22 Apr 2014

Fuel-efficient stoves, farmer's group initiatives and a Conservation Manual: a sustainable reality for the Manda Wilderness Agricultural Project - Part 3

Farmers and trainers take a group photo (Photo: Manda Wilderness Community Trust)
By nairobi.volunteer

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. In Part 2, other interesting technologies such as the A-Frame, Crop covers and the 'Gampani' method were highlighted. Part 3, the last of this series, desribes further techniques being implemented by MWAP: 


Fuel-efficient stoves


Finally we finished fixing the kiln at the MWAP Farm, after the roof fell down last year; we are ready to initiate the fuel-efficient stoves workshops. Maria Uzale and Hilda Kangoma will be training women’s groups from the villages on how to build improved cook stoves. Usually people in the villages use the traditional 3-stick method which uses much more firewood and also takes more time to cook. With the fuel-efficient stoves there is a reduction in firewood consumption and a decrease of smoke emitted from burning firewood, hence promoting healthier indoor environments for women and their families. Women are the main beneficiaries of this project, and as a result they should gain additional skills, generate additional income and improve their overall livelihoods. These activities are an important part of our program in order to reduce deforestation and protect the natural resources in the Manda Wilderness region.

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Hilda Kangoma – Famer’s group initiatives


“This is a good initiative for the Manda Wilderness region and the communities need it to help motivate them to continue some of the work they were doing in the past like the Farmers Groups, because of some constraints the farmers faced in the past, some of the groups fall out and they stopped working together. This training brought the farmers together again and with the support from the Manda Wilderness Agricultural Project they felt encouraged to work as an organized group again.” Hilda Kangoma, Trainer instructor and MWAP Demonstration Farm Assistant Manager


João Maniamba – Conservation Agriculture Manuals Handbook helps.


“I’m very happy that everyone is enjoying our conservation agriculture training. Farming conditions in the Manda Wilderness region are difficult. Due to the poor farming practices used in the last decade by the local farmers, the soil fertility is very low. So, I believe the solution can be conservation agriculture simultaneously with organic farming. Most of the times these workshops only happen once in many years and after that people tend to forget what they have learned, but with the manuals we are distributing I think they can have something to take home with them and review as many times they need. It is an important guidance tool for them and they have a lot of tips and advice they can follow. Also, a lot of people can’t read, especially women, and with the manuals they have a lot of pictures illustrating the farming methods we are teaching and it becomes easier for them to understand." -  João Maniamba, Trainer instructor and MWAP Demonstration Farm Manager


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. We hope you enjoyed following this 3 part series!

See: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

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