An Overview Of Our Solution
- Population Impacted
- Continent: Africa
Post Box 80015
499,941 Kilometers squared
Local resources the community depends on, and for what purpose
Local threats to resources
Level of sensitivity
Level of adaptive capacity
Chitemene Alternatives (CA) bases it?s design to reduce dependence on the ecosystem on poverty alleviation, free education, and reforestation. Since in chitemene system of farming only 20% of the cleared land is used, we train our farmers in sustainable agro practices that involve using 100% of the cleared land. This significantly reduces the size of forests cleared and the same land can be reused season after another employing crop rotation system. Chitemene farmers are all empowered with farming inputs on credit which they repay with their produce at harvest time. The repayment in kind provides a ready market for their farm produce. All the farmers benefitting from this project commit to an annual reforestation exercise to restore and heal the damaged ecosystem. Farmers find it easy to adapt to this because it is risk free on their part. Our training also emphasizes mixed agriculture. Chitemene farmers are trained in pastoral and poultry farming in order to reduce dependence on growing one crop which often leads to chitemene system of farming.
Economic Indicators used to measure benefit
- Increased soil health, biodiversity & yield capacity - Regenerating drought affected areas - Reduced greenhouse gas emissions through sustainable land management approaches
Community/Social Indicators used to measure benefit
- Number of community members abandoning the practice of chitemene farming system - Number of community members attending training programs
- Enforcement costs - costs of training communities which varies depending on the geography (about $3500 per province) - capacity building
Ecological Indicators used to measure benefit
- Additional income generated
What were/are the challenges your community faced in implementing this solution?
- agro yields per community member - Community reports - household items survey
Describe the community-based process used to develop the solution including tools and processes used
Before Chitemene Alternatives (CA) launched operations, a thorough survey was done. The following were the findings: (1) unavailability of credit facilities for farming inputs leads to an increase in maize prices. 10% increase in maize prices lead to 3.5% increase in maize land demand and thus chitemene farming ( Benhin & Barbier, 2001). (2) Chitemene farmers were picked randomly across the miombo woodlands and interviewed. 100% percent responded with a firm yes to the question ?are you willing and ready to stop practicing chitemene farming system if you are empowered with free training in sustainable agricultural practices and farming inputs on credit?? After the survey, Chitemene Alternatives (CA) began operations. The problem Chitemene Alternatives (CA) is addressing is prominent in Northern, Luapula, Copper belt, Central, North western and Eastern Provinces. The soils in these areas are generally low in fertility and acidic (Food Agricultural Organization 2004). The first concrete step that has been done is setting our Head Quarters right in the heart of chitemene prominent area. We are located in Central Province 11 KM from the main road. This central location allows us to have direct contact with chitemene farmers and hence well placed to solve the chitemene problem. Four demonstration plots are managed and only sustainable agriculture is practiced. Chitemene Alternatives (CA) grows maize, cassava, millet, sorghum, and vegetables. We also keep livestock. We use these demonstration plots for training local farmers in improved farming methods at no cost. The produce from the demonstration plots is sold and the returns together with the repayments of inputs? credit facilities by farmers contribute in keeping Chitemene Alternatives (CA) sustainable. In order for the sustainable agriculture training and the distribution of farming inputs to be effective, farmers are put in cooperatives (teams). This makes it even easier at harvest time when collecting repayments; even easier when conducting impact evaluation. The Meteorological Department offers their products and services in English. Unfortunately this is unhelpful to the farmers as many of them can not read or understand English. We have partnered with CPMO to offer crop-weather early warning system in local languages. This will enable farmers to make informed decisions in their farming. We have also partnered with KNCC in a chitemene sensitization effort. The current management system is divided into 4 major departments, namely: (1) Human resources and administration responsible for policy & strategy formulation, administration and human resource management, (2) the agricultural department is responsible for all agro systems management and training of chitemene farmers, (3) Maintenance department manages the organization?s mechanical part (4) Monitoring and evaluation team carries out all evaluation needs and gives advisory to the department in charge of administration.
Climate hazard of concern
How does your solution reduce the exposure of and buffer/protect the ecosystem affected?
Our reforestation program restores fertility to the soil and most importantly reduces soil erosion. The stoppage of the practice of chitemene system curbs desertification which is core in preventing droughts, high temperatures and sand storms. It further restores a balance in the ecosystem.
How has your solution increased the capacity of the ecosystem to adapt to potential climate changes?
Our solution has increased the capacity of the ecosystem to adapt to potential climate changes by reducing pressure from forests and nurturing them. Our solution has also increased the capacity or ability of the people to adapt to potential climate changes by empowering them with free sustainable agro training and farming inputs.
How does your solution reduce the exposure of and buffer/protect the communities affected?
Our program continues to run
How does your solution reduce the sensitivity of the communities affected?
the reforestation scheme and stoppage of chitemene farming system will highly reduce the exposure of communities to all arid related hazards.
How has your solution increased the capacity of local communities to adapt to potential climate changes?
Our solution reduces the sensitivity of the communities in that the approach we take supports increased precipitation activities and reduced high temperatures. Increased precipitation activity is key to the many rain fed agro practices.
Can this solution be replicated elsewhere?
Transport remains the biggest challenge to date. Organizing community members who are scattered all over the Zambezian woodlands has not been easy without reliable transport. We have used bicycles to work around this problem but this hampers us from having wide influence. Transport is thus one of the problems posing a risk to continued success. We are still working towards acquiring a more permanent solution to it.