Improving yields from farming in a harsh climate

Most people who live in the Gwanda district of Southern Zimbabwe rely on farming to make a living. Over the last few years their crop yields have fallen significantly because rainfall has become less predictable and weather conditions increasingly harsh.

Anastacia and Leonard Ncube farm a smallholding here growing sorghum, groundnuts, cowpeas and pumpkins. They have experienced many crop failures in recent years because of the lack of rain.

“Seeing neighbours suffering from hunger and also not being able to produce food, for a long time we knew we needed to try something different,” explains Anastacia.

Anastacia attended Practical Action's training on conservation farming methods and is now trying out new ways of farming to maximise the amount of food she can produce in this harsh climate.

“I'm excited to be part of this training programme and hope to train others in my community and become a successful champion farmer,” said Anastacia.

“Already this training has allowed me to become more independent financially. I am now able to borrow small loans from the group, manage it well and repay it as as I grow my project."

Now that she is equipped with knowledge on better farming methods, Anastacia has grown in confidence and is setting her hopes high. She is looking forward to producing more food and being able both to feed her family and sell her surplus to the local markets.

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