Sustainable natural resources regeneration
About the Implementing organization
Name: Zimbabwe Small Holder Organic Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF)-Shashe Agro Ecology School
Year of establishment: 2002
Type of organization: Community based small holder organic farmers movement or organisation
The project supports the regeneration of natural resources as it has turned a once non-productive land into productive uses. The area is prone to droughts but through agroecology, agroforestry, soil and water management such as through water harvesting, mulching, use of manure and compost, farmers are now able to produce and feed their families and nearby communities. In the context of crop production, farmers have adopted various strategies to adapt to climate change: Planting different varieties of crops, Sowing crops at different times of year, water conservation, use of marginal resources, water harvesting, Altering agronomic practices (for example reduced tillage to reduce water loss, incorporation of manures and compost, and other land use techniques such as cover cropping that increase soil organic matter and hence water retention of value both in times of drought and flood). Farmers produce traditional seed varieties- preserving genetic diversity and traditional seed knowledge- of varieties that can be grown with little or no water. Some examples of these varieties are millet, rapoko, sorghum, ground nuts, cow peas, soya beans and sesame. Knowledge of how to grow, and eat these traditional varieties also needs to be disseminated. Local farming innovations have proved to be the best way of regeneration of natural resources in communities and have supported regenerative agriculture at Shashe Agroecology school and nearby communities and other ZIMSOFF members.
Forests / Rivers / Drylands
Type of Action
Protection / Restoration / Sustainable use / Access and benefit sharing / Awareness and education / Advocacy for land & water rights
Sustainable Development Element
Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Water security / Disaster risk reduction / Climate action
The Shashe agroecology school has led to improved environmental conservation and sustainable natural resource management in that it turned once a non-productive land into productive usage whereby nearly 100 households are earning a living from. The project supports environmental conservation and natural resources as the area is prone to droughts but through agro-ecology, agro-forestry, soil and water management such as through water harvesting, mulching, use of manure and compost, farmers are now able to produce and feed their families and nearby communities. In the context of crop production,j farmers are planting different varieties of crops, Sowing crops at different times of year, water conservation, water harvesting, Altering agronomic practices (for example reduced tillage to reduce water loss, incorporation of manures and compost, mixed cropping to increase soil organic matter and hence water retention of value both in times of drought and flood).
Sustainable Development Impacts
Sustainable development impacts of sustainable land and water use through agroecology has led to sustainable This has led to the community of Shashe and others managing to survive in harsh climatic and economic conditions as they use minimal resources with regards to financial resources. Sustainable natural resource management has turned once a non-productive land into productive usage whereby nearly 100 households are earning a living from thereby improving their livelihoods and provide a sustainable source of income and income for the families as well as nearby communities. This has enabled the actions to uplift the welfare of smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe through participatory ecological land use planning and management, land regeneration through agroforestry, water harvesting, use of manure and compost, mulching and use of indigenous seeds and integrated livestock management.
The project has been scaled to other three clusters who are members of ZIMSOFF in other parts of the country and more farmers are adopting this project. There are also higher chances that the project can be scaled up to national scale because the issue of sustainable land use and water management, as well as agroecology and organic farming, have been proved to be the best practices for climate change resilient and adaptation through the various practices mentioned above. Zimbabwe has over the years been grappling with harsh climatic conditions with droughts and floods frequenting the country. The action will address gender inequality through empowerment of marginalized rural women and youths by ensuring that they have access to productive factors of production such as land and water for sustainable agricultural practices.
Agroecology and organic farming been replicated in other areas where ZIMSOFF has membership including within the La Via Campesina movement. It is based on building on a farmer-to-farmer approach whereby ZIMSOFF is training farmers and helping them develop a horizontal and participatory learning system. ZIMSOFF has 19,000 smallholder farmers organized in four large clusters. At the Shashe agroecology school members of other communities visit and learn from the practices of the local farmers enabling farmers to share the knowledge gained and learning from other farmers. ZIMSOFF ensures that members hold farmer-to-farmer “look and learn” visits, group meetings, and workshops, together with seed fairs and other exchange meetings to share and learn from each other and network. These are an important way of networking, exchanging knowledge and information. Similar schools are also found in Mozambique, Mali, and Niger for agroecology and sustainable agriculture as well as integrated land use.
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