uMngeni Resilience Project farmers open a new food garden in Nhlazuka

Author: Tholithemba Khoza (uMgungundlovu District Municipality)

Local farmers from Nhlazuka, one of the implementation sites of the uMngeni Resilience Project (URP) recently opened a new food garden with the support from the uMgungundlovu District Municipality (UMDM) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).

In November 2018 URP staff from the UMDM and UKZN visited a group of 35 farmers from Nkumane, in the Nhlazuka area of Richmond Municipality, as part of the regular visits with the small-scale farmers benefitting from the project.

The new food garden was used as a platform to discuss climate smart agriculture practices, different tools and techniques, and other agricultural interventions which assist farmers in their crop production whilst helping them adapt to climate change. Adaptation strategies that were discussed included crop rotation, the use of crops that do not require a lot of water, the use of organic fertilizers, how to avoid soil compaction and rainwater harvesting and conservation.

The project site visits gives the local farmers an opportunity to share their success stories and challenges with the URP staff. This helps to ensure that a robust and mentoring relationship with the farming community is maintained. The site visits also helps the URP team to monitor the effectiveness of the project’s interventions and, together with the farmers, implement sustainable and rewarding climate smart agricultural practices.

Above: Nkumane Local Farmers ploughing in their new garden in Ward 5 of Nhlazuka, Richmond Local Municipality.

The URP is an Adaptation Fund project which is implemented by the uMgungundlovu District Municipality in partnership with the University of KwaZulu-Natal, SANBI and the Department of Environmental Affairs. 

Breaking Ground: Mamanyuha community establishes a rewarding climate smart garden under extreme weather conditions

Author: Mpfunzeni Tshindane

Over the past decade, the Mopani District in the Limpopo Province has faced a reduction in agricultural productivity due to extreme temperatures and erratic rainfall. The South African National Biodiversity Institute’s (SANBI) Small Grants Facility project is supporting the community members of the Mamanyuha village to develop their capacity to ensure food security in a sustainable manner in the face of a changing climate.

SANBI, SouthSouthNorth and CHoiCe Trust have worked closely with the Ramotshinyadi HIV/AIDS Youth Guide, who is one of the Small Grant Recipients in Mopani, in developing and implementing the project. In 2017, the project supported 25 community members from Mamanyuha to establish a 1.2 hectare climate smart food garden. The project also capacitated the community in agro-ecological and conservation agriculture practices, better soil management techniques and climate smart irrigation methods.

“The established food garden has introduced climate smart farming practices in Mamanyuha which integrates the use of compost made from poultry manure, mulching and agroforestry. The community members are producing vegetables and poultry for household consumption and selling surplus produce for income to local and regional markets” said Ramotshinyadi’s Project Manager, Mr Fhatuwani Nemalamangwa. Furthermore, neighboring villages are witnessing and adopting the introduced innovative climate smart techniques.

Dikeledi Mamanyowa, a project beneficiary working in the community garden said “I am feeling smart and happy seeing the vegetables and chickens growing in these dry conditions. This will address poverty and food insecurity in the community”. Rosinah Mathiba also stated that “through the implementation of this project I can already see myself finishing up the renovation of my two roomed house and making more money to finance other household basic needs. I sleep well knowing that tomorrow I have somewhere to go and improve my livelihood”.

 

 Above left: Members of the Mamanyuha village working in the food garden; Above right: Mr Fhatuwani Nemalamangwa from Ramotshinyadi during the cabbage harvesting day.

Ramotshinyadi’s “Enhancing Food Security through Climate Smart Agriculture” is a Small Grants Facility project funded by the Adaptation Fund. Implementation of the project is executed through SouthSouthNorth (Executing Entity) and CHoiCe Trust which is the local Facilitating Agency in the Mopani District. 

Local farmers and livestock find refuge from extreme temperatures in the Namakwa District

Author: Mpfunzeni Tshindane

The Namakwa District Municipality in the Northern Cape Province is one of the hottest, driest and water scarce areas in South Africa. Recent projections indicate that changing climatic conditions will further increase summer temperatures, cause extreme cold temperatures in winter and reduce average rainfall in the District.

The changing climatic conditions have started to negatively impact local subsistence farmers and their livestock. Through the South African National Biodiversity Institute’s (SANBI) Small Grants Facility (SGF) project, the local farmers have started adapting to the extreme temperatures by way of climate proofing the different shelters used by the livestock and by the herders.

Working closely with Conservation South Africa, which is the local Facilitating Agency in the District, the Kamiesberg Heritage Foundation (KHF) has started constructing mobile shelters for 35 herders. These will help the herders to withstand the harsh and sweltering heat that they have to endure when herding their sheep and goats in Kharkams and Steinkopf.

“We maintain a traditional way of life on our farm. It gets very hot and cold here and we lose livestock. These shelters are a relief for us as we could never afford them. We thank the project for
the support,” stated Oom Jakob-Japie.

The Concordia Landbou Boerevereniging (CLB) has also started constructing 24 multipurpose livestock shelters which are fitted with rainwater harvesting infrastructure to supplement drinking water for their livestock in Concordia. “I am very excited about the livestock shelter and its rainwater harvesting capability. My farm cannot supply enough water in dry seasons for my goats due to dwindling ground water reserves” cited Oom Alfred Rutledge.

Above: Oom Alfred Rutledge is a local livestock farmer who has benefitted from the SGF by constructing livestock shelters and rainwater harvesting infrastructure. 

The KHF’s “Climate proofing herder shelter to facilitate climate change adaptation” and CLB’s “Concordia Farmers Adaptation Project” are part of the SGF’s portfolio of small grant projects funded by the Adaptation Fund and executed by SouthSouthNorth in South Africa.

Please email Mpfunzeni Tshindane (M.Tshindane@sanbi.org.za) to join the NIE mailing list to receive future URP and SGF project updates.

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