things) for 4 days at Foundations for Farming’s Headquarters in Harare.

Day 1 covered principles of Conservation Agriculture including; Minimum Soil Disturbance, Mulching, Crop Rotation and what we call Higher Management.

The participants were trained in the four principals of profit making;

  1. Doing things on time
  2. A high standard
  3. Without wastage
  4. With joy

Teachers were taught how to establish demonstration plots and encouraged to experiment with trial crops comparing the yield from their newly learned methods with traditional ones. The participants were trained how to lay-down mulch in a field, how to establish planting stations, how to properly sow cereal and legume seeds, how to rotate crops and how to properly maintain their fields by weeding, thus maintaining expected yields.

Day 2 saw the training focus on encouraging teaching school children of conservation agriculture concepts, whom in turn, would teach their parents and relatives in the long run. To make the lesson more interesting, the participants took part in miniature soil demonstrations which illustrated the effects of ploughing on the soil, how water infiltrates the soil as well as the rate soil is eroded in ploughed and unploughed fields. A comparison of a mulched and un-mulched field was done to show the participants how important mulch is in reducing the rate of soil erosion and improving infiltration. Finally participants were trained on composting which was a major subject of interest for participants who saw it as an important alternative to expensive synthetic fertilizers.

On Day 3 participants took part in theory and practical lessons in vegetable production as well as learning about pests and diseases that affect vegetables. The most important lesson of the training hinged on how conservation agriculture principles could easily be applied to ANY vegetable, resulting in increased production yields and added nutritional value in school feeding programs.

The day moved on to Agroforestry training which focused on the role the participants were to play in advocating for climate change awareness campaigns in their school as well as in their communities, especially when it came to the rejuvenation of forests. The participants were fascinated by how nitrogen fixing trees/leguminous trees could significantly contribute to improve productivity in the field.

Training then shifted to focus on empowering the participants to become result orientated and effective leaders in their areas of influence to inspire change and bring sustainable transformation in their school and surrounding communities. The team building session also taught the participants to be innovative and critical thinkers who think outside the box.

 Day 4 Focussed on next steps and facilitated group discussion to share with the four participants more about the program, how it is structured and what is expected of them when it comes to the implementation of program activities in their school. The Headmaster and teachers were very enthusiastic and eager to start implementing the project activities on as soon as they returned to their school. Watch this space . . .

Turning theory into practice
Turning theory into practice

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
The Team in Action
The Team in Action

A moment of reflection: It’s a difficult time to be operating in conservation farming but also it’s of increasing importance. We face climate change - and crop yields are once again in question all over as seasonal rains are insufficient for millions of subsistence farmers.

We’d like to take this moment to thank our online donor community for supporting our work as we help schools learn about conservation farming and sustainable agriculture methods. We believe that educating young people in how low cost, low resource and of course low tech ways to manage their land is one of the best ways to ensure that families are fed – helping to tackle the significant issue of malnutrition in Zimbabwe today.

We also believe that stewardship of the land is the key to ensuring that the time will never come where farmers are unable to get a good yield from their crops or that local ecosystems fail.

As covid-19 rocks the world we don’t know what the funding environment will look like as we look to continue our work and support vulnerable people and at need communities to provide for themselves. All we can do is take a moment to say – thank you for your support!

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Demonstration plots - keeping mulching simple
Demonstration plots - keeping mulching simple

We’re immensely proud that the government of Zimbabwe has recognised the value of our Pfumvudza model for agricultural plot management and has asked us to see it rolled out to 1.6 MILLION houses. We’re to be training 6,000 extension officers who work in communities and soon we’re know that in addition to project work in schools, so many others will be getting the benefit of seeing one hectare of land yielding 450kg of maize through traditional framing methods going up to 800kg per one sixteenth of a hectare!

There’s a flip side to the coin, but with every disaster comes opportunity, or so they say. As Coronavirus put Zimbabwe into lockdown this left staff teams confined to their homes often unable to work due to lack of internet or IT equipment. However we’re proud to say that this did not stop us from getting some work of real value done. The Foundations for Farming method has taught people for years on the leading methods in climate smart agriculture, teaching stewardship of the land for a sustainable future in the face of climate change whilst simultaneously providing better crop yields to feed the people we work with. This lockdown gave us the opportunity to review how we are delivering our programme and we’re happy to say that work is underway to build on our delivery methodology and make it into something even stronger. We’ve been looking at how communities adopt the lessons we teach in schools. How to overcome reticence to adopt farming methods which are lot in line with what people were brought up to do. The answer of course has many routes but at their core it’s about involvement. With on-going funding support going to make it happen. In schools it’s about proving crop yields and inviting parents and communities to see it. We aim to involve communities in support the development of nutritional gardens and share in the lessons we teach schools. Building on the success of the Pfumvudza adoption we’re working to ensure that this invaluable knowledge is adopted as widely as possible. This is indeed an exciting time for our work.

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

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
$824 raised of $1,500 goal
 
24 donations
$676 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Zimbabwe Educational Trust (ZET) has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.