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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Communal farmers embrace agroecology in the wake of climate change

Story by Gay Matambo

AGROECOLOGY has been identified as a practical tool to counter the adverse effects of the El Nino-induced drought in dry regions of the country.

In the wake of the climate change crisis that has left most communal farmers in dry regions of the country food insecure, the government in collaboration with Pelum Zimbabwe and Mwenezi Development Training Centre have embarked on an agroecology capacity-building programme.

Smallholder farmers in Chitsa village who are growing traditional crops are looking forward to a brighter future after benefiting from the capacity-building initiative.

“Agroecology is going to be a game changer in my life because agroecology involves the growing of traditional grains in harmony with the environment. In dry areas like Mwenezi growing traditional grains is the only solution to counter the effects of climate change,” said a farmer.

Another farmer said, “We want to thank those who brought this programme to us. We now know what is agroecology especially here in Mwenezi, where we experience erratic rainfall patterns. We have managed to get food for our families and went on further to sell our produce and we don’t struggle to get the seed, thanks to agroecology.”

The initiative is meant to boost food security and build resilience in the face of climate change.

Mwenezi Development Training Centre programmes manager, Ms Promise Makoni said, “Agroecology has brought benefits to the farmers specifically because in this era of climate condition where we are experiencing El Nino-induced drought, we have realised that those farmers who are into agroecology have mastered the concept on how they can benefit even when they are in a drought situation.”

“We have called for a national dialogue with various stakeholders particularly policy makers to promote agroecology and also ensuring that they see the work that is being done by smallholder farmers as they practice agroecology. The reason why we chose Mwenezi is that it’s a dry area and with the changing climate it serves as a good case study,” said PELUM’s country coordinator Ms Getrude Pswarayi-Jabson.

Mwenezi District Agritex Officer, Mr Jameitias Denhere highlighted some of the advantages of agroecology.

“Agroecology is the way to go because we will be employing nature-based solutions in their farming practices to curb the effects of climate change. This programme is in line with government programmes which encourage farmers to incorporate agro-matching practices.”

The government has also been distributing agroecological maps across the country to ensure farmers grow crops suitable for their regions.

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