Caritas Masvingo spearheads agro-ecology in Gutu and Bikita

Tatenda Mqetu

Agro-ecology is recommended as the most rewarding exercise especially for farmers in areas where rainfall is erratic.

Caritas Masvingo is spearheading the adoption of agro-ecology methods by peasant farmers ahead of the 2019/20 season with the promotion of small grains and traditional seed varieties as they foresee food security for their communities.

According to Caritas Masvingo Diocese Baseline Data, there is a remarkable improvement in the percentages as 70% of farmers in Bikita and Gutu have embraced the agro-ecological approach towards farming through the Equitable Access to and Use of Natural Resources Programme.

Caritas Masvingo encourages communities of Bikita and Gutu to plant small grain crops that can survive in low rainfall areas.

The Sustainable Livelihoods programme which increases yields while reducing environmental degradation has proved to be successful through resuscitation of lost traditional seed varieties (svoboda, orange maize, chinyamugage and munyadzagudo), solar water system, use of natural remedies which provides better solution in fighting armyworm (the use of cow urine, fine sand and yellow bitter apple/Nhundurwa) and a decrease in use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

Caritas Masvingo Coordinator Oppah Rukara appreciated the efforts being made in the Equitable Access to and Use of Natural Resources Programme and acknowledges that there is looming food insecurity which is a result of two extreme weather conditions experienced as a result of El-Nino and Cyclone Idai.

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