Holistic land and livestock management catapults farmers to resilience

Holistic land and livestock management catapults farmers to resilience

Small-scale farmers, traditional leaders and programme officers from partner organisations implementing landscape regeneration work, during a Holistic Land and Livestock Management (HLLM) training aimed at strengthening their work, with a particular focus on development of grazing plans. Photo: Collins Chirinda/PELUM Zimbabwe.

Farmers working with PELUM Zimbabwe member, Chinyika Community Development Trust (CCDT) in the Chinyika community under Chief Chitsa in Gutu district, are basking in the glory of attaining self-sufficiency through adopting holistic land and livestock management.

David Zivanai (52), a farmer from Jokoro Village in ward 10 says before being trained on Holistic Land and Livestock Management (HLLM), he struggled to grow adequate food and to find pastures for his livestock because of depleted soil fertility which led to fewer and fewer pastures each year. 

Before I got training on HLLM, my croplands had low fertility. This was also common for most of our pasturelands as well, which became fewer and fewer each year because of overgrazing. This led to us struggling  to find viable pastures for our herd,” says David. 

David says now that he has been trained on HLLM, he sees a better future for him, his family, community and  livestock because soil fertility has improved and there are better pastures for his animals.

After I started implementing what I had learnt on HLLM, I found that there was better water retention in my soil. The soil fertility improved and this has given us improved croplands and pasturelands. Food security in our community has also improved and we are no longer dependent on synthetic chemicals that poison our soils,” he says. 

Speaking at one such HLLM training held from 25 to 27 March 2024 in partnership with 3 PELUM Zimbabwe Members; Towards Sustainable Use of Resources Organization (TSURO) Trust, Chinyika Community Development Trust, and Africa Centre for Holistic Management, Kumikidzai Diza (42), the Agricultural Technical Extension (AGRITEX) Officer working in Gutu district says HLLM has helped to address the community’s pressing challenges.

We are grateful for these trainings because they help capacitate our farmers by giving them knowledge on sustainable farming practices that help promote productivity and sustainable agriculture. The HLLM concept has helped solve many problems in this community,” she says. 

Shendi Munsaka (40), an HLLM training facilitator for PELUM Zimbabwe member, Africa Centre for Holistic Management (ACHM) says farmers should learn more about land rehabilitation and yearn to get more knowledge on natural resource management. 

Farmers should strive to get more knowledge on holistic management because of the vast benefits it has. If all farmers implemented what they learn, there would be viable environments and food security,” says Shendi.

David says he plans on attending more trainings to increase his knowledge on agroecology and improve soil fertility.

I hope to learn more about soil fertility through similar platforms. I would like all farmers to adopt such mechanisms for there to be sustainability,” he says.


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