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Zero tillage farming

The climate in Africa (extremely hot and dry, followed by torrential rains), the ploughing method of farming combined with the climate conditions has led to large scale soil erosion. The loss of top soil as well as soil nutrients and trees, means that, eventually, the soil cannot produce any crops. The loss of trees causes further soil erosion and loss of shade. 

Zero tillage is labour intensive and utilises hand held hoes to create individual seed stations thereby ensuring a minimum of soil disturbance.  Top soil is not lost and waste products from crop growing are allowed to remain in the soil, encouraging the development of nutrients. There is large scale unemployment in Africa, so labour intensive methods of working like this project are encouraged. So, a family can provide enough food for themselves and some to sell to enable them to buy grain for the next season. The impressive crop yields on zero tillage plots more than justify the method. 

Normally, when starting a zero tillage project in a new community or village, a sample plot will be planted with maize so that the community can see the process in action and be taught how to manage the plots. Typically the zero tillage grown maize is more dense and much taller than communities are used to seeing. The yields at harvest are higher so everyone is more than happy to follow this new method (which is actually an ancient concept). Ukuthasa are please to announce that we have recently acquired some land to use for the demonstration and training of farmers using zero tillage principles. Farmers will be provided with a start-up package of equipment, seed and access to land so that they can grow maize which will be used to feed their families and be sold to generate income.

A start-up package of seeds, equipment and a hectare land for a farmer costs only 500, click here if you would like to get involved. 

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