Sustainable Agriculture, Livelihoods Climate Change, Mitigation Adaptation and Food security
Climate change and variability are increasingly detrimental to the livelihoods of rural agricultural communities in Zimbabwe. Special groups such as the elderly, disabled, women and youth have been affected mostly. Communities in the rural areas mostly in the Southern parts of Zimbabwe are threatened by shorter growing seasons, increased days with extreme heat, rising temperatures, frequent and severe droughts.
The strong dependence on agriculture in rural communities, combined with widespread poverty and severe environmental degradation, makes the areas extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Rainfall in Zimbabwe has been on the decline and has become erratic for meaningful crop production. Persistent drought, coupled with limited economic opportunities have resulted in widespread poverty and migration out of the province.
“The main purpose of the Annual Merit Awards is to motivate and inspire rural communities to adopt climate proof farming methods and also small grains crops. “
Climate Change Programming and Action
Taking into consideration the United Nations Sustainable development goals (including goal 13 on climate Action and other related goals), SADC guidelines and Zimbabwe government policy direction on climate change,4-H Zimbabwe’s programming is centered on Adaptation and Mitigation. Mitigation measures seek to reduce and curb gas emissions and adaptation measures are based on reducing vulnerability among the rural communities in Zimbabwe.
Current Programming Areas
Rural Young Women Farmers Educational and Empowerment Program
4-H Zimbabwe is working with rural young women farmers focusing on empowerment through capacity building in indigenous conservative and climate smart agriculture, seed preservation, promotion of drought resistant crops and holding annual merit awards for excelling women farmers. The program is scheduled to spread to all forty (40) rural districts in Zimbabwe targeting women in agriculture.
Conservative and indigenous climate proof farming methods capacity building for rural women
This intervention seeks to provide knowledge to marginalized rural women on indigenous conservative and climate proof farming methods as a mitigatory measure to current global warming. 4-H Zimbabwe successfully did the capacity sessions in eight (8) districts including Midlands Province (Chirumanzu rural district), Mashonaland East (Seke and Macheke rural districts), Manicaland (Buhera rural district – with the indigenous group – Duma VaHera), Mashonaland West Province (Hurungwe rural district) and Matebeleland South Province (Bulilima rural district). The main thrust of these climate change education sessions was to capacitate, empower and raise awareness to young women in the marginalised rural communities through capacity building on indigenous conservative and climate smart agriculture, seed preservation, promotion of drought resistant crops and financial management. The target is to reach all 40 rural districts in Zimbabwe targeting 40 000 women farmers.
Enhancing rural women climate resilience through solar powered women led nutrition gardens
The organization has partnered with Japanese Embassy Zimbabwe in working with 400 rural young women in Hurungwe rural district on tackling climate change effects through establishment of women-led nutrition gardens with eight (8) solar powered boreholes and drip kits for sustainable agriculture and livelihoods. Long dry spells have been experienced hence this intervention has assisted the vulnerable young women farmers to continuously practice farming through alternative water supply from the drilled solar powered boreholes. The boreholes have also improved the access to safe and clean water for the rural communities and their livestock. As the organization continue to fundraise, our target is to establish 500 women led solar powered boreholes through out Zimbabwe in the next 3 years.
Annual merit awards for thriving rural women in conservative farming
4-H Zimbabwe, under the conservative and indigenous climate proof education program, has introduced the annual merit awards for the rural young women who have excelled in implementing the climate proof farming methods including the adoption of the small grains which are more resistant to drought as an alternative to traditional maize crop. The main purpose of these annual merit awards is to motivate and inspire rural communities to adopt climate proof farming methods and also small grains crops. The organisation has successfully held these awards in Seke, Chirumanzu and Hurungwe rural districts and as we continue to fundraise, the organisation is planning to hold these merit awards in all rural districts in Zimbabwe.
4-H Zimbabwe Tree planting program
To address continuous deforestation in the country, 4-H Zimbabwe has embarked on afforestation and reforestation programs in schools and communities in partnership with Ministry of Tourism, Environment, Climate and Hospitality Industry. This is done through tree planting sessions and also commemorating national tree planting day in a bid to promote afforestation in Zimbabwe. The organization targets to plant 3 million trees in the next 3 years.
Schools Career Guidance on Conservative and Nutrition Agriculture Program
Zimbabwe’s educational system has included agriculture subject in the curriculum for both primary and secondary education. The organization has a school agriculture program “learn by doing” which nurtures school children in agriculture and consider it as a noble profession at a tender age through establishment of 4-H Zim Agric school clubs. The nurturing includes children appreciates conservative climate proof agriculture methods and practice them at school. The organization takes into cognizant the international child labor policies and has an organization child protection policy that guard against child labor and exploitation. The organization is working with several schools in Zimbabwe (Harare, Bulawayo, Midlands, and Mashonaland Central Provinces) in setting up these schools’ agriculture clubs. A total of ten (10) school garden have been established comprising of horticultural crops, small-scale animal husbandry with 200 direct beneficiaries as club members. The target is to reach 1000 primary and secondary schools in 3 years.