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Working with communities to restore growth, profitably


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Rolf Shenton (Grassroots Trust Zambia)

Published in: Environment
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Working with communities to restore growth, profitably

  1. 1. Working with communities to restore growth, profitably 24/10/2018 Grassroots Trust 1
  2. 2. 24/10/2018 Grassroots Trust 2
  3. 3. 24/10/2018 Grassroots Trust 3 Traditional holistic genius Over 1000’s of years African societies developed sophisticated systems of land and natural resource management to ensure that everyone had equal access and that harvesting stayed within the maximum sustainable offtake • Zambia’s 280 Chiefdoms have a proud heritage of sustainable Natural Resource management • Cutting of trees, harvest of fish and wildlife was moderated by customary rules and burning was controlled • If someone needed wood to build a house or boat, an headman or induna would say which specific tree could be cut. Many tree species were protected and only dead wood could be used for cooking • Land was settled considering the environmental impact • Crops were mixed for soil maintenance and pest control • Livestock were kept communally according to a planned rotation to give vegetation a chance to rest and disease recycling was minimized
  4. 4. Management practices changed 1940 1960 1980 2000 2018 Traditional hunting gathering economy challenged X X Local management of hunting, fishing and forestry replaced by state top-down management X X Resettlement from big villages to small spread out small scale farms x Breakdown of Communal planned grazing livestock management (big herds) to individual (small herds) with no grazing plans x Fire: traditional mosaic and late burning to state controlled early burning X X Fencing x Fertiliser use x X Ploughing x x Mixed cropping to mono-cropping x 24/10/2018 Grassroots Trust 4
  5. 5. Symptoms: when did farmers start notice? 1940 1960 1980 2000 2018 Increasing Floods and droughts x x x Streams, dambos and wells drying earlier in the year x x x Invasive species in pastures ( ie: sporobulus ) x x X Fertility decline x X X Invasive weeds in fields x X X People migrating to cities and north x X X Farmers and others making charcoal x x X Poverty –rural people going to town to get money and food/ aid x x X 24/10/2018 Grassroots Trust 5
  6. 6. Typical Small Scale Farmer 2017/18 season, Kafue, Zambia after 3 weeks no rain 15/01/18 12/02/18 29/03/18 Degraded soil, maize monoculture, Burns field after harvest, ploughs with tractor, reliant on fertilisers and agro-chemicals. Late planting due to late inputs, Farmer very disappointed with rains, High pest damage
  7. 7. 200m away- Same rain, same soil, same Climate, same day! 12/02/18 15/01/18 29/03/18 Healthy soil, Healthy Maize intercropped with pigeonpea, pumpkin, beans, rotated with soya & improved cattle manure No machines, no burning of residues, Farmer happy with rains and sun, Minimal pest damage, no fertilisers or agro- chemicals for 15 years
  8. 8. Weed management – 18 other healthy food plants Monoculture: 1 poor food plant in 30m
  9. 9. Two small farms - Same rain, same soil, same climate, same day… Low input, high yield, high profit, high resilience High input, low yield, low profit, low resilience
  10. 10. Water on the surface is destructive, Erosion of 20 tonnes /ha/ year top soil is common
  11. 11. Lessons from a dry year- It not the seed, it’s the soil! Some soils are naturally very fertile, others you have to build, ……All soils need maintenance or they get finished Clement Mutambeko only applied fertilser once in 7 years. His gankata OPV looks as good as the hybrids in the distance and pineapples are beautiful. Lots of ‘onion’ maize in the area! Gankata OPV seed Hybrid seed Grassroots Trust 0971502836
  12. 12. Improved Manure • Manure from 3 cows / year is enough for 4+Ton/Ha of Maize • Zambia’s 3m cattle could fertilize 1m+ Ha maize ie 4+M Tonnes • Increased yields, lower inputs regenerating soils- SUSTAINABLE PROFIT! Livestock bring good nutrients to night kraals. Sun and rain steals valuable nitrogen Heaping manure daily and covering, protects it from the sun and rain while killing weed seeds. Improved manure has 10x more nitrogen Grassroots Trust- Shaping a Viable Future
  13. 13. Catchment management changes Less local, more centralised decision-making 24/10/2018 Grassroots Trust Response – Much more Burning Effect- biodiversity loss Desertification Climate Change •Less animals •Less trees •much more grass •unpalatable fire-resistant species
  14. 14. Burning residues costs big money
  15. 15. Farming Forests 24/10/2018 Grassroots Trust 16
  16. 16. Traditional- 1 land, 1 village, 1 kraal, 1 grazing plan, 1 year rest 24/10/2018 Grassroots Trust jJan Feb Mar July April OctDec
  17. 17. Freedom - many lands, many village, many kraal, no grazing plan, no rest 24/10/2018 Grassroots Trust
  18. 18. 24/10/2018 Grassroots Trust
  19. 19. 24/10/2018 Grassroots Trust
  20. 20. Grassroots Trust : Comparison Farming forest vs clearing to crop 1ha 1ha Beekeeping, forest Products, and livestock improving Total cost Income 20 Beehives@ K200 each Processing Equipment (Smoker, Buckets, filters, mask, clothes etc) 4,000 800 4,800 Over 10 years Harvest May and Nov. 20kg/year x 20 hives @20/kg =8,000/year (10yrs= 80,000) Honey production local sales K480/year Profit 7,520/year Sustainable Forest Harvest Species: 15x Timber, 40x fruit, 20 veg, 15 tubers, 25 mushrooms, 60 meds Profit 2,000+/year Livestock under Holistic Manageme nt 4 L/S units /ha Profit 2,000/year Total Profit/ yr 1ha K11,520 1ha Maize SSF High input declining Kwacha 2018 Clearing K2,000 K200/yr Prep 400 Seed 500 Ferts 8x K300 2400 Weeding 800 Insects 200 Harvest 500 Total cost 5,000 40bags/ha (2Ton) @K70 2800 -K2200 loss 60bags/ha (3Ton) @K70 4200 -K800 loss 80 bags/ha (4 ton) @K70 5.600 +K600 profit Maize Half ha Soya Half ha Pigeonpea, bean Pumpkin intercropped Partial clearing K1000 (100/yr) prep 400 Hybrid Seed 250 25/yr saved 25 yr saved 20 yr saved 50yr saved Manure handling 500 Weeding 800 Harvest 1000 Total cost 3170 50bags/ha (5t/ha equiv) @70 20bags/h a (2t/ha equival) @200 15 bags @200 3 bags @ 300 1 ton 3500 4000 3000 900 500 Total income/yr 11,900- 3,170 = K8,730 Profit 1ha Organic SSF Low input improving