As the first rain clouds appear over Chololo, farmers are trying out the famous Magoye Ripper to compare alternative tillage methods on demonstration plots around the village. Go to the Agriculture page for video of the first demo. (Also check out the Launch Day celebrations, and the In Pictures gallery)
Hand tools were distributed to each of the 6 sub villages. The mattocks, spades, tape measures and string will help farmers prepare their fields for planting, ensure correct spacing of the seeds, and enable the digging of Chololo Pits – small circular excavations, some filled with farmyard manure, that trap rainwater and provide fertile spots for plants to grow.
Meanwhile the school rainwater harvesting tanks are in the ground ready for the first rains. The guttering has been delivered and will be in place in time for the main rains.
A series of workshops with a total of 172 farmers (105 female) have unanimously identified chicken farming as the income-generating activity of most benefit to women, kicking off a study to identify ways of supporting women to make the most of this potentially lucrative business. Dairy cattle and pig farming also scored highly, showing that livestock is where the money is, while crop production is mainly for food supply.