Technologies

Animal Draft Zero-Tillage [Zambia]

Direct Planting

technologies_1140 - Zambia

Completeness: 73%

1. معلومات عامة

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Technology

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:

Katoweji Alfred

Golden Valley Agricultural Research Trust

Zambia

SLM specialist:

Ndandula Sharon

Golden Valley Agricultural Research Trust

Zambia

Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Golden Valley agricultural research trust (Golden Valley agricultural research trust) - Zambia

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:

نعم

1.5 Reference to Questionnaire(s) on SLM Approaches (documented using WOCAT)

Participatory Research and Development
approaches

Participatory Research and Development [Zambia]

This is a collaborative process between researchers and farmers for developing and adapting new technologies that focus on incorporating the perspectives and inputs from the farmers into the development process.

  • Compiler: Arthur Chomba

2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

Animal draft zero-till involves the use of an animal drawn mechanical planter to plant directly in untilled soil to minimize soil disturbance and leave a cover of crop residues to conserve the soil and water.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology

Description:

Zero-tillage takes advantage of the beneficial effects of biological processes to loosen the soil and to improve fertility. The organic matter from these processes aggregate the soil while the movement of soil organisms like worms and termites loosen the soil. This is called biological tillage and replaces mechanical tillage. The untilled soil surface covered by residues will require a planter specialized to plant in these conditions. In a sense, adopting zero-till does actually require a zero-till planter. The development of the strip-planter has made zero-till a viable option for animal draft farmers, which until now was not possible due to the unavailability or high cost of zero-till planters. The new planter is both cheap and easy to manufacture locally. The planter uses a narrow tine to open a planting furrow and seed/fertilizer is metered by vertically rotating plates. The planter is pulled by oxen and can plant rows of 75cm or 90cm rows with an intra-row which is determined by the seed plate used (3, 4, 5,…… seeds/m). The planting technology needs to be complemented with sound residue cover and weeding management practices.

Purpose of the Technology: The planter enables planting and fertilizing in untilled soil so that the soil residue cover and soil structure are preserved and can be used sustainably. The protective soil cover reduces evaporation and enhances infiltration while the improved soil structure and organic matter content increases soil water storage making zero tillage an important drought mitigating strategy. The immediate benefits of adopting zero-till are the possibility to plant a bigger area quickly and in time as well as the reduced soil erosion.

Establishment / maintenance activities and inputs: The first step in establishing zero-till is to assess the soil condition and levels of degradation. Where possible tests should be carried out but where not, the farmer needs to start on a small plot to check if there will be yield reduction from not tilling the soil. Where soils are severely degraded, an establishment phase should be embarked on where reduced tillage is practiced until the soil structure has recovered sufficiently to support crop growth without tillage. Liming acidic soils followed by a final ploughing will be required in the first year to correct the soil pH which otherwise will be difficult to correct once conservation tillage has been established. The organic matter levels need to be increased by increasing the amount of residues produced by the crop (i.e. the yields) and retaining these as soil cover. The next establishment activity is the purchase of the planter unit. Maintenance activities include planting and fertilizing in the same operation and weeding. Weeding will have to involve herbicide use to handle increased weed densities implying that spraying will become a major operation. In addition to the normal conventional inputs, herbicides will also become a major input and cost.

Natural / human environment: Zero-till has been applied in a wide range of bio-physical environments but mostly by the large scale farmers. The unavailability and high cost of specialized zero-till planter for small-scale farming has resulted in low adoption rates. The development of the Magoye Planter creates new opportunities for this practice. The farmer has to have sufficient knowledge to assess the soil condition and decide if is too degraded for zero-till or how long the transitional phase should be. Literacy is essential as the farmers will have to learn new approaches on weed control, pest control and crop rotations and adapt practices to suit his/her specific conditions.

2.3 Photos of the Technology

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment

بلد:

Zambia

Region/ State/ Province:

Zambia/Southern Province

Further specification of location:

Mazabuka/Magoye

Comments:

Total area covered by the SLM Technology is 0.56 km2.

Zero-Till with the Magoye planter technology was introduced in 2011 and is only in its second season of use. Only four farmers have adopted the technology although it has not yet been officially launched and promoted.

2.6 Date of implementation

If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • less than 10 years ago (recently)

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • during experiments/ research
Comments (type of project, etc.):

Development of the Magoye planter began in 2008 in response to farmers’ feedback on the Magoye Ripper. Farmers started adopting the technology in 2011

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied

Cropland

Cropland

  • Annual cropping
Annual cropping - Specify crops:
  • cereals - maize
  • Annual cropping is the main source of livelihood.
Number of growing seasons per year:
  • 1
Specify:

Longest growing period in days: 135Longest growing period from month to month: mid Nov to end of March

Grazing land

Grazing land

Extensive grazing:
  • Semi-nomadic pastoralism
  • Nearly half of the farmers own cattle but these are not sold regularly, only for school fees and ceremonies. Livestock is grazing on crop residues
Comments:

Livestock density (if relevant):
1-10 LU /km2

Major land use problems (compiler’s opinion): Loss of soil structure and low soil fertility
Major land use problems (land users’ perception): Droughts and dry spell

3.4 Water supply

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • rainfed

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

agronomic measures

agronomic measures

  • A1: Vegetation/ soil cover
  • A2: Organic matter/ soil fertility
  • A3: Soil surface treatment
  • A4: Subsurface treatment
  • A5: Seed management, improved varieties
  • A6: Residue management
  • A7: Others
A3: Differentiate tillage systems:

A 3.1: No tillage

Comments:

Specification of other agronomic measures: Zero till, Crop residue
Type of agronomic measures: early planting, mulching, manure / compost / residues, mineral (inorganic) fertilizers, soil conditioners (lime, gypsum), zero tillage / no-till

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

soil erosion by water

soil erosion by water

  • Wt: loss of topsoil/ surface erosion
chemical soil deterioration

chemical soil deterioration

  • Cn: fertility decline and reduced organic matter content (not caused by erosion)
physical soil deterioration

physical soil deterioration

  • Pk: slaking and crusting
biological degradation

biological degradation

  • Bl: loss of soil life
Comments:

Main causes of degradation: soil management (Overploughing, soil nutrient mining), crop management (annual, perennial, tree/shrub) (Monocropping), overgrazing (Overgrazing of crop residues), poverty / wealth (Charcoal burning, under application of fertilizer), inputs and infrastructure: (roads, markets, distribution of water points, other, …) (high cost of fertilizer)

Secondary causes of degradation: deforestation / removal of natural vegetation (incl. forest fires) (Charcoal burning), Heavy / extreme rainfall (intensity/amounts) (Overgrazing of crop residues), droughts, land tenure (Communal land overexploited), education, access to knowledge and support services (inadequate extension staff), governance / institutional (lack of credit facilities)

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • prevent land degradation
  • reduce land degradation
Comments:

Secondary goals: rehabilitation / reclamation of denuded land

4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

Technical specifications (related to technical drawing):

Planting lines are done at a depth of 8-12cm with inter row of 75 or 90cm. The width of the open furrow is 5-10cm wide. Planting rows are done across the slope to reduce runoff, these planting rows are done when the soil is moist during the rainy season and planting is done at the same time with land preparation. Farmers in Monze have combined ripping and zero till together. In the dry season they rip with the Magoye Ripper or GART Planter and later when the soil is moist use a zero till implement to plant.

Location: Magoye. Mazabuka/Southern Province/Zambia

Date: 2014-06-29

Technical knowledge required for field staff / advisors: high (This is a new technology and the extension staff must be able to help farmers troubleshoot and adapt the technology to local conditions.)

Technical knowledge required for land users: moderate (The farmers have to adopt new soil management practices, crop rotations and adapt the weeding approaches to complement the planting technology)

Main technical functions: improvement of surface structure (crusting, sealing), improvement of topsoil structure (compaction), increase of infiltration, increase / maintain water stored in soil

Secondary technical functions: control of raindrop splash, improvement of ground cover, improvement of subsoil structure (hardpan), increase in organic matter, increase in nutrient availability (supply, recycling,…), increase of groundwater level / recharge of groundwater, water harvesting / increase water supply, improvement of water quality, buffering / filtering water

Early planting
Material/ species: maize
Quantity/ density: 44,000 pla
Remarks: 25cm intra row by 75cm

Mulching
Material/ species: crop residues
Quantity/ density: 3ton/ha
Remarks: uniformly spread

Manure / compost / residues
Material/ species: crop residues
Quantity/ density: 3ton/ha
Remarks: uniformly spread

Mineral (inorganic) fertilizers
Material/ species: basal and top dressing
Quantity/ density: 400kg/ha
Remarks: spot application

Soil conditioners (lime, gypsum)
Material/ species: lime
Quantity/ density: 1ton/ha
Remarks: broadcast

Author:

Silenga Wamunyima, Box 670577, Mazabuka, Zambia

4.2 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

other/ national currency (specify):

Kwacha

If relevant, indicate exchange rate from USD to local currency (e.g. 1 USD = 79.9 Brazilian Real): 1 USD =:

5,0

Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:

2.40

4.3 Establishment activities

Activity Timing (season)
1. Purchase a magoye planter
2. Purchase a knapsack sprayer
Comments:

Life span of the magoye planter: 15 years
Life span of the knapsack sprayer: 5 years

4.4 Costs and inputs needed for establishment

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Equipment Magoye Planter piece 1,0 500,0 500,0 100,0
Equipment Knapsack sprayer piece 1,0 80,0 80,0 100,0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 580,0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology in USD 116,0
Comments:

Duration of establishment phase: 2 month(s)

4.5 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Timing/ frequency
1. Slashing, spreading residues May-June every year after harvest
2. Liming Nov - Dec every 3years
3. Planting and fertilizing Nov-Dec at onset of rain
4. Chemical weeding 3 times per growing season
5. Harvesting May-June

4.6 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Slashing, spreading residues person days 8,0 2,5 20,0 100,0
Labour Liming person days 2,0 2,5 5,0 100,0
Labour Chemical weeding person days 24,0 1,0 24,0 100,0
Labour Harvesting person days 8,0 2,5 20,0 100,0
Equipment Animal traction for planting and fertilizing ha 1,0 40,0 40,0 100,0
Plant material Seeds kg 20,0 2,5 50,0 100,0
Plant material Fertilizer kg 400,0 0,8 320,0 100,0
Plant material Herbicides l 5,0 6,0 30,0 100,0
Plant material Lime ton 1,0 42,0 42,0 100,0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 551,0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology in USD 110,2
Comments:

Machinery/ tools: The Magoye planter

Calculation are for 1ha of maize under strip tillage based conservation tillage and costs are for the Zambia situation in Magoye as of August 2012.

4.7 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

The weed control method is the main determinate factor depending on whether the farmer uses hand hoe or herbicides. Weed densities are higher in unploughed fields increasing the labour requirements/costs by a factor of about 5 if hand weeding is used instead of herbicides. Another major cost is that of fertilizer which makes up about half the cost hence the total cost will vary significantly depending on fertilizer cost.

5. Natural and human environment

5.1 Climate

Annual rainfall
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Agro-climatic zone
  • semi-arid

Thermal climate class: subtropics. 3 distinct seasons – summer, winter and one rainy season

5.2 Topography

Slopes on average:
  • flat (0-2%)
  • gentle (3-5%)
  • moderate (6-10%)
  • rolling (11-15%)
  • hilly (16-30%)
  • steep (31-60%)
  • very steep (>60%)
Landforms:
  • plateau/plains
  • ridges
  • mountain slopes
  • hill slopes
  • footslopes
  • valley floors
Altitudinal zone:
  • 0-100 m a.s.l.
  • 101-500 m a.s.l.
  • 501-1,000 m a.s.l.
  • 1,001-1,500 m a.s.l.
  • 1,501-2,000 m a.s.l.
  • 2,001-2,500 m a.s.l.
  • 2,501-3,000 m a.s.l.
  • 3,001-4,000 m a.s.l.
  • > 4,000 m a.s.l.

5.3 Soils

Soil depth on average:
  • very shallow (0-20 cm)
  • shallow (21-50 cm)
  • moderately deep (51-80 cm)
  • deep (81-120 cm)
  • very deep (> 120 cm)
Soil texture (topsoil):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
  • fine/ heavy (clay)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • low (<1%)

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

> 50 m

Availability of surface water:

medium

Water quality (untreated):

poor drinking water (treatment required)

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Off-farm income:
  • 10-50% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • very poor
  • poor
Individuals or groups:
  • individual/ household
Gender:
  • men
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

Land users applying the Technology are mainly common / average land users

Difference in the involvement of women and men: The technology is applied mostly by men since most households are male headed and animal traction operation are reserved for men

Population density: 10-50 persons/km2

Annual population growth: 3% - 4%

8% of the land users are rich and own 15% of the land (own more than 10 cattle).
8% of the land users are average wealthy and own 15% of the land (own between 5 and 10 cattle).
16% of the land users are poor and own 20% of the land (own less than 5 cattle).
68% of the land users are poor and own 40% of the land (do not own cattle).

Off-farm income specification: sale of rainfed crops makes up about half of their income, the remainder coming from sale of livestock, petty trading, hiring out labour and remittances

Market orientation of production system: subsistence (self-supply), subsistence (self-supply), mixed (subsistence/ commercial

5.7 Average area of land used by land users applying the Technology

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha
Is this considered small-, medium- or large-scale (referring to local context)?
  • small-scale
Comments:

Average area of land owned or leased by land users applying the Technology: 1-2 ha, 2-5 ha, 5-15 ha, 5-15 ha, 15-50 ha, 15-50 ha, 50-100 ha

5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights

Land ownership:
  • individual, not titled
Land use rights:
  • open access (unorganized)
  • individual
  • Land is apportioned by traditional leaders
Water use rights:
  • open access (unorganized)
  • Land is apportioned by traditional leaders

5.9 Access to services and infrastructure

health:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
education:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
technical assistance:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
employment (e.g. off-farm):
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
markets:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
energy:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
roads and transport:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
drinking water and sanitation:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
financial services:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts

Production

crop production

decreased
increased

fodder production

decreased
increased

risk of production failure

increased
decreased

production area

decreased
increased
Quantity before SLM:

2-3ha

Quantity after SLM:

>10

Income and costs

farm income

decreased
increased

diversity of income sources

decreased
increased

workload

increased
decreased

Socio-cultural impacts

recreational opportunities

reduced
improved

Ecological impacts

Water cycle/ runoff

water quality

decreased
increased

harvesting/ collection of water

reduced
improved

surface runoff

increased
decreased

evaporation

increased
decreased
Soil

soil moisture

decreased
increased

soil cover

reduced
improved

soil loss

increased
decreased

soil crusting/ sealing

increased
reduced

soil compaction

increased
reduced

nutrient cycling/ recharge

decreased
increased

salinity

increased
decreased

soil organic matter/ below ground C

decreased
increased
Biodiversity: vegetation, animals

biomass/ above ground C

decreased
increased
Climate and disaster risk reduction

emission of carbon and greenhouse gases

increased
decreased

6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

water availability

decreased
increased

downstream flooding

increased
reduced

groundwater/ river pollution

increased
reduced

damage on neighbours' fields

increased
reduced

6.3 Exposure and sensitivity of the Technology to gradual climate change and climate-related extremes/ disasters (as perceived by land users)

Gradual climate change

Gradual climate change
Season increase or decrease How does the Technology cope with it?
annual temperature increase not known

Climate-related extremes (disasters)

Meteorological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
local rainstorm well
local windstorm not known
Climatological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
drought well
Hydrological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
general (river) flood not well

Other climate-related consequences

Other climate-related consequences
How does the Technology cope with it?
reduced growing period well

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
Short-term returns:

positive

Long-term returns:

very positive

How do the benefits compare with the maintenance/ recurrent costs (from land users' perspective)?
Short-term returns:

positive

Long-term returns:

very positive

Comments:

Timely and quicker planting enables larger areas to be planted and with less labour in the short term. Improved soil structure and soil fertility leads to higher yields and better resilience to droughts in the long term

6.5 Adoption of the Technology

  • single cases/ experimental
Of all those who have adopted the Technology, how many did so spontaneously, i.e. without receiving any material incentives/ payments?
  • 0-10%
Comments:

4 land user families have adopted the Technology without any external material support

Comments on spontaneous adoption: The Magoye planter has not yet been officially launched or promoted and the farmers currently using the technology heard of it by word of mouth and insisted on purchasing

There is a strong trend towards spontaneous adoption of the Technology
There has been numerous inquiries to purchase the Magoye planter even before it can be promoted

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
Enables early planting

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Plant in with the first rain
Quicker planting enables the planting of larger areas

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Plant the seed and fertilize in one operation
reduced workload

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Encourage minimum tillage
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
Enables early planting

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Plant in November with the first heavy rain
Quicker planting enables the planting of larger areas

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Use herbicides because without them, the capacity to weed will limit the production capacity
Preserves soil cover and reduces soil disturbance

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Training in residue management and zero till

6.8 Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks of the Technology and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
The purchase price of the Magoye planter is quite high Subsidize the implement
Excessive weeds and lack of information on herbicide use More training on herbicide use
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
The purchase price for the planter is on the higher side making it affordable only to the larger small-scale farmers the price is likely to go down when the planter is mass produced
difficult to control weeds in the absence of herbicides use herbicides

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

7.2 References to available publications

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Social-economic analysis of conservation agriculture in southern Africa, FAO, 2011

Available from where? Costs?

FAO

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Conservation farming in Zambia, Steven Haggblade, Gelson Tembo, October 2003

Available from where? Costs?

Indaba project, Michigan state university

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Conservation farming in Zambia, Conservation farming unit (CFU), 2011

Available from where? Costs?

cfu@zamnet.zm

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