Close to 100 people from the rural areas of Mashonaland West, East and Central, Manicaland, Masvingo and the Midlands gathered at the course held on 7th and 8th October at the River of Life Ministries just outside Harare.
Shandira/Sebenzela offered the course after the realisation that most communal farmers were unable to achieve their potential yields due to an over-dependency on expensive chemical fertilisers, pesticides and mechanical tillage techniques, which they could not afford.
The participants were taken through two days of training on how best to achieve bigger crop yields using organic means; this is what is available in the communities. The training covered a number of topics that are relevant and applicable to the communal/rural farmer. Some of the most important topics covered are small grain rotation, vegetable production, soil erosion, planning and implementation management and monitoring and evaluation. Besides the farming content of the training, the participants were also taught time management and they went through some interactive sessions were they would mingle, play games and have some fun. Foundations for Farming provided not only food, yet also accommodation which led to another positive outcome: The participants got to know each other and could exchange views and expertise.
“I don’t have to crack my head thinking of getting money for fertiliser anymore, this training has taught me to make my own fertiliser from things I used to burn”, said Kudakwashe Chiwende from Kadoma. “My community will definitely benefit as I intend to share this knowledge with others back home”, he added.
“I don’t have any cattle neither do I have a plough, so for me the knowledge I got on the zero tillage will help my family and me to get a bigger yield this year” remarked Takawira Simbarashe from Hurungwe.
Vedra Kapiya, a trainer who gave an inspirational session on time management, was confident that with the knowledge the participants have acquired, they would make a huge difference in the communities they come from.
Shandira/Sebenzela plans to facilitate more and similar courses in the future and will furthermore send coaches to the rural communities to provide assistance on their farming projects.