Two groups have been supported financially through the National Development Agency and implemented by MOWSCE in the Newcaslte region of KZN for the period of 2015.

In Dannhauser 23 learners applied of whom 18 were registered. Promoter support was offered by L Jili assisted by S Moloi) and in Utrecht 20 learners were registered and promoter support was offered initially D Magubane who resigned and was replaced by M Dlamini.Both the sites managed to complete the learning process of 6 Modules on time, despite the late start

Below a summary table is presented of learners who started, those registered and number of learners that completed the entire course. Not all the learners who completed the course have managed to pass. Estimated pass rates are provided here- although the final decision with passing of learners rests with the UNISA office in Florida and not the provincial team.

Group Name No of students started No registered No completed % pass for the group (estimated)
Utrecht 20 20 18 90%
Dannhauser 23 18 15 83%
TOTALS 43 38 33 Ave pass rate 66 %

Below a summary of the 5 key areas of implementation is given for each group, along with an indication of the success of that process for the group

Dannhauser and Utrecht; NDA. (80% and 78%).
KPA Positive Negative
Formal Partnerships -Formal partnership and MoA with NDA and MOWSCE

-Planning and progress meetings were held and a monitoring process agreed to.

Future collaboration with NDA has been agreed to and a process of formalising the relationship is underway

-A process for providing of appropriate inputs to households was also agreed to

-MOWSCE did not adhere to their schedules for delivery and implementation. Many of the inputs never reached the households and payment of learners as the household facilitators was sporadic. This led to many complaints and difficulties towards the end of the course
Course delivery -Initial registration of learners efficient although the groups started a bit late- given that the NDA processes were happening according to a different timeline.

– Promoter orientation and regional workshops helped with keeping course on track, delivery of materials, and practical implementation of specific processes in each module

– Initially distribution of printed materials via a central point and at the regional promoter workshops worked well as a process.

– Promoter support provided by bringing in promoters from other groups to stand in while the promoter was on maternity and bereavement leave.

-Subsequent cancellation and late registrations impossible to track and took very long. Some of the learners were never registered.

– It took time and effort to help all the role players, including the LMs and councillors to understand that the learners had requirements for their course which were not directly linked to the NDA implementation of the project. The concept of using learners as the household facilitators is problematic if they are not mentored and supervised and supported by the implementing agent.

– Due to the lack of provision of promised inputs, the course itself suffered and learners had to try to motivate householders to continue with gardening without the inputs. Learners themselves lost focus at times.

Participation and household support – Promoter did household garden monitoring and practical work at households, but not in a very coherent way in Dannhauser. Monitoring in Utrecht took a lot of effort as learners were scattered on land reform farms over an enormous area and many households were quite inaccessible. – Household visits were initially curtailed due to political pressures in the LM and it was thus not possible to do the monitoring for all the households in Dannhauser
Capacity building and support -Ran intensive food production and nutrition workshops for the community and learners in partnership with regional coordination team and brought local stakeholders on board
Monitoring and evaluation -Garden monitoring forms completed (33 for Dannhauser and around 25 for Utrecht) – Garden monitoring takes time and effort and requires travelling. This required a lot of extra time and a huge chunk of budget.

Summary of garden monitoring

A progress meeting was held with MOWCSE at the end of June. Discussion included a joint monitoring form for ardening. De linking supply of inputs to gardens with the learning activities for learners, so that learners could continue with their work and not have to wait for MOWSCE. There are some issues and small difficulties arising due to late delivery of promised materials, both tools and seedlings. We have urged learners to continue without and do what they can.

The monitoring process agreed on is that the forms are to be filled in for each household in July, November and then next year February as well. In reality only one round of monitoring was managed by the teams. The assistance in monitoring form the learners themselves was not forthcoming despite training and mentoring sessions in this regard. The UNISA team was not able to honour the agreement to also do monitoring in Novembers and again in February 2016. Given that the learning process was concluded in the middle of November, it was also not possible to garner support from the learners.

A total of 51 gardens were monitored for Dannhauser and 18 for Utrecht. The table below provides a summary of the garden monitoring information

table 1: garden monitoring summaries for Dannhauser and Utrecht, November 2015

Households % implementation in gardens Problems Food Consumption
No Hh % of garden planted Crops planted Dates Organic techniques mulching trench beds tower gardens P&D control Water Fencing Pests Eaten in previous week no of veg (%of hh) No of times per week Bartered or gifted (% of hh) Sold
DANNHAUSER (16 learners)
51 53 4 3x 100 12 47 12 0 92 78 25 1veg – 43

2veg-16

3 veg – 4

1x 45 8
UTRECHT (11 learners)
18 59 5 3x 100 5 5 15 5 89 39 22 1 veg-56 1x 0 0

Some interesting points that can be made from this summary are:

  • Almost 90% of the participants struggle with access to water for gardening.
  • Around 78% and 39% of participants in Dannhauser and Utrecht respectively do not have proper fencing for their gardens.
  • Despite the lack of inputs and infrastructure support only 6 of the HH monitored did not plant their own crops. 90% of the hh participants made an attempt to garden. Of these around 50% were gardening before.
  • Participants planted 2-3 times in a season to provide for continuity of food supply
  • On average around 55% of each of the gardens would be planted at any point in time.
  • Uptake of new techniques (trench beds, mulching, tower garden and organic pest and disease control)was generally quite low.
  • Participants have managed to consume between 1-3 types of vegetables at least1x per week from their gardens.
  • In Dannhauser around half of the participants have bartered and gifted some of their produce. In Utrecht none have- but this indicates more their isolation from other people, given that these participants are small farm worker communities on isolated farms.
  • In Dannhauser a small proportion (8%) of participants have sold some of their vegetables.

Below are a few photographs outlining the garden implementation in the two areas

Dannhauser

The Dannhauser learners:

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Student practical on learning to do a trench bed:

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In Doornkop at one household a refresher for learners sees them helping to put mulching on beds and do a demonstration of making and planting a tower garden:

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The community and learner training day where participants learnt to make trench beds:

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All participants received a starter pack of seeds:

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Utrecht:

One of the Utrecht participants stands next to her functional tower garden:

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A beautiful example of good crops in a trench bed in a harsh environment:

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Examples of household gardens in the Utrecht area where participants have tried a number of new things such as planting marigolds and mixed cropping, making of seedbeds and protection of there and mulching:

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Some households have mad makeshift fences to protect their crops:

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