Updated: May 29
“To convey our gratitude; we reflect on a proverb from Swaziland; “If spiderwebs untie, they can tie a lion.” We at CTDT are very grateful for the continued support from our partners and for taking time to visit the work of the communities and CTDT. We remain hopeful that the recent visits will birth other possibilities for collaboration and possibilities for tying more lions. The unity of purpose from this cooperation is reflected in the target communities as; communities that are self-reliant, communities that are resilient to climate shocks, communities whose dignity is restored and communities that are empowered to influence decision making processes. Together we contribute to ending hunger and poverty, attain gender equity and caring for the planet and its inhabitants.’’
Juliet Nangamba, CTDT Programmes Manager
During the months of March and April CTDT was privileged to be visited by cooperating partners. These included a team from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) supporting the SeedsGrow programme through Oxfam Novib and Oxfam Southern Africa. The programme aims to empower farmers to bridge the gap between scientific and indigenous knowledge systems through participatory research on crop varieties for both indigenous and improved crops, strengthening the use of underutilized plants for nutrition, creating an enabling policy environment for smallholder farmers to participate in seed systems and enabling income generation for smallholder farmers. The programme over the course of implementation has contributed to food and nutrition security, strengthened grassroots advocacy for the realization of Farmers’ rights while contributing to the adaptation and mitigation capacities of smallholder farmers to climate change. See highlights of the visit to Shibuyunji district by following this link.
Furthermore, The Hans Geveling Foundation supporting the construction of community seed banks to contribute to seed availability, access and income generation for smallholder farmers visited Shibuyunji and Rufunsa districts. The foundation has supported the construction of 3 community seed banks in Rufunsa, Chirundu and Shibuyunji districts. The Foundation had opportunity to interact and enquire from the beneficiaries what additional support the community seed banks required to ensure sustainability. Follow link to follow discussions during Hans Geveling visit.
Community seed banks have become central for all seed related activities within the districts. The community seed banks are not only used for conservation of germplasm but are directly linked to seed production activities for income generation and creation of agroecological markets while addressing sustainability. Seed is a primary input for agriculture production. To increase productivity and crop diversity within communities, it is important that farmers access quality and diverse seed for production within reasonable distances and costs, the mandate that community seed banks fulfill.
During this same period, The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) supporting the Agroecological Food Systems to Strengthen Community Resilience Project supporting the food production through Bread for the World visited Chirundu district. The project has enabled communities to be self-reliant in terms of food and nutrition security as they do not depend on external inputs for their crop production. The community however called for further support for water access as they highlighted that without quality water all their efforts to improve their nutrition would be futile. The community visited in Chirundu how they had been displaced from their ancestral land during the construction of the Kariba dam in the mid-1950s. Since then, they have had poor access to water. This has resulted in women walking many kilometers to access water, sometimes sharing water sources with livestock while other sources have completely dried out. Follow link to see highlights of the project.