Community Technology Development Trust (CTDT) has stepped up efforts in the implementation of agroecological practices in Chirundu, Chikankata, Shibuyunji and Rufunsa districts. Based on the findings that were collected during a community mapping exercise in Chirundu, Machavika area, from a sample of 176 farmers practiced more than 3 AE practices.
Several agroecological models which included crop residue retention, green manure cover crops ,interplanting (legume with a cereal), agroforestry (cropping through the use of trees such as Gliricidia sepium), mixed cropping (planting more than two plants in one field),improved fallow through the use of Pigeon peas, use of tea manure, Bokashi, compost/manure and other bio-fertilizers were rolled out.
Noel Chalimbwa is one of the farmer facilitators from Shibuyunji district who were trained in sustainable organic agriculture (SOA) practices. Mr. Chalimbwa prides in being a role model farmer who practices what he teaches to other farmers. He shares that he has seen a lot of benefits especially improvement in soil organic matter which in turn gives him good yields. “The goodness I have seen with this is that my crops are always healthy and always gives me good yields, I usually use bokashi and intercropping. With the rising prices of fertilizer, bokashi has really helped me because I make it myself. The other benefit of these organic fertilizers is that it replenishes the soil,” he said.
“I first learnt about SOA from Kasisi Agriculture Training Center (KATC) where CTDT took us for training, and I have since been using it for three years; I have trained other farmers who have testified the benefits they have seen in these practices. Crops produced with bokashi are very tasty and nutritious with good vitamins,” he added.
Agnes Mweemba also a farmer from Kayanga Farmer Field School (FFS) in Shibuyunji was trained by Noel Chalimbwa. Agness has also been using the practices after receiving the training. “I learnt about bokashi from our colleagues who received the training from KATC. They came to teach us at the FFS; we immediately went to try it. We make gardens and apply the bokashi on our vegetables and also in our fields. What we have seen is that they are cheap because we use materials readily available on our farm,” she said.