- Slides: 19
MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, WATER AND FORESTRY ______ Comprehensive Conservation Agriculture Programme for Namibia Sophia Kasheeta Deputy Permanent Secretary Windhoek, 21 October 2015
Content • • • Background What is CA? Programme Purpose Targeted Beneficiaries Implementation & Interventions Conclusion
Background • • Namibia needs 4% agricultural growth per year to meet the food requirements for the growing population NDP 4 – CA is identified as core to sustainable Crop Production that follows an Ecosystem Approach to enhance productivity However, the expansion of cultivated areas to compensate for low yields, exploitation of low nutrients status soils without restoration of soil fertility, changing climatic patterns including low erratic rainfall & lack of well adapted technologies are major challenges of soil nutrient management As a result , MAWF has introduced CA as an essential crop production system for enhancing production of crops & livestock, livelihood & quality of life of farmers across the country.
What is CA? • CA is an approach to manage agro-ecosystems for improved & sustained productivity & food security while preserving & enhancing the resource base & the environment. • CA is characterized by 3 linked principles, namely: • Continuous minimum mechanical soil disturbance. • Permanent organic soil cover. • Diversification of crop species grown in sequences and/or associations. • CA is practiced in conjunction with other Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for increased and stabilized yields, reduced production costs (labour, machinery, fuel, fertilizer), climate change adaptation & mitigation, reduced land degradation & water conservation.
Purpose Overall Objective: To counter & reverse land degradation & to adapt to climate change through the adoption of CA as a basis for sustainable crop production & improved food security at national & farm level. Key Outputs: q Increase awareness & knowledge on CA among stakeholders, including farmers, extension, research & policy & decision makers; q Increased knowledge & skills among farmers & extensionists q Conduct farmer-focused research to develop appropriate technologies & packages for the farming systems; q Establish institutional arrangements for harmonized & coordinated implementation of the CA programme; q Ensure farmer sustained access to CA equipment, inputs, markets and services q Develop standards, monitoring evaluation system;
Targets • The Programme targets all crop producers in Namibia to adopt CA practices, depending on the resources available to them. • The programme also aims to provide assistance from Government in the form of subsidy to the following categories: • Communal crop & livestock producers concentrated in the Omusati, Oshana, Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Kavango West & East, Zambezi, Otjozondjupa, Kunene & Omaheke regions. • Commercial dryland, including resettlement & Affirmative Action Farmers, & irrigation farmers in the “maize triangle” & elsewhere. • Farmers that will be categorized in the Small Scale Horticultural Programme. • Green Scheme projects (commercial irrigation schemes with some dryland cropping, large-scale service providers & associated medium-scale emerging farmers).
Implementation & Interventions • The MAWF will be responsible for overall programme implementation & coordination (To be discussed in detail during this workshop) • Interventions (including activities) are grouped under ten pillars • Each pillar has an estimated budget (To be discussed in detail during this workshop)
1. Awareness Creation • Issue: – Knowledge of CA at all levels of MAWF and stakeholders needs to be increased. • Interventions, activities: – – Produce & distribute targeted literature, posters, pamphlets, videos Include CA topics in relevant radio & television programmes Promote CA at meetings, workshops, field days, information days, etc. Organize study tours within the country or to places where the situation is as close as possible to the conditions in Namibia, for example commercial farms in countries where CA is practiced
2. Coordination of Activities • Issue: – Activities related to CA by MAWF, & other stakeholders need more coordination. • Interventions, activities: – Support institutional coordination through existing coordination mechanisms in MAWF (DAPEES)
3. Evidence-Base for CA • Issue: – Hard evidence is needed to prove that CA works in Namibia. • Interventions, activities: – Compile and analyze existing data at national & regional level & publish scientifically sound results on advantages & disadvantages of various CA techniques. Within Namibia data are available from MAWF, NAB, UNAM, Commercial Farmers and NGOs. Within the SADC region data are available from Zambia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and elsewhere.
4. Standards, Monitoring & Evaluation • Issue: – CA needs to be operationalized for Namibia conditions and guidelines are required for CA implementation and monitoring. • Interventions, activities: – Define and describe the relevant CA technologies and practices in Namibia – Supervise CA promotion & implementation by all extension agents, inside and outside MAWF – Standardize M&E method, definitions, parameters, measurements, etc. (A good reference would be the FAO Monitoring Toolkit for CA)
5. Equipment, Inputs & Services • Issue: – Appropriate CA services and inputs are not always locally available. • Interventions, activities: – Encourage the establishment of new dealerships for unavailable equipment and inputs (Agricultural Technology Centres). – Provide services related to CA to farmers at subsidized rates – Introduce service providers to CA equipment and train them in their use. – Study the possibility of community based operators/service providers. – Facilitate plant breeding & seed multiplication systems by smallholder farmer groups & cooperatives, commercial farmers & Green Scheme – Specific varieties of maize & mahangu , including legumes and rotational crops may be needed for CA – Introduce incentive schemes: e. g. subsidized CA equipment or replacement schemes
6. Technologies & Packaging • Issue: – CA has to be “packaged” for the most common farming conditions in the country and clear and non-contradictory messages have to be formulated. – The following are CA practices with potential for use in Namibia: • • • Land preparation: Minimum/zero tillage, planting basin, direct seeding, ripping Fertility management: Manure & fertilizer application, legume cover crops & agroforestry Soil moisture conservation Mulching, cover crops, drip irrigation Land degradation control Crop associations, rotations, intercropping, agroforestry Use of appropriate seed varieties: Develop & evaluate appropriate seed varieties • Interventions, activities: – Formulate coherent CA packages & extension messages for the major farming systems and farming conditions in Namibia.
7. Capacity Building of Research, Extension, Training & Engineering Services • Issue: – The capacity of MAWF to adequately promote CA to all farmers has to be increased. • Interventions, activities: – Send MAWF staff to regional CA centres for training and/or expose them to successful CA operations in SADC, Africa & elsewhere. – Adjust curriculum of Agricultural Training Institutes to accommodate CA. , – Develop in-service training modules & provide refresher courses at Mashare & Tsumis – Increase the capacity of MAWF to select, test and develop CA equipment, provide advice and training to service providers and farmers – Upgrade accommodation & training facilities at MAWF training institutions (Mashare & Tsumis) – Testing of implements and equipment
8. Capacity Building of Farmers • Issue: – Farmers need to be capacitated and assisted to implement CA. • Interventions, activities: – Establish on-farm and on-station CA demonstration plots and trials in each Constituency – Facilitate Farmer Groups and Lead Farmers to set up their own CA plots on their field – Train and demonstrate to the farmers the CA practices
9. Research Methods & Topics • Issue: – Many promising CA technologies need adjustment and fine-tuning for local conditions (longterm effects of CA & soil conditions at farm level) • Interventions, activities: Adapt proven CA technologies. Establish suitable crop rotations & varieties. Set up long-term trials on critical subjects (weed, pest management, etc. ). Assess changes in physical, biological and chemical soil properties as a result of CA. Increase capacity for soil survey and soil analysis and upgrade soil advisory services Equip ADCs, Research Stations and Farm Managers with simple soil survey tools and provide training. – Provide soil advisory services to farmers at subsidized rates & give fertilizer recommendations. – Facilitate detailed soil surveys & analysis on irrigated farms – – –
10. Marketing • Issue: – Markets for (new) rotational crops have to be opened up or stimulated. • Interventions, activities: – Investigate market for new and/or relatively unknown rotational & cover crops (legumes, sunflower, other). – Facilitate marketing of rotational & cover crops & derived products
Conclusion • The CA programme has been developed to complement & strengthen other national programmes (DCPP) that aim to improve national & household food security in a sustainable manner. • CA has the potential to increase & stabilize crop yields while protecting the natural resource base, enabling farmers to cope with the negative effects of climate change. • It is acknowledged that the full benefits of CA are realized after at least five years & farmers need support from different stakeholders to help them adopt CA. • Effective coordination & collaboration between & among research, extension, farmers & other stakeholders will be critical for the successful implementation of the programme.