Climate Smart Agriculture


Climate Smart Agriculture is a Government policy being implemented through the Ministry of Agriculture and ZIFLP is collaborating with the Department of Agriculture to implement this policy using the Lead farmer approach. The focus of the CSA intervention is to increase productivity and enhance the income and livelihoods of beneficiary communities through sustainable, climate‐smart income-generating and value-added activities both off‐farm and on‐farm. With the lead farmer approach, a select number of farmers are identified using approved criteria after which they are trained in the CSA technology using the Trainer of trainers methodology, after which each lead farmer trains 10 Follower Farmers.

The Project has since supported MoA in (i) raising, distributed and managing over 5 million agro-forestry seedlings (ii) promoting CSA practices resulting in 98,102 farmers adopting the practice; (iii)  190,304 hectares of agriculture land brought under CSA practice in the EP; (iv) increased the yield of crops under CSA for Project supported farmers in maize, soya beans and sunflower to 2.4 tons/ha, 1.1tons/ha and 0.9tons/ha respectively against provincial averages of 2.03tons/ha, 0.82tons/ha and 0.53tons/ha respectively; (v) the project is supporting 478 Farmer Field Schools using a lead farmer approach with 10,775 Lead farmers recruited and trained  who have in turn recruited and trained 104,612 follower farmers; (vii) construction of an ultra-modern Soils Laboratory & soil mapping for the EP, including construction of 21 Farmer Led Irrigation Schemes in 21 sites in Eastern Province and (vii) institutional capacity support to the Ministry of Agriculture through provision of motorized transport for activity implementation, capacity building of staff, infrastructure development, information dissemination among others.


1.1 Farmer Led Irrigation Schemes

For ZIFLP to meet its targets of improving monetary and non-monetary benefits for rural households in Eastern Province, the project developed the Farmer-led irrigation schemes with associated agricultural value chains across the Province. The irrigation schemes are intended to provide the anchor for farmers improved productivity and access to markets for selected horticultural crops as well as the promotion of tree crops and permaculture practices among farmers.

The overall objective of the farmer-led irrigation development is to promote productivity and climate resilience of rural farmers in Eastern Province through horticulture development.

The approach used entailed the identification of areas with irrigation potential in each District with a cluster of farmers who expressed interest in irrigation. Based on this identified need, the Project invested in setting up an irrigation scheme that will be farmer-led and operated with high-value horticultural and tree crops. The source of water is underground via boreholes that have been sunk at respective schemes. Each borehole is equipped with a solar water pump that lifts water to the reservoir tanks. A total of 21 sites have been developed with a maximum number of 2 FLIS per district.

The development of the farmer-led irrigation scheme follows a complete value chain development approach with support provided to farmers from identification, design and construction of the irrigation schemes to crop identification, extension services and market linkages. The farmers involved have obtained clearly defined user rights guaranteeing tenure security for the duration of the irrigation scheme, under existing national laws and policies.

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