By Tendai Guvamombe
Following the launch of Climate smart agriculture in 2020 by the Government of Zimbabwe, communal areas of Zvimba have began to record the success stories of the Pfumvudza Programme, a move that is expected to eradicate poverty, hunger and unemployment inline with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number one (1).
Climate smart agriculture is an anchor in the current National Development Strategy(NDC1) which speaks to achieve food security in the country. It is also the most viable method of farming in the current setting were unprecedented climactic weather pattern characterized by drought spells, climate vagaries and animal diseases are threatening the state of agriculture sector.
This news crew embarked on a visit to Zvimba East communal areas during the month of April where farmers have embraced Climate Smart Agriculture under the banner of Pfumvudza Programme.
The area is rightfully located in the periphery of the Capital City and is identified with Norton, Darwendale, Nyabira and Mt Hapden as the surrounding areas.
The field visit coincided with a capacity building training of farmers on pfumvudza and regenerative agricultural practices in ward 25 , an event that was attended by senior government officials, local farmers, school students, forestry experts and climate smart experts .
Approximately 30 local farmers were trained by experts and they are expected to disseminate thier knowledge to other local farmers on emerging knowledge and technologies around climate smart agriculture.
This media crew had the opportunity to visit more than five farmers who are currently reaping the benefits of Climate smart agriculture by utilizing a small piece of land.
Most farmers in the area have successfully initiated spaghetti type farming, also known as mixed farming. This has proved to be a unique way of implementing climate smart agriculture where a farmer simultaneously initiates projects such as poultry, keeping pigs, regenerative farming and horticultural production among other projects over a small piece of land.
Currently the successful farmers in the ward have started to tap into the creation of marketing avenues for their area as they seek to benefit from the policy of devolution.
Amid all this a solar powered borehole being at the epitome of activities continuously feeds inflows of water via a network of entwined pipe system to different target areas – this is the case of Zvimba East Ward 25.
Speaking during the field day Zvimba East Member of Parliament Honourable Tawanda Tungamirai said that climate smart agriculture is now changing the local communities after receiving trainings on new information and knowledge around latest methods of farming.
“I am glad to see our local farmers taking farming as a business. We used to have very low yields over the years but due to climate smart agriculture people are now realising that one can actually produce great yields over a small piece of land without using fertilizers and other supplements that harm the soils.”
The field visit also revealed that farmers have also adopted the idea of taking agriculture as a business. Harnessing solar energy for irrigation purposes has strengthened farming without season and this becomes a climate change adaptation measure.
Apart from anticipating for better yields climate smart agriculture has been listed as a climate change mitigation option. Better yields are ensured without the use of fertilizers and other chemicals with the potential to disturb soil structure and initiating chemical reactions that releases carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement, John Basera once reiterated that the adoption of Climate Smart Agriculture is ideal in ensuring maximised yields in a move that aid towards climate proofing the Agriculture sector.
“Pfumvudza means a new season of increased productivity; it is a season of producing more on less land and with less resources; a season of climate proofing our agriculture through … the adoption of Conservation Agriculture,”
According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC) under the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) the agriculture sector through the recommended practices such as Climate smart is expected to play an integral role towards global emissions reduction.
On the other hand organizations such as FAO and UNDP have been closely working with Government on the implementation of Climate smart solutions for farmers as a way to increase food production at local level.