Shashe Agroecology School
About the Implementing organization
Name: Zimbabwe Smallholder Organic Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF)
Year of establishment: 2003
Type of organization: Community-based association or organization, Legally recognized non-profit status, Indigenous group or organization
The Sashe Agroecology school founded by ZIMSOFF works to improve the agroecology capacity of ZIMSOFF members and to stimulate local innovation for agroecology and sustainable agriculture.
The agroecokogy school does this through;
• Facilitating a farmer led learning process amongst farmers through which methods of production are explored through adiscovery based approach.
• Creating a space where farmers can regularly meet during the course of the growing season to exchange experiences and experiment with new production options
• Provide a meeting space for members from the different clusters from across the country to hold strategic planning meetings
Wetlands / Grasslands / Drylands
Type of Action
Protection / Restoration / Sustainable use / Access and benefit sharing / Awareness and education / Advocacy for land & water rights
Sustainable Development Element
Food security / Water security / Health / Climate action
The main environmental impact areas of the agroecology school founded by ZIMSOFF is the expansion of water conservation techniques which are crucial in a region which has just experienced a drought. Furthermore, the agroecology techniques taught at the agroecology school focus on organic and sustainable materials and practices for growing food which positively impacts soil fertility and increases the nutritional content of the food grown.
Sustainable Development Impacts
Food Security: Through the education received at the agroecology school farmers are more knowledgeable about techniques which allow for a diversity of crops to be grown on a homestead while also receiving trainings on how to grow crops which address the wholistic nutritional needs of communities.
Water Security: In a drought impacted area, the agroecology school provides trainings on water conservation while also providing a space for farmers to exchange conservation techniques.
Health: A diverse, balanced and local diet that is sustainable and accessible for communities in Zimbabawe is what the agroecology school focuses on through various trainings on farmer led seed management systems and agroecology techniques.
Climate Action: Through a focus on organic products, natural fertilizers, and Indigenous seeds the agroecology school has a climate justice lens which works to ensure that agroecology is being taught through a lens which priorities climate justice.
Due to funding restrictions ZIMSOFF has not yet been able to replicate the agroecology school. However, there is a desire and a plan to replicate the agroecology school model in Sashe to the other clusters which ZIMSOFF members live. The reason for expanding the number of agroecology schools is so that more communities can be reached through smallholder farmer's being educated in farming techniques based on agroecology for the purposes of increasing food sovereignty and ecological sustainability across Zimbabwe.
The Sashe agroecology school model is a part of a lineage of smallholder famers across the globe who are seeking more sustainable ways of farming so as to ensure food sovereignty for their communities. In a climate where there is increased food insecurity across the globe, the trainings that the agroecology school in Sashe provides are useful as farmer led actions aimed at maintaining health and sustainable communities. The continued success of the agroecology school in Sashe provides an example for other communities who wish to replicate this model.
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