Hon. Michael Katambo (2nd from the right) officially Launches CAFM Project
The Climate Adopted Farming Methods (CAFM) project was officially launched on October 23, 2019 as a sub project part of the Zambian–German Agricultural Knowledge and Training Centre (AKTC).
The new project was officially launched by the Minister of Agriculture (MoA) Hon. Michael Katambo, at the Golden Valley Research Trust (GART) fields during the 2019 GART Seed Fair event. Part of the MoA high ranking officials present were Mr. Zyambo (Ministry of Agriculture Permanent Secretary-PS), Mr. Lungu (Ministry of Agriculture Director), Dr. Martin Muyunda (GART Director), Mr. Martin Chowa (Chisamba District Commissioner-DC) as well as officials from the Ministry of Agriculture office in Lusaka.
The aim of the CAFM is to encourage farmers to adapt to climate change through mechanised smart agriculture by offering trainings as well as showcasing mechanised conservation farming and climate smart agriculture to emergent farmers. These should be mechanised farmers, or intending to become mechanised in the near future, and producing for the market, as well as serving as service providers.
Running for from May to December 2019, the project will carry out field demonstrations on a 27ha of dry land with the adoption of mechanised conservation farming practices. The project will compare the mechanised conventional farming (MCF) and mechanised conservation agriculture (MCA). Demonstrations will focus on two main crops: maize and soya beans, which will be rotated with a cover crop. These are typical Zambian grown crops and famously cultivated in many parts of the country. During demos, these crops will be exposed to different land preparation methods.
To facilitate the demonstrations, AKTC purchased the following machinery:
- 2x60hp MF 2wheel tractors
- 2x45hp MF 2wheel tractors
- 2x2 row planters
- 2x2 tine strip till cultivators
- 2x600 litre boom sprayers
- 2x5tone trailers
This equipment was chosen to suit the actual situation of emerging Zambian farmers; as well as for its affordability and availability in Zambia.
Considering the increasingly constraining climate conditions, it is hoped that the CAFM project will encourage farmers to adopt the MCA system to increase and maintain production and productivity. The project will present the yield and results of the two farming methods at one of our farmers’ field days. The results will be a living evidence on the practicality and viability of climate smart agriculture.
By Grenda Mweemba and Innocent Maphango (edited)
For more information, visit the AKTC website.