By Adeva Gwenzi.
The Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union partnered Ecofarmer and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) in a project titled Scaling Up Climate Resilient Solutions (CRSs) for small holder farmers in Zimbabwe.
The project aims at enhancing productivity and adaptation of agriculture to a changing climate.
The Southern Africa region has in the past few years experienced changes in the weather patterns which has influence on agricultural production and in turn on the food security, nutrition and income of rural households.
There is no doubt that climate change will ultimately alter the future of the Zimbabwean agricultural landscape and we must be prepared.
There is a constraint in providing weather information for a specific area.
Different wards in the same place can receive different weather events.
This therefore hinders farmers from making accurate decisions thus affecting their yield especially if the weather is not in their favour
Under the project the partners are working with aWhere, a satellite information service provider who will make available weather information down to ward level.
The project will therefore bring about Improved resilience by farmers to climate shocks through weather information that will enable them to plan their production cycles
“One of the many benefits from this project is, meaningful weather information that is applicable to their specific area and this will help them plan accordingly, “said ZFU Chief Economist, Mr Prince Kuipa.
The Scaling Up of Climate Resilient Solutions project will ride on the existing ZFU Ecofarmer Combo project which is an ICT enabled bundle of solutions that include weather based insurance and SMS weather information services, life assurance, crop and livestock farming tips, and discounts on agricultural inputs.
The project will scale up the adoption of CRS into new geographical areas (Masvingo, Mashonaland West and Manicaland provinces) that the partners had not reached.
This will bring coverage to 5 out of 8 rural provinces of the country.
The CRS project will enable farmers to get advice from industry experts thus enabling them to choose drought tolerant varieties suitable for their agro-ecological regions and diversify into livestock.
Droughts and floods can be major setbacks to farmers, under this project the partners are giving farmers an opportunity to mitigate these through weather based insurance.
The CRS project is in line with the Zimbabwe National Climate Change Strategy whose vision is “climate change resilient nation” and goal is “To mainstream climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in economic and social development at national and sectoral levels through multi-stakeholder engagement