Boaz and Wife
Oxfam In Zimbabwe
Boaz Chimombe a Master Farmer in Ward 28 of Buhera South District with the support of Oxfam and partners is leading the way in practicing conservation farming and showing fellow farmers in the District that climate change adaptation is possible with minimum resources and mechanization equipment even in the most difficulty of conditions.
The 2015 /2016 farming season has been severely affected due to the effects of Elnino. Buhera was one of the locations which recorded the highest temperatures across Zimbabwe, getting as high as 45 degrees Celsius, in contrast rainfall was at its all time lowest with the district having only received 120ml by mid February fueling a wide spread of crop failure for small holder farmers growing maize and other traditional varieties which usually do well in hush conditions.
‘’Given good rains I was expecting a yield of 15 tones on my plot alone, but now with these unforgiving weather conditions I will be lucky to even harvest 0,5 tones of grain’’. Said Boaz Chiombe, a 59-year-old Master Farmer with over 20 years of experience in agriculture and crop production.
As harvest failed, Boaz Chimombe resolved to replant on all his Plots mid season. Currently he is harvesting one of the highest yields in the District in spite of the effects of the worst Elnino phenomenon in over 30 years for Southern Africa.
In his efforts to adapt Boaz planted Red Sorghum and used legumes such as cowpeas and groundnuts to act as a cover crop, trapping moisture and releasing nitrogen into the soil. He is used the equipment and knowledge acquired from a series of trainings facilitated by Oxfam and partners who are currently implementing a project titled Scaling up Climate Change Adaptation with a focus on Rural livelihoods in Buhera, Chiredzi and Chimanimani Districts.
‘’I am now seating pretty; I now have enough food to feed my family and also sell to others. People used to laugh at my plots. Look at me now, all my hard work and trainings have paid off‘’ Said Boaz while addressing a Conservation Agriculture Field Day conducted on the 27th of April 2016 with the aim of providing a platform for knowledge sharing and learning as well as encourage the full adoption of Conservation Agriculture.
Boaz also emphasised the importance of record keeping especially records of rainfall patterns. At the same occasion Agritex emphasised the need to adapt to the changing climate, and utilise rainfall available at any given time. Farmers were advised to embrace innovation such as equipment for adaptation to climate change.
The Scaling up Climate Change adaptation Project is promoting conservation agriculture to farmers like Boaz (CA) through supporting establishment of Conservation Agriculture demonstration plots. Various conservation techniques that include use of mechanized equipment, cultivation of drought tolerant crop varieties and intercropping are being practiced. The project has established two demonstration plots in Chimanimani reaching a total of 42 Farmers mostly women smallholder famers.
Conservation Agriculture Equipment
The department of mechanisation had the opportunity to showcase the different types of CA equipment available on the market. The following equipment were showcased and demonstrated.
The advantages of using different equipment were highlighted.
The Climate Change Adaptation Project is a UNDP, GEF funded project being implemented by Oxfam in Zimbabwe in partnership with Plan International, Government of Zimbabwe and Saphire