Matatiele has remained an area of focus for the programme, albeit with a smaller group of participants and working in fewer localities (Nkau, Mqhobi, Sehutlong and Khutsong) primarily managed by the local facilitator, Bulelwa Dzingwa.
Expansion into Southern KZN has been successful and the 4 learning groups established between Creighton and Ixopo are showing great promise for continuation. The good relationships with stakeholders in the Ubuhlebezwe and Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma Local Municipalities and with KwaNalu (The KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union) have been extremely helpful in this regard.
Below is a Google Earth map to show the rough location of the Southern KZN sites. The number of participants in each areas is included in brackets.
In this season (2016-2017) we have continued to focus on the following elements of the model, namely:
- a) Support farmers who are in their 2nd and 3rd season,
- b) Conscious inclusion of crop rotation to compare with intercropping trials
- c) Inclusion of summer cover crops in the crop rotation trials
- d) Continuation with experimentation with winter cover crops, but planted in separate plots rather than in-between maize
- e) Mulching as a form of ground cover
- f) Initiation of nodes for farmer centres that can offer tools, input packs and advice
- g) Continued support for the local maize milling operation for maize meal and cattle feed in Khutsong.