Climate Resilience Building

Our Vision

Siyazisiza’s vision is of a robust nation of resilient small-holder farmer communities  that collaborate in vibrant and localized economies, in stewardship with their environment for the benefit of future generations. We work village-based forums to support small-holder farmer agri-enterprises through our Smallholder Enterprise Development Initiative, encompassing two main programmes: 

Climate Resilience Building

A core component of the organisation’s work is in building increased resilience to climate change due to predictions of rising temperatures, increased variability in rainfall (change in patterns, onset and amounts) and increased frequency of extreme weather events such as drought and floods. As evidenced by the organisation; water, or the lack thereof, will be the major impact of climate change and variability will be experienced.

Mass market grains like wheat, rice and maize grow well with ample irrigation, fertilizer, pesticides, and herbicides, but these coddled crops will not be up to the challenge when water sources become more scarce in the face of climate change.There is therefore need for “new” and/or “alternative” approaches to food production and ensuring food and nutrition security. These solutions should be sustainable, resilient and practical in order to face the challenges facing smallholder farmers, particularly increasing water scarcity due to climate change and variability.

Working to Build Climate-resilient Gardens and communities

Siyazisiza’s work around climate resilience has centred on the testing and reintroduction of more drought tolerant crops, crop diversification and mixed cropping. The focus on drought resistant crops includes sorghum, millet, leaf and grain amaranth, cowpea, jugo beans and sweet potato, amongst others.

In 2015, the Siyazisiza Trust initiated a programme to not only build the climate resilience of small-scale farmers but to initiate work across the whole value chain in an effort to better link its agricultural collectives to identified market opportunities. Central to the initiataive is the establishment of localized Farmer Support Centres or Agrihubs which are multi-purpose centres that function in a coordinated manner to provide a range of sustainable services to micro-farmers.

Clock-wise from left to right:

  1. Intercropping cabbages and chillies at Thelumoya Phansi Primary Cooperative.
  2. A farmer holds worms during training on worm compost maintenance.
  3. Worm composting is using worms to recycle food scraps and other organic material into a valuable soil amendment called vermicompost, or worm compost. Worms eat food scraps, which become compost as they pass through the worm’s body. Compost exits the worm through its’ tail end.
  4. Mulching involves the application of an organic layer of material to the surface of soil. This process helps conserve soil moisture, improve the fertility and health of the soil, reduce weed growth while enhancing the visual appeal of the area.