Crop covers, the A-Frame and the 'Gampani' method! A sustainable reality for the Manda Wilderness Agricultural Project - Part 2
Along the shores of Lake Niassa/Nyassa, Mozambique, the Manda Wilderness Agricultural Project (MWAP) is training community members from 15 villages in biodiversity-friendly agricultural and agroforestry methods, to increase the provision of habitat for endemic species that are crucial to the success and sustainability of ecological agriculture in the region. This is a small grant project supported by CEPF in the Eastern Afromontane hotspot through the Regional Implementation Team (RIT).
In Part 1 of this series, we saw how community members were being trained in new farming methos; crop rotation and seeds used for agroforestry. Below are other methods being implemented by MWAP.
Mbueca – Crop covers keep moisture.
“I have a small garden and because of that, I mix and plant several crops at the same time. I noticed that I can keep the moisture in the soil for longer and I don’t have so many pests attacking my maize. I didn’t know I was doing conservation farming, but this training was good to give me more insight and learn more. I will also try other methods I learned during this training in order to improve my garden.” - Basílio Lícuingilo, Sunday school teacher from Mbueca
Mala – A-frame is a good tool.
“I have my small plantation on a slope and I always get a lot of erosion problems, especially during the heavy rains season and because the soil is very sandy too. In this training I learned how to prevent soil erosion and water runoff from my field using water catchment methods. I found the A-Frame a very simple tool to use and very efficient. Now I can plant my crops on contour lines using this practical tool and I will also plant a lot of more trees around my field.” - Julia Kaiwala, Farmer from Mala
Utonga – “Gampani”
“I used to plough my whole field before planting my seeds and now I learned this is not the right way to do it! I liked the ‘gampani’ method where I can plant my maize seeds directly in the ‘gampani’. Using the minimum tillage method, not disturbing the soil, leaving the crop residues in the soil and not burn them and plant my seeds directly in the soil, I will be saving time, energy and most important, I will preserve my soil. I will try in my field and I think I would have good results and with time my crops will increase their yields.” - Margarida M. Cazule, Farmer from Utonga
The MWAP project began in October 2013 and will end in September 2014. The training workshops are proving to make a big difference in the livelihoods of the local people. Continue to follow this 3 part series to see what is happening on the ground!
Stay informed about the Manda Wilderness Community Trust by visiting www.mandawilderness.org