In Zambia, The SIMLEZA-Africa RISING Research and Development project tested a range of improved technologies such as conservation agriculture (CA), soybean agronomy, improved and stress-tolerant germplasm, maize-legume systems, inoculum and improved utilization of legume products with farmers.
Farmer Agness Phiri has had her first experience with use of herbicides for weed control. She highlighted great labour savings for for women and children who usually carry out weeding activities in the farms in Zambia
To help scale-out these technologies, the project revived “mother-baby” trials, a participatory methodology pioneered by CIMMYT over a decade ago to test stress- tolerant maize in Africa and subsequently adapted for diverse agronomic practices. The approach has now been adopted by researchers worldwide. Comprising field experiments grown in farming communities, mother-baby trials feature a centrally-located “mother trial” set up with researchers’ support, supplemented by “baby trials” composed of subsets of the mother-trial treatments that are appealing to farmers. The babies are grown, managed and evaluated by interested farmers, who host them and may talk to fellow farmers, researchers and other visitors about the results.
Moving beyond trials to farmers’ fields
In 2014/2015, the SIMLEZA-Africa RISING project team identified scalable technologies in its project portfolio and encouraged farmers to choose those that could be practiced on their own farms using the mother baby trial approach. The menu of practices included crop rotations, intercropping, herbicide use and improved drought-tolerant maize varieties. Interest was high amongst farmers, 807 of whom volunteered to grow “baby trials”. Some farmers even extended their plots beyond the designated areas in the excitement of trying something new.
Desertification continues in Western province of Zambia
A Mongu Resident has expressed concern at the rate of desertification in Western province. The Resident says tons of laden with rose wood timba logs have continue being taken away from the province a situation he says contravenes the international conventions on climate change.
Please allow me yet another space to again show how both the Zambian government and the Barotse Royal Establishment have continued to ignore international conventions on climate change.
In the first week of December 2015, I did upload another picture of a 30 ton truck laden with rose wood timber logs from Barotseland and destined for “God knows”. I met that particular one at Nalusanga gate on the Mongu /Lusaka Road.
In these pictures today, I would like to show the world yet another truck laden with the same timber.
Deforestation is a major environmental threat in Zambia
Zambia: Protecting Threatened Forests
WART Hog was in Switzerland attending an important congress for the Interlaken+10/Governing Forestry Landscapes: lessons learnt from ten years of experience and the way forward post-2015.
It is at this meeting that Wart Hog met Mr. Manoel Sobral Filho, the new Director of the UN Forum on Forest Secretariat in UN DESA, who has devoted his life to forests. In his conversation with DESA News, he highlighted the key challenges and opportunities for forests, and how 2015 is truly a year for global action for forests.
Forest catchments are responsible for 75 per cent of the world’sfreshwater, nine per cent of global clean renewable energy is derived from forests, 80 per cent of the terrestrial biodiversity is in forests and some 20 per cent of the world’s population depend on them for their livelihood.
“As much as we consider forests valuable, there are many services that forests provide that are public services and public goods,” he said, describing some of the main challenges that the world is facing today. “It is so difficult to make people pay for these public goods. As a result, we have been losing forests, in particular natural forests,” he added.
Drylands Monitoring Week Establishes Network for Sustainable Management of Drylands
Participants at the Drylands Monitoring Week, which was hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), saw the launch of a global assessment of land management in grassland and pastoral systems to enhance the sustainable management and restoration of drylands and developed the ‘Rome Promise on Monitoring and Assessment of Drylands for Sustainable Management and Restoration.’
The Week opened with a three-day workshop that discussed current technical tools and knowledge gaps in the area of drylands monitoring, and explored opportunities to fill capacity gaps through new technologies and policy commitments. The workshop concluded with a plan of action for initiating a collaborative process to promote large-scale and comprehensive monitoring of drylands, including through the improved integration of scientific data and traditional knowledge. Thereafter, an inception workshop took place for a participatory assessment of land degradation and sustainable land management in grassland and pastoral systems.
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