Outline

In the inception meeting an implementation strategy that would bring all 6 communities on board at the same time and include some baseline and visioning discussions at community level as well as some theoretical inputs and practical training, was agreed to. This was done to accommodate for the fact that people are anxious to start agricultural activities now in the Spring and Summer season and for us as the facilitators to provide a commitment to the communities to action.

This meant that activities planned under later milestones (particularly Module 3 ‘Introduction to Innovations & Experimentation’) were brought forward and added to originally planned activities (Module 1 ‘Setting the Scene’ and Module 2 ‘Learning & Mentoring’); whilst accommodating 6 villages rather than the initial plan of 4 with 2 being brought on board later.  Thus the project is running well ahead in terms of both breadth of coverage and Module 3, at the expense of Module 1 (baseline was completed under this milestone rather than last milestone; and visioning & scenarios component still to be completed) and Module 2 (5 fingers training needs further reinforcement). At the same time, the Christmas season disrupted progress. However, overall, the program is running slightly ahead of plan in terms of implementation.

Two baseline and learning workshops (3 days/ community) have been completed in all 6 villages (Botshabelo, Sedawe, Willows, Oaks, Finale and Lepelle).

The intended process to augment these baselines through individual/household interviews and baseline assessments has not yet started as planned, but will be initiated in February 2017; as will the visioning, planning and development of indicators for each. Given the difficulties of implementing over the Christmas season and re-starting in the new year- there has not been enough time for this work.

5 Learning groups have been established: Botshabelo, Sedawe, Finale&Oaks, Willows and Lepelle. Local facilitators have come to the fore in all five learning groups. The formalisation of the process will continue into February and March 2017.

To date learning for each of the groups has consisted of water flow and in field rainwater harvesting, making and using line levels to measure contours and slope, construction of diversion furrows, levelling of planting furrows, greywater bucket filters, constructing trench beds, soil properties, planting of seeds and seedlings in seedling beds, tower gardens and Conservation Agriculture for field crops.

New ideas have been introduced through demonstration and implementation workshops:

  • 1 Workshop for Botshabelo, Sedawe and Willows in construction of a 4mx6m shade cloth structure/tunnel (39 participants)
  • Learning group workshops for Botshabelo, Willows, Oaks, Lepelle and Finale were held. Baseline information for dryland cropping was gathered and the five fingers concepts for assessing adaptation practices were introduced. Conservation Agriculture and farmer experimentation were introduced for all five areas (50 participants). Bucket drip kits and tower gardens were introduced in Oaks and Finale (27 participants)

Participants this period

  • SEEDS OF LIGHT: Nick Vorono, Trygive Nxumalo
  • MAHLATHINI: Erna Kruger, Sylvester Selala, Chris Stimie
  • AWARD: Richard Hatfield, Bigboy Mkhabela,

Contents

This report contains the following sections:

  1. Progress
  2. Summary of baseline and implementation progress per village
  3. AgriSi team meeting minutes – 2016/11/28-29
  4. Monthly team review summary and assessment of indicators

This report contains the following attachments:

  1. Work calendar; January – March 2017
  2. Annexures:
  3. Baseline Workshop 1 reports; Lepelle (last remaining report; the others were submitted under the last milestone)
  4. Baseline workshop 2 reports; Botshabelo, Oaks & Finale and Willows ( 2 remaining report to be submitted under Milestone 4)
  5. Community walks for erosion control and rainwater harvesting storage and
  6. Tall crop tunnel demonstration workshop
  7. Proposal for RWH storage support