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Paul Wagstaff, Agriculture Advisor, Concern Worldwide

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1 Paul Wagstaff, Agriculture Advisor, Concern Worldwide
The Impact of Conservation Agriculture on Food Security in two districts of Zimbabwe Paul Wagstaff, Agriculture Advisor, Concern Worldwide

2 Renewed Interest in agriculture
World Development Report 2008 Irish Hunger Task Force Report Sept 2008: Ireland to take the lead in ensuring MDG hunger target is met. 2008 Food Price Crisis Calls for increased investment in food production, particularly in Africa. What to invest in?

3 No magic bullets Water Markets, trade, infrastructure Research
Extension and education Health Financial services and insurance Inputs Land tenure Environment

4 The Principles of Conservation Agriculture
1. Avoid disturbing the soil Planting basins, direct seed drills, rippers, jab planters 2. Keep the soil covered Mulching with crop residues, plant cover crops. 3. Rotate your crops

5 Conservation Farming in Zimbabwe
Concern: , commercial farmers earlier. Started as part of a famine relief program. No draught animals so system based on preparing planting basins during the dry season. Intensive extension support (AGRITEX, Concern Worldwide). 50x50m CF plots (1/4 ha) per HH. ½ maize, ¼ sorghum, ¼ groundnuts/ cowpeas Partnership with ICRISAT, River of Life, CA Task Force, FAO + NGOs.

6 Planting basins

7 Comparison of maize yields grown in CA planting basins, Zimbabwe
Comparison of maize yields grown in CA planting basins, Zimbabwe. (CIMMYT)

8 Zimbabwe Context 2008-09 Season
General food insecurity. 65% (4million) getting food AID from WFP & C-SAFE Hyper inflation (10 million %), Zim $ worthless Unavailability of farming inputs Limited access to beneficiaries for NGOs Beneficiaries subjected to state sponsored violence. High levels of emigration (Nyanga).

9 Impact Evaluation 2008 Household Economy Approach (HEA)
Livelihoods-based framework for analysing the way people obtain / access the things they need to survive and prosper. Measuring the livelihood outcome of an intervention rather than just tracking to distribution of inputs and services and verifying outputs.

10 Overview of HEA How people in different social and economic circumstances get the food and cash they need; Their assets, the opportunities open to them and the constraints they face; The options open to them at times of crisis. Hyper inflationary situation – cash values irrelevant Crop production and income converted into kilo calorie equivalents. 2,100 kcal per person per day survival threshold.

11 Livelihoods Thresholds
Asset Rebuilding Threshold Livelihood Protection Threshold Survival Threshold

12 Sampling Villages that had received Conservation Farming training, food aid and inputs. Control (counterfactual): Villages that had received food aid + seeds and tools distributions. Paired by livelihoods zones. Stratified sampling based on wealth (poor and very poor). Perfect random sampling was not possible due to political (Nyanga) and need to pair control and CF farmers by livelihood zones.


14 Crop production: Gokwe North & Gokwe South

15 Crop contribution to annual food needs, Gokwe North and Gokwe South

16 Sources of food: Gokwe North and Gokwe South

17 Developments in 2009 2,900 CF farmers 82 CF HH per village, 49%
Good rains, increased political stability, no violence, introduction of $ and Rand ended hyperinflation but farmers had no purchasing power. Conventional yields of maize: 500-1,200 kg/ha, CF: 2,000-6,000 kg/ha Average production from CF HH in each village: 61 tonnes of maize from CF plots + 63 tonnes from conventional plots. Conventional farmers (51%) 53 tonnes of maize. Total village production: 177 tonnes maize Total food requirements in maize equivalents: 99 tonnes Surplus maize in the village: 78 tonnes – enough to support 164 food-deficit HHs. Without CF surpluses would have been 18 tonnes in the village

18 2009 hunger gap: cash transfers to food deficit HHs rather than food distributions (currently being evaluated). 2010: INGOs will buy maize surpluses from the CF farmers to distribute to food deficit areas of Zimbabwe! So, if you want to invest in agriculture for food security, go for Conservation Farming! Concern currently expanding CA to Tanzania (EU), Zambia & Malawi (Accenture), Liberia. Concern has influenced government policy in Angola (Bie and Kuito), DPRK. Tz – work in progress.

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