UP-SCALING CLIMATE SMART AGRICULTURE IN SWAZILAND

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Evaluation Plan:
2016-2020, Swaziland
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
08/2016
Completion Date:
08/2016
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
11,500

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Title UP-SCALING CLIMATE SMART AGRICULTURE IN SWAZILAND
Atlas Project Number: 79928
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020, Swaziland
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 08/2016
Planned End Date: 08/2016
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 5.3. Gender responsive disaster and climate risk management is integrated in the development planning and budgetary frameworks of key sectors (e.g. water, agriculture, health and education)
Evaluation Budget(US $): 11,500
Source of Funding: COMESA
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 11,500
Joint Programme: Yes
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives; NAMBOARD
Countries: SWAZILAND
Lessons
1.

Implementing a project such as the Up Scaling CSA is by no means task with a huge budget, a large number of farmers, stakeholders and covering the three distant areas. Many good practices were developed along the way, the major ones being (a) capacity building of farmers in all 3 areas, (b)Accessing of national markets by small scale farmers, and (c) acquisition of CSA farming implements and access to the CSA implements. There have also been a number of emerging lessons, which NAMBoard may wish to consider in future design and implementation of similar programmes.

1. Acquisition of knowledge and raising awareness is key in facilitation adoption of new practices: Adoption of CSA knowledge by small scale farmers in the study areas has been possible due to understanding of benefits from technology utilisation despite the challenges of CA. In this project a combination of classroom and field practical training/exchange visits on CSA demonstration plots were used to impart knowledge to farmers, leaders and agricultural extension staff to enhance adoption of CA. After realizing the benefits of CA from fellow farmers, other farmers adopted the CSA techniques. Therefore, a combination of classroom and practical training was important to up scaling CSA. 2. Farmer to farmer knowledge and CSA technology transfer is key in quick adoption of practices: The concept of ‘champion’ farmers proved to be effective in the project’s dissemination of information. The 93 champion farmers trained on CA and vegetable 63 production principles will continue to guide and recruit new farmers into utilization of CSA methodologies. 3. Availability and accessibility of technical support allows for mentorship on technology adoption: The adoption of CSA farming technologies largely depended on the expertise of the Agricultural Extension Officers. Their continued availability and visits to farming sites enabled sharing of information. Furthermore, development of material/curriculum and manual printed for use by extension staff was also crucial in achieving uniformity in imparting of skills to the farmers. 4. Land tenure system can have an impact on technology adoption: Land tenure system affected the establishment of demonstration plots in CSA study areas. The initial implementation plan of action was to establish 4 demonstration plots in the project areas, however, only one (1) demonstration plot was established. The delay in the establishment of demonstration plots was largely due to traditional land tenure system of land acquisition. 5. Community participation in planning of CSA is key for ownership of project outcomes: Participatory information dissemination methods involving farmers in problem analysis, setting extension priorities, planning and obtaining feedback from farmers are well recognized for its impact on technology adoption. The community involvement in planning through demonstration plots and farmers field schools provides such platform for farmers  participatory and feedback. The CSA project employed farmer participation to sensitize, raise awareness and training on CA which contributed to high stewardship of project outcomes. 6. Impact of Government procurement procedures on project implementation: Government procurement procedures can delay the process of implementing interventions due to lengthy processes in accessing funds for general running of the project components. The delay was witnessed in the provision of transport for extension officers, fuelling of vehicles, fuelling of tractors and replacement of some CSA implements. 7. Synergy in private sector and Government to facilitate community projects: The project has set an example on how the private sector and Government can work together to realize the goals of implementation/ design and CSA adoption by farmers. The partnership between NAMBoard, private sector and vegetable farmers resulted in exchange visits being facilitated for the farmers to observe use of drip irrigation in privately owned farms. 


Findings
1.

Project Effectiveness

The project has made significant strides towards achievement of objectives and outcomes as indicated by the findings of the evaluation. The section below presents some emerging successes in the project, and elements which form a base for further programme development. 5.1.1. Capacity Building for Extension Staff and Farmers in CA and other CSA approaches Training assists community members to acquire or upgrade vocational skills and enable them to conduct income generating activities. Training further helps farmers to incorporate latest scientific advances and technology into their daily operations (FAO, 1993). In the project under review, farmers were trained on CSA for climate change adaptation, mitigation while increasing the productivity for purposes of resilience. These activities included the provision of farmers with loans/start-up capital, training of farmers on skills whilst providing others some agricultural inputs. In the project under review, a total of 406 farmers were trained under Up-Scaling Climate Smart agriculture project, with special emphasis on mechanization of Conservation Agriculture Technologies, which in turn was linked to inclusion in sustainable value chains. The findings from the progress reports further indicate that 93 “Champion Farmers” have been trained on CA and vegetable production principles. The lead farmers continue to guide and recruit new farmers into adoption/utilization of CSA methodology. One participant concurred by saying; 5.1.2. Proportion of farmers trained on CSA technologies Climate Smart Agriculture technologies contributes to more innovation and pro-activeness in changing the way farming is done in order to adapt and mitigate climate change while sustainably increasing productivity (FAO, 2010). Climate Smart Agriculture practices propose the transformation of agricultural policies and agricultural systems to increase food productivity and enhance food security while preserving the environment and ensuring resilience to a changing climate (Dumanski et, al. 2006). Such technologies have benefits which include: reduced costs ofmachinery use, reduced need for agro-chemicals, reduced soil compaction, improved timing of planting and improved farm labour productivity (World Bank, 2012; FAO, 2013). It also increases water use efficiency, reduces land and water pollution and leads to reduced emission of greenhouse gases (Dumanski et. al., 2006).It further builds up soil organic matter, improves soil fertility and stimulates soil microbial activity (FAO, 2001). A total of 406 farmers were trained in different technologies that enhance Climate Smart Agriculture in fruit and vegetable growing, with linkages to the value chain managed by the National Agriculture Marketing Board (NAMBoard). Training included: input selection, production, crop management, harvesting and post-harvest handling for quality enhancement. Furthermore, farmers were able to visit commercial enterprises both small and large scale that practice CSA in a profitable manner. As part of the evaluation, the study further ascertained the sources of the knowledge gained on CSA technology. Farmers cited (figure3) among others; Agricultural Extension Officers (20%), NAMBoard training (63%), Champion/fellow farmers (12%), World Vision (4%) and Cabrini ministries (1%) as sources of CSA information. All sources cited by the farmers were of critical importance particularly as advocates for fighting against hunger at household level and also important to be used as building blocks for strategies to upscale adoption. 5.1.3 Proportion of Farmers Practicing Climate Smart Agriculture Climate Smart Agriculture contributes to the achievement of sustainable development goals as it integrates the three (3) dimensions of sustainable development (economic, social and environmental) as well as addressing food security, climate and environmental challenges (Climate Smart Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, FAO, 2015). In the project under review, NAMBoard capacitated the farmers in different types of climate smart agriculture practices such as contour terracing, the use of manure, tree planting and crop rotation. The knowledge of CSA should translate to practice; therefore, farmers were asked on whether they practice it or not. Sixty-one percent (61%) of the farmers in Mpatheni indicated practising at least one climate smart type of agriculture whilst at Nkhungwini 80% of the farmers revealed that they practice Climate Smart Agriculture techniques. Various practices such as use of manure, contour terracing, hybrid seeds, “cut and carry methods”, water conservation, crop rotation and agro-forestry (tree planting) were cited by the farmers


Recommendations
1

The project team should engage (early in the project designing stage) with community
leaders, the Chiefs in particular who are the custodians of the land, prior to project
implementation as the land tenure system and eventual allocation of land may take months
or a year in some chiefdoms. This engagement should also consider having a budget for the
payment of a cow as part of the “kukhonta system”.
66
? The project team should consider having training of farmers on agri-business principles. This
would enable the farmers to be in position to keep proper records of farming, the sales, the
inputs, quantities of production and calculate profits/loses made.
? The project team should also consider having a separate CSA operational account for running
the logistics and acquiring of project implements. The account will run the machinery,
transport for officers, fuel, repairs and replacement of the implements. This will minimise
the undue delays associated with Government procurement procedures.
? More CSA farming implements ought to be purchased, particularly the no till planter and
boom sprayer which are in high demand yet only two were purchased to service five areas
RDAs. At least, the project should consider purchasing three (3) more of these implements
if the benefits of CSA are to be fully realised.
? The farmers should establish a fund that will cater for the maintenance of the drip irrigation
scheme and procurement of any replacement parts that may be damaged in the long run. The
fund will further enhance sustainability of the CSA project once the donor funding has ended.
The fund will be managed by the farmers through approved management structures with the
group.
? Crop insurance for further mitigating Climate Change should be considered for rural small
scale farmers, as severe drought has been witnessed in the cropping season 2015/2016. The
drought has necessitated introduction and adoption of crop insurance by farmers to mitigate
climate change.
? The Government/Ministry of Agriculture should consider formulation of a policy framework
that will empower rural farmers and also provide strong support for climate-smart
agriculture. The policy should provide a favourable environment for up scaling with
increased focus on extension, training, technical capacity building, access to and improved
use of inputs, dedicated climate adaptation and mitigation incentives and access to credit.
The policy will further promote an increase of rural incomes through regulation of the
vegetable market by using quota system that will require local
supermarkets/wholesalers/retailers to purchase 50% of their vegetable sales from local
farmers.
? There is limited use of technology for systematic information management (documentation,
storage and sharing) in this project. The evaluation suggests a procurement of a vegetable
management software system (e.g. Plan-A-Head, Farm-soft) that will facilitate planning
and management controls, production inputs, irrigation details, purchases of pesticides,
volume of produce per farmer, dates of expected harvesting, can estimate crop per farm per
week, can assist in the planning of the pack house activity and traceability of produce by
farmers, see Annex 6 for costing of software.

2

In future programming, the project team should engage (early in the project designing stage) with community leaders, the Chiefs in particular who are the custodians of the land, much prior to project implementation as the land tenure system and eventual allocation of land may take months or a year in some chieftaincies. This engagement should also consider having a budget for the payment of a cow as part of the “kukhonta system”.

3
  1. The project team should consider having training of farmers on agri-business principles as they apply to farming. This would enable the farmers to be in position to keep proper records of farming, the sales the inputs, quantities of production and calculate profits/loses made. The project team should monitor keeping of records by the farmers so as to empower them on accounting procedures.

 

4

The project team should also consider having a separate CSA operational account for running the logistics and acquiring of project implements. The account will run the machinery, transport for officers, fuel, repairs and replacement of the implements. This will minimise the undue delays associated with Government procurement procedures.

5

More CSA farming implements ought to be purchased, particularly the no till planter and boom sprayer which are in high demand yet only two were purchased to service five areas RDAs. At least, the project should consider purchasing 3 more of these implements if the benefits of CSA are to be fully realised

6
  1. The project beneficiaries should immediately establish fund that will cater for the maintenance of the drip irrigation scheme and procurement of any replacement parts that may be damaged in the long run. The fund will further enhance sustainability of the CSA project once the donor funding has ended. The fund will be managed by the farmers through approved management structures with the group.

 

7

Limited use of technology for systematic information management (documentation, storage and sharing). The evaluation suggests a procurement of a vegetable management software system (e.g. Plan-A-Head, Farm-soft) that will do planning and management controls, production inputs, irrigation details, purchases of pesticides, volume of produce per farmer, dates of expected harvesting, can estimate crop per farm per week, can assist in the planning of the backhouse activity and traceability of produce by farmers. (See annex 6 for costing of software).

1. Recommendation:

The project team should engage (early in the project designing stage) with community
leaders, the Chiefs in particular who are the custodians of the land, prior to project
implementation as the land tenure system and eventual allocation of land may take months
or a year in some chiefdoms. This engagement should also consider having a budget for the
payment of a cow as part of the “kukhonta system”.
66
? The project team should consider having training of farmers on agri-business principles. This
would enable the farmers to be in position to keep proper records of farming, the sales, the
inputs, quantities of production and calculate profits/loses made.
? The project team should also consider having a separate CSA operational account for running
the logistics and acquiring of project implements. The account will run the machinery,
transport for officers, fuel, repairs and replacement of the implements. This will minimise
the undue delays associated with Government procurement procedures.
? More CSA farming implements ought to be purchased, particularly the no till planter and
boom sprayer which are in high demand yet only two were purchased to service five areas
RDAs. At least, the project should consider purchasing three (3) more of these implements
if the benefits of CSA are to be fully realised.
? The farmers should establish a fund that will cater for the maintenance of the drip irrigation
scheme and procurement of any replacement parts that may be damaged in the long run. The
fund will further enhance sustainability of the CSA project once the donor funding has ended.
The fund will be managed by the farmers through approved management structures with the
group.
? Crop insurance for further mitigating Climate Change should be considered for rural small
scale farmers, as severe drought has been witnessed in the cropping season 2015/2016. The
drought has necessitated introduction and adoption of crop insurance by farmers to mitigate
climate change.
? The Government/Ministry of Agriculture should consider formulation of a policy framework
that will empower rural farmers and also provide strong support for climate-smart
agriculture. The policy should provide a favourable environment for up scaling with
increased focus on extension, training, technical capacity building, access to and improved
use of inputs, dedicated climate adaptation and mitigation incentives and access to credit.
The policy will further promote an increase of rural incomes through regulation of the
vegetable market by using quota system that will require local
supermarkets/wholesalers/retailers to purchase 50% of their vegetable sales from local
farmers.
? There is limited use of technology for systematic information management (documentation,
storage and sharing) in this project. The evaluation suggests a procurement of a vegetable
management software system (e.g. Plan-A-Head, Farm-soft) that will facilitate planning
and management controls, production inputs, irrigation details, purchases of pesticides,
volume of produce per farmer, dates of expected harvesting, can estimate crop per farm per
week, can assist in the planning of the pack house activity and traceability of produce by
farmers, see Annex 6 for costing of software.

Management Response: [Added: 2016/12/30]

Project Title:                                                   Upscaling Climate Smart Agriculture in Swaziland Project (May 2014-March 2016)

Project #:                                                        00089803

Terminal Evaluation Completion Date:          30th August 2016

Date of Issue of Management Response:         30th November 2016

Prepared by:                                                   National Agricultural Marketing Board (NAMBOARD) and UNDP

Recommendations

Sustainability Management Actions

Responsibility

  1. In future programming, the project team should engage (early in the project designing stage) with community leaders, the Chiefs in particular who are the custodians of the land, much prior to project implementation as the land tenure system and eventual allocation of land may take months or a year in some chieftaincies. This engagement should also consider having a budget for the payment of a cow as part of the “kukhonta system”.

Engagement of traditional leaders will be a core protocol activity undertaking for enhanced support for both strategic and operational project needs for  UNDP-supported interventions.

Implementing Partner/UNDP e.g. SNPAS 00091061 Project

  1. The project team should consider having training of farmers on agri-business principles as they apply to farming. This would enable the farmers to be in position to keep proper records of farming, the sales the inputs, quantities of production and calculate profits/loses made. The project team should monitor keeping of records by the farmers so as to empower them on accounting procedures.

NAMBOARD will provide training refresher/courses for the farmers on business management. In addition, technical support will continue being provided  for the Mpatheni Scheme by the Ministry of Agriculture through a Designated Officer for improved business management skills by the farmers.

The Ministry of Agriculture  working with NAMBOARD has placed an Extension Officer in the RDA to provide support to the schemes.

  1. The project team should also consider having a separate CSA operational account for running the logistics and acquiring of project implements. The account will run the machinery, transport for officers, fuel, repairs and replacement of the implements. This will minimise the undue delays associated with Government procurement procedures.

Buidling on the existing Revolving Fund, the continuous income accrued by the Farming Schemes will used for purchasing equipment and implements for increased adoption of the CSA technology.

Swaziland Farmers Association/NAMBOARD

  1. More CSA farming implements ought to be purchased, particularly the no till planter and boom sprayer which are in high demand yet only two were purchased to service five areas RDAs. At least, the project should consider purchasing 3 more of these implements if the benefits of CSA are to be fully realised.

Same as above

Swaziland Farmers Association/NAMBOARD

  1. The project beneficiaries should immediately establish fund that will cater for the maintenance of the drip irrigation scheme and procurement of any replacement parts that may be damaged in the long run. The fund will further enhance sustainability of the CSA project once the donor funding has ended. The fund will be managed by the farmers through approved management structures with the group.

Lessons from the use of the Revolving Fund management will be adopted and cater for maintenance of the drip irrication system and scheme.

Swaziland Farmers Association/NAMBOARD

  1. Limited use of technology for systematic information management (documentation, storage and sharing). The evaluation suggests a procurement of a vegetable management software system (e.g. Plan-A-Head, Farm-soft) that will do planning and management controls, production inputs, irrigation details, purchases of pesticides, volume of produce per farmer, dates of expected harvesting, can estimate crop per farm per week, can assist in the planning of the backhouse activity and traceability of produce by farmers. (See annex 6 for costing of software).

 

There will be development of soft-ware for improved management of the farmers databases in terms of mapping and management of production schedules as well as value chain enhancement and trouble shooting, by Decemebr 2017.

NAMBOARD

 

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation:

In future programming, the project team should engage (early in the project designing stage) with community leaders, the Chiefs in particular who are the custodians of the land, much prior to project implementation as the land tenure system and eventual allocation of land may take months or a year in some chieftaincies. This engagement should also consider having a budget for the payment of a cow as part of the “kukhonta system”.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/18]

Engagement of traditional leaders will be a core protocol activity undertaking for enhanced support for both strategic and operational project needs for  UNDP-supported interventions

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation:
  1. The project team should consider having training of farmers on agri-business principles as they apply to farming. This would enable the farmers to be in position to keep proper records of farming, the sales the inputs, quantities of production and calculate profits/loses made. The project team should monitor keeping of records by the farmers so as to empower them on accounting procedures.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/18]

NAMBOARD will provide training refresher/courses for the farmers on business management. In addition, technical support will continue being provided  for the Mpatheni Scheme by the Ministry of Agriculture through a Designated Officer for improved business management skills by the farmers.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation:

The project team should also consider having a separate CSA operational account for running the logistics and acquiring of project implements. The account will run the machinery, transport for officers, fuel, repairs and replacement of the implements. This will minimise the undue delays associated with Government procurement procedures.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/18]

Buidling on the existing Revolving Fund, the continuous income accrued by the Farming Schemes will used for purchasing equipment and implements for increased adoption of the CSA technology.

 

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

More CSA farming implements ought to be purchased, particularly the no till planter and boom sprayer which are in high demand yet only two were purchased to service five areas RDAs. At least, the project should consider purchasing 3 more of these implements if the benefits of CSA are to be fully realised

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/18]

Buidling on the existing Revolving Fund, the continuous income accrued by the Farming Schemes will used for purchasing equipment and implements for increased adoption of the CSA technology.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:
  1. The project beneficiaries should immediately establish fund that will cater for the maintenance of the drip irrigation scheme and procurement of any replacement parts that may be damaged in the long run. The fund will further enhance sustainability of the CSA project once the donor funding has ended. The fund will be managed by the farmers through approved management structures with the group.

 

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/18]

Lessons from the use of the Revolving Fund management will be adopted and cater for maintenance of the drip irrication system and schem

Key Actions:

7. Recommendation:

Limited use of technology for systematic information management (documentation, storage and sharing). The evaluation suggests a procurement of a vegetable management software system (e.g. Plan-A-Head, Farm-soft) that will do planning and management controls, production inputs, irrigation details, purchases of pesticides, volume of produce per farmer, dates of expected harvesting, can estimate crop per farm per week, can assist in the planning of the backhouse activity and traceability of produce by farmers. (See annex 6 for costing of software).

Management Response: [Added: 2017/01/18]

 

There will be development of soft-ware for improved management of the farmers databases in terms of mapping and management of production schedules as well as value chain enhancement and trouble shooting, by Decemebr 2017.

Key Actions:

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