Farming in a Changing Climate

By: Oliver Wakelin

In an era of changing weather patterns, traditional farming methods in Zambia have been challenged by unpredictable rainfall. Small-scale farmers like Flyted Zimba are bearing the brunt of these effects. In 2014, after years of ever-diminishing crop yields, Zimba decided to join the Relief and Development (R&D) program led by World Renew’s local partner CCAP, which offered trainings on conservation agriculture.

With the new conservation methods, Zimba says, he has been able to produce higher crop yields in a smaller area. “Previously, I could harvest only up to 40 x 50kg bags of maize from a portion of four hectares under conventional farming. After conservation farming was ushered in our area, I have reduced the size of land dedicated to maize to one hectare, but I’m able to harvest more than 60 x 50kg bags of maize.” He has also expanded his production by participating in the soybean grower project, generating an additional income of ZMK 3,600 ($240 US).

Zimba used the extra income to pay the tuition fees of his second-born son Abel, who has since graduated with a diploma from the Chipata Teachers Training College. Zimba says he also plans to continue working with CCAP in the future. “My future plans are to grow more certified soybean seed from CCAP R&D, sell it and use the resultant income to re-roof Abel’s house with iron sheets as well as build a storage shed for safe-keeping of my farm produce.”

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